Which Is Better for My Architectural Firm: Acid Stained Concrete or a Water-Based Stain?

Acid Stained Concrete Color Chart

Acid Stained Concrete Color Chart

As the owner of an architectural firm, you know the value of making a good first impression. When prospects visit for a consultation, the way your firm looks will either make them feel confident about using your services or nervous. After much debate, you decided on new stained decorative concrete. However, you now must decide if acid stained concrete is better than a water-based stain for your firm, or vice versa.

The fact is that both types of stains offer beautiful results, yet in very different ways. Therefore, it is not so much about which one is better, just which one produces the effects that you prefer. By learning the differences between water- and acid stained concrete, you will have a much easier time making the right decision for your architectural firm.

With an acid-based stain, the finished surface is translucent and variegated. In this case, once the stain gets applied to the surface, it penetrates. At that point, the stain reacts with chemical compounds in the concrete, which is what causes the variegated effect. Not only is the color of this stain permanent because of the penetration within the concrete, but the aesthetics are one of a kind due to how the stain reacts to the concrete’s chemical compounds.

In comparison, a water-based stain works similar to a wood stain and adds color to the surface of the concrete.  The significant difference between the two is the water-based product does not have a chemical reaction to the concrete but simply penetrates and deposits it color.  The benefit of using a water-based stain is that you have far more control of the color and more of an ability to hide surface imperfections.

To help you decide whether water or acid stained concrete makes the most sense, you need to figure out the overall aesthetics that you like the most. Also, if you have a particular color in mind, you need to look at the two options to see which one matches the closest.