Concrete is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor floors. Aside from being durable and easy to work with design-wise, concrete is also low-maintenance and easy to clean.
However, concrete tends to soak up dirt and spills without regular maintenance, as its surface is porous, especially if left unsealed. There are different types of finished concrete floorings: Stained, sealed, and stained and sealed concrete:
- Stained Concrete: Finished with concrete stain or paint to add color over bare concrete.
- Sealed Concrete: Finished with a standalone sealer on bare concrete.
- Stained and Sealed Concrete: Finished with concrete stain for color over bare concrete, then with a sealer to protect the color and the concrete.
Although there are slightly different ways to maintain these types of flooring, the main advantages of concrete flooring are:
- Absence of grout lines that may trap dirt
- Generally, stain and dirt-resistant, especially if sealed
- Easy to clean and maintain
- The sealer only needs to be reapplied every few years (depending on wear)
In this blog, we’re going to discuss how to clean a stained concrete floor, as well as how to maintain sealed and sealed and stained concrete floors.
Although largely low-maintenance, stained concrete floors still need a bit of upkeep to prevent damage and prolong their longevity. Stained concrete floor maintenance differs slightly from regular, bare concrete floors in that they may require less harsh ingredients.
Regular concrete, for example, can easily be cleaned with a power washer and detergent, plus a stiff brush to scrub away stubborn spills and dirt. Some even opt for bleach, ammonia, or muriatic acid, followed by a water rinse.
Decorative stained concrete floors, however, can be safely cleaned with a mixture of flour and hydrogen peroxide or water and trisodium phosphate. There are also several regular cleaning practices you can use to keep your stained concrete floors free of dust and stains:
- Dry dusting with a mop or vacuuming floors to remove dirt and grit
- Damp mopping with a pH-neutral cleaner (mild dish soap or castile soap)
- Wiping up spills with a clean, wet cloth immediately
- Using microfiber dust mops for a deeper clean
Stained and sealed concrete offers more shine and color than regular concrete floors but requires gentler cleaning. No metal scrubbers and power washers, as these will damage your concrete’s sealer.
To maintain a stained and sealed cement floor, use a mop and a cleaning mixture of water and mild cleanser. Your best options are:
- Castile soap
- Liquid dish detergent
- Stone cleaners
- Mild floor cleaners
Don’t use ammonia, bleach, or muriatic acid on your floors, as these will erode and damage their finishing. As with stained concrete floors, practice the regular cleaning tips discussed earlier, like mopping and dry dusting, to avoid spills from leaving a mark.
Sealers are generally applied to stained floors to offer water resistance and protection against dirt, abrasion, and stains. You may opt for water-based sealers or solvent-based sealers:
- Water-based: Water-based sealed concrete floors have a low-gloss appearance with minimal darkening, and you can make out the bare concrete or concrete stain underneath
- Solvent-based: Solvent-based sealed concrete floors offer a high-gloss, darker appearance, slightly obscuring the bare concrete or stain applied underneath the sealer
You may also opt to color your concrete with concrete paints, which come in oil-based, water-based, and latex-based varieties. All types come in different colors with an opaque finish and have varying levels of durability (oil-based is the most durable one).
Concrete stains allow you to add color and texture to your concrete without having it be completely opaque, and come in acid-based and water-based varieties. Acid-based concrete stains come in earth tones like browns, terracotta, and blue-green; water-based ones come in black to translucent shades.
Maintaining sealed concrete floors is very similar to stained sealed concrete floor maintenance, especially when it comes to cleaning products. However, one thing to remember with sealed concrete is properly drying your floors after cleaning. This ensures that water does not seep into the sealer to weaken its bonds.
Also, remember that, like bare concrete and stained concrete, dry dusting sealed concrete regularly will help remove dirt and debris on the surface. Mopping your sealed concrete floors with water and a gentle cleanser will also provide a deeper clean, which you can do weekly or as needed.
Lastly, if you see your floors starting to lose shine, buffing your floors with a commercial polishing agent will help restore their shine. Sealers can also be reapplied every two or three years, depending on the level of wear caused by foot traffic.
Concrete is very low-maintenance, but it still requires regular upkeep and cleaning, especially in areas with higher foot traffic. While concrete floors can be left bare, you can also use stains, paints, and sealers to improve their durability and appearance.
By following the tips in our expert guide, you can enjoy your stained and sealed concrete floors for years! And if you need any help with cleaning or are looking for more cleaning tips, check out Triad Service Solutions here.