It really depends on the customer's expectations and desired aesthetic outcome. Decorative concrete contractors have traditionally gone with reactive acid stains. The variance in colors as well as the UV stability of acid stains make them a popular choice for homeowners and smaller decorative finishes. Acid stains generally deliver a mottled appearance.
Traditional polishing contractors typically opt for a penetrating, translucent dye. Dyes have brought more options to the concrete polisher's color palette. Up until recently, earth-tone colors of acid stains were typically the only means by which a contractor could add color after the concrete pour. In the past 10-15 years, the advancement of water- and solvent-based dyes have been formulated to carry color into the slab.
For more resources on colored concrete floors, visit our QA with Nick Savage, PROSOCO's Concrete Flooring Group Leader.
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