Staining Concrete: How To Do It

by Admin on September 23, 2014

Not everyone is enamored with the natural light gray/white color of concrete, especially when it comes to concrete floors in their home. Fortunately, it’s possible to give your concrete floor a completely different color and look by staining it. That way, you’ll still have the great durability and long life span of concrete but with a more personalized, finished look.

How_To_Stain_Concrete

To make sure your concrete floor comes out looking the way you want, it’s best to work with a professional. When you’re hiring someone, be sure to ask them about past concrete staining projects they’ve worked on, and visit some of their previous work sites if possible. You should also familiarize yourself with the steps of the staining process ahead of time so that you know what to expect.

Fortunately, KSI Kitchens has put together a convenient step-by-step guide for staining a concrete floor. Check out the original guide here from the kitchen design experts at KSI Kitchens, and learn the basic steps below.

Step 1: Choose Your Workspace

You can stain any concrete floor, whether it’s inside or out. Many people already have concrete floors in their basements because the material holds up against flooding, so this might be a good space to stain.

Step 2: Clean the Surface

Your floor should be carefully cleaned before you start the staining project, as any blemishes will show up in the stain. Your professional needs to make sure there isn’t any waxy material on the floor, as this can leave untreated patches. He or she should also check for cracks and discolored areas of the floor, as these issues will also need to be taken into consideration. Some homeowners choose to leave cracks because they add character, but others have their contractor use an overlay to get a smooth surface.

Step 3: Pick Your Stain

There are two basic types of stain: acid and acrylic. Acid stain tends to be the best choice if there are any discolored areas or other blemishes on the floor because it does a better job of disguising these issues. It only comes in eight colors, but these colors can be blended to get new ones. Acrylic stain tends to highlight blemishes, but it comes in a wider range of colors and doesn’t involve a chemical reaction (it’s water-based). You can also blend two or more acrylic stains to get a new look (you can even get your stain to resemble natural stone).

Step 4: Apply the Stain

Make sure your home professional tests the stain on a small, out-of-the-way patch of the floor first, as the color will look different on the floor than it does in its original container. If you’re happy with the color, have the professional go ahead and apply the stain to the entire floor. The professional will likely use some combination of a plastic pump sprayer, mops, rollers, and squeegees. He or she should move the mop or roller with a natural flow rather than just going in straight lines in order to avoid leaving obvious streaks.

Step 5: Neutralize the Acid Stain

If you use an acid stain, your professional will need to fill up a clean plastic pump sprayer with a mixture of one part ammonia, four parts water, and spray it over the entire stained floor. Once the floor dries, he or she should vacuum up any remaining water and use a wet cloth to blot the surface to remove any prints or splotches.

Step 6: Seal the Stain

The final step will be to seal the stain using a densifier and a stain guard. Your professional will use the densifier first to penetrate the concrete floor and dramatically increase its abrasion resistance so that it won’t be easily scratched. He or she will then apply the stain guard to increase the floor’s shine and—you guessed it—keep it from getting stained. Not only will sealing the concrete prevent your floor from showing obvious wear, it will also help the floor last for longer so that you don’t have to worry about replacing it.

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5 Part Tile Style Interior Design Guide

by Admin on September 4, 2014

Drury_TileThere are so many different materials, patterns, and styles for tiles that your decorating options are essentially limitless. You can also bring tiles into pretty much any room in your house—from your stove’s backsplash to your bathroom’s walls—or use them to add character to an outdoor space like a patio.

But with all the options out there, how do you know what tiles to use for your design project? Check out this overview of some of the most popular materials for tile in order to get a better sense of what will work best in your home.

Glass

Best for: Walls, backsplashes, trims

Pros: Glass tiles are relatively low maintenance and can be colored any shade that you want, so it’s easy to match or complement existing color schemes. You don’t need to worry about the color fading in direct sunlight or the tiles being damaged by water, since they are moisture-proof.

Cons: Glass tiles are not a good choice for flooring because they are not durable enough to stand up to foot traffic. If they are used for flooring and break, the sharp shards can be dangerous.

Porcelain

Best for: Walls, showers, backsplashes, countertops, ceilings, and flooring

Pros: Porcelain requires less maintenance than wood and stone floors, and it is also highly durable and reasonably priced. You don’t necessarily have to go with classic unglazed white porcelain, either—you can choose to screen print your porcelain tiles so they resemble stone, fabric, or another material.

