Acid Stain versus Polished Concrete: Which Is Right for You

To some people, the choice between acid stain and polished concrete is subjective, much like artwork. However, there are distinct differences that need to be understood. If you are thinking about having a concrete floor installed, by knowing the pros and cons of each, you will ultimately find it easier to make the right choice. Polished concrete looks quite different than acid stained concrete, but today color is also an option for polished concrete surfaces.

Key Factors

Some of the primary things to consider when deciding between acid stain and polished concrete might include:

  • Budget

  • Finish

  • Usage

  • Maintenance

  • Location

No matter the choice you make, both acid stain and polished concrete should be installed by a professional with the appropriate expertise. The professionals with Concrete Coatings Unlimited will go over each of the factors mentioned and assess the condition of the existing substrate to identify any cracks or other issues that could have a negative impact on the finished project.

Primary Differences Between Acid and Polished Concrete

Polished concrete usually runs between $3 to $5+ more per square foot compared to acid stained concrete, simply because there is more involved with the installation process. However, because polished concrete is typically more durable, in the long run, this can be the more cost-efficient solution.

Although polished concrete flooring is gorgeous, acid stain provides superior esthetics if you want a rustic variegated appearance.

Polished concrete is the preferred choice for high-wear areas; acid stained concrete is often used in showcase areas.

Both acid stain and polished concrete require some maintenance, but polished concrete is usually the lowest-maintenance option, since pores within the concrete are closed during the polishing process and there may not even be a sealer applied to the surface.