Just how durable is an acid stain? What about a microfinish concrete overlay? Can they hold up to a lot of traffic? Well, the answer is yes and no. A commercial floor is just about one of the toughest environments for decorative concrete. Yes, concrete is very hard and abrasion resistant and overlays are, too, but that doesn't make them "bulletproof". The good news is that even with no maintenance, the floor will look good for years to come. The better news is that by taking a couple of simple steps, the floor will look new for even longer.
Whenever we acid or water stain an overlay, we are changing the color of the top layer of the concrete. The stain color doesn't go completely through the material. That doesn't mean it doesn't have color - we often mix in a pigment with the overlay material to give it a tint - but it's not the same as that of the stain. We then protect the floor with a sealer coat and a wax coat. In this Chipotle in Denton, Tx the original concrete floor had been acid stained but after years of neglect and obviously a lot of foot traffic, the concrete itself had been worn away. For commercial floors, the proverbial "ounce of prevention, pound of cure" is particularly relevant and this is usually in the form of a protective wax coat applied at a regular interval. This solution was a little late for this floor so to remedy the problem we went with the microfinish overlay and acid stained it to give it more "pop".
The key point to note is that decorative concrete floors do need to be maintained periodically. We always recommend using a wax coat as a first line of defense, especially when a commercial floor is involved. As people walk on it, the wax bears the brunt of the wear, reapplying it maintains that protection. The wax we recommend is a high grade wax that can be mopped on, but doesn't require using a high speed buffing machine to bring out the shine. It's very easy to apply and usually dries in less than 30 minutes. If you want more information on what we use and how we use it, just click to download our "Floor Cleaning Instructions" PDF.