Cons: Porcelain is highly durable thanks to its low moisture levels, but this also means it is difficult to cut custom shapes or rounded edges. Screen-printed porcelain will also show the original color if chipped or cracked, so you may want to opt for through-body porcelain (which has color throughout the tile) for heavy-wear areas like the patio.

Ceramic Tile

Best for: Walls, ceilings, backsplashes, countertops, showers, and flooring

Pros: Many people enjoy the texture and overall aesthetic of these tiles, which are made from clay and often have a natural red terra-cotta or a glazed finish. They’re easy to install and can also be cut into custom shapes.

Cons: Due to their high moisture content, ceramic tiles are somewhat delicate and may fluctuate and become warped in areas with extreme temperature changes. For this reason, it is best to avoid installing them outdoors.

Natural Stone

Best for: Walls, ceilings, backsplashes, flooring, showers, baseboards, tub decks, and outdoor settings

Pros: All-natural stone is popular for its authentic look and versatility. It can be used just about anywhere in your home, and can be even used for the facing of grills and other outdoor appliances. It is fairly durable and will hold up best if sealed.

Cons: Stone requires more maintenance than the tile options discussed above. It needs to be regularly cleaned with soap and water or another non-acidic cleaner, and if you want to prevent the color from fading, you’ll need to use an enhanced seal. Stone is also one of the more expensive tile options.

Other Tile Options

If you’re looking for something truly unique, you can try a non-traditional tile made from materials like sea shells, mirrored glass, or even animal hide. The price and maintenance will obviously vary significantly depending on what type of tile you choose, so be sure to talk to an experienced home designer before making your decision.

Want to know more about any of the materials discussed here? Check out this infographic from the interior design team at Drury Design to learn more about the manufacturing, pricing, maintenance, and installation of each tile type.

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Tips for Storing Just About Anything

July 29, 2014

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that you never realize just how much stuff you own until you have to pack it up and store it. Dealing with your stuff may seem like a daunting task when it comes time to move to a new home or transfer some of your household items to a storage […]

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Have a Quieter Home with Duette Blinds

June 5, 2014

There’s nothing better than having peace and quiet when you need it most. Relax in comfort with stunning Duette® energy saving window blinds, as they absorb up to 45% of unwanted noises. Whether it’s passing traffic, people talking loudly outside or even road works, the Duette® unique acoustic properties help to reduce the impact of […]

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Creating a Backyard Oasis for Summer Fun

June 4, 2014

School is out and the temperature is rising fast. Summer is here and it’s time to prepare for backyard parties and cookouts. Is your backyard ready? If not, do not panic, there is still time to make your backyard look fabulous before you host your first summer bash. Backyard landscaping can be very expensive and […]

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How Building Has Changed with Technology

May 13, 2014

As lifestyle demands change, technology changes with them. Technological advances have created innovative ways to reduce building costs, conserve energy and create healthier lifestyles. The building industry has creative software applications to manage building costs. Energy-efficient products conserve energy and save money. Recycled building materials and green products create a healthier living environment. Constantly evolving […]

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Designing For A Purpose: Security 101

April 11, 2014

Home security is a prime concern for homeowners in many parts of the country. However, security improvements can be complicated to install after the house is already built. When designing or remodeling a home, consider incorporating some of these elements into the design. Built-in Safe Burglars often look for small valuables such as cash, bonds, […]

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5 Things You Can Do That Will Make Your House a Home

March 19, 2014

You own you own house, but does it really feel like a home? Since your home will serve as your bastion of peace, comfort and security, it’s important to take steps to provide those features for yourself and your family. Here are a few ways that you can do this. Personalize It’s your home, so […]

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How to Create the Most Incredible Landscape Garden

March 11, 2014

The sun is shining today, and many people are out and about enjoying it. Many people will find their minds turning to projects in and around the home that need to be undertaken. Perhaps there has already been a new bathroom installed, and  the kitchen may be still looking good; so it could be time […]

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5 Wall Decal Design Ideas For The Modern Home

February 28, 2014

I love getting new tips and ideas for the home. Last week, I went to a friend’s house. He recently redesign an old family room into a billiards room. The room looked great. Yes, the pool table is awesome. But, he also put a beautiful quote on the wall: “He is happiest, be he peasant […]

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