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"Diamonds Are Your Best Friend" - Acid staining and scored concrete

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For this floor, we were asked to create a beautiful blend of acid stain and scored concrete for this home in Flower Mound, TX. The home was under construction, making it ideal for staining as we don't have to remove glue or paint that we normally find in homes that already have carpet, linoleum, or tile. We almost always score the concrete first (cut a shallow groove into the floor). Here, we did two sizes—24" diamonds in the hallways and 36" in the living room. Try finding tiles that size! We wrapped the job up with the acid stain and concrete sealer to protect it.

We don't often mix different sized diamond patterns on a floor, but it worked out very well in this case. You may also notice that both sizes share a common feature—borders. Whenever we are scoring a floor in a remodel, the first thing we do is to put an 8" wide border around the room with a blue chalk line. We need this border, because the circular diamond cutting blades we use can only score a line in the concrete to within one or two inches of a wall before they start cutting into it. Having a border eliminates this problem as the diamond pattern starts and ends at the border. In new construction projects where walls have not yet been put up, we can score from one edge of the concrete slab to the other without needing a border. However, a scored concrete floor done that way will never have diamonds or tiles lined up with the center of a room or hallway as we can never be exactly sure where walls and other structures will be placed. When we do it after the framework has been installed, we can align the pattern wherever you would like.

For example, we will often align the scored concrete pattern in the middle of a hallway or entryway. We lay out the pattern at a 45 degree angle from that point in both directions using blue chalk. Next, we start scoring, following the blue lines with the saw and touching up with a handheld grinder. Yes, we even do this outside, as you'll see in the next project where we acid stained and scored the concrete around a pool deck.

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