how to protect your concrete slab


Our Services

  •  Commercial & Residential Decorative Concrete
  • Polished Concrete
  • Interior Concrete Resurfacing
  • Colored Concrete
  • Dyed Concrete
  • Coating Removal
  • Stained Concrete Floors
  • Cracked Concrete Repairs
  • Seamless Quartz Floors
  • Decorative Concrete Logos
  • Driveways
  • Garages
  • Basements
  • Pool Decks

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protecting your concrete

The cost of prep work rises dramatically if you or your contractor have not protected your concrete.

 ***Please print the instructions below to ensure a professional economical finished product. ***

1. Acid stains are chemical reactive metallic salts which seek out and react with the lime in the concrete. They can be manipulated, but not controlled and anticipated, but not guaranteed. Our   color chart shows typical color reactions. However, every slab is different. Every pour of concrete will react independently to the stains. All elements and circumstances affect the   outcome of the floors. Temperature, humidity, age of concrete, batch of stain, batch mix design  of concrete, accelerators, fly ash, wind,   instructions listed here all contribute to the outcome of the floors. Exact colors and stain patterns cannot be achieved. It is fundamental that all parties involved understand this.

2. The finished floor is a direct result of its being free of any foreign substances. Cover and protect your slab from sub-contractor activity. Your floor’s condition is a result of your sub-contractors being specifically instructed “ not to spill pipe adhesives, solvents, paints or varnishes as the slab is the finished floor! The floors should be clean and the rooms empty with absolutely nothing on the floors prior to the arrival of the crew. There should be no other trades on the floors or scheduled at the same time, unless they are working on the exterior only. 

3. Silicone chalks should NOT be used if at all possible. The red and yellow chalks are PERMANENT DYES. Do not over mark for the framing. Do NOT use silicon sprays to “Hold” the lines. The sprays repel the stain and leave harsh, permanent scars on the floor.

4. It is imperative that wood, sheet goods,sections of framing and the like not lay on the slab for extended periods of time as they can transfer resins. They alter the moisture content in the slab which leaves a pattern in the finished floor. It can result in efflorescence and prevent excessive vapor transmission.

5. Staining is a very wet process. We use blue painters tape with plastic to protect your    baseboard trim and walls. However, we are not liable for paint “peel-offs” or stained trim.

6. The floor should be protected from the following: Plumbers glue, foam insulation, bond release agents, flux oils, grease, polyurethanes, paint, markers, grease sticks, spray paints, crayons, muriatic acid and other chemicals both before and after staining and/or sealing or waxing. MURIATIC ACID PREVENTS CONCRETE FROM REACTING TO THE STAINS AND SHOULD NEVER BE USED ON CONCRETE AT ALL!!

7. It is extremely important that you do not tape the floor! When covering the floor, overlap sheets of builder’s paper from Home Depot. Tape the first sheet to the wall then overlap the second sheet to the first and tape it to the paper. DO NOT TAPE TO THE FLOOR. Duct tape, masking tape, packing tape, strap tape, blue tape, green tape, and electrical tape…there are NO exceptions. The tape alters the natural curing process and transfers chemicals to and from the slab. THIS WILL SHOW in the finished product.

8. If you choose to have your “interior floor” sealed with our acrylic sealer, it is recommended that you leave the premises at this stage. The acrylic sealer is a 30% solvent base and emits a solvent odor during the application and drying process.

9. The finished floor must be kept vacuumed to prevent dirt from acting as an abrasive and thus dulling the shine. After cleaning, a small amount of Mop & Glo will bring out the luster once again. Apply as needed! Commercial liquid wax products are available for a professional shine.

10. Floor surface can be marked by heavy furniture or metal objects. Take a little care!

11. All stain on the floor, chips in concrete or cracks will still be evident after the work is complete. Any patches in concrete will also be visible. Remember, we are making the floor look “aged”! Defects are expected and acceptable.

12. The floors should be clean and the room empty, with absolutely nothing on the floors prior to the arrival of our crew. Our fees do not include removing paper, furniture, tools, equipment, fixtures, building material etc. There should be no other trades on the floors or scheduled at the same time as Tropical Toppings.

13. If you are doing a “remodeling” project and are removing old carpet and/or tile and want to stain, a word of caution: Underneath your existing floor covering is a whole host of potential problems that may prevent your floor from being stained.

Glue and adhesives must be removed prior to staining! If you are removing old carpet, the tack strips around the walls will cause divots in the surface when removed. You must be willing either to endure them or have them patched, which will be evident. Paint overspray along baseboards (usually oil-base) is a project stopper!    

Terrazzo tile removal generally damages the float service of the concrete beneath. I do not recommend proceeding with the staining process in this situation. On very old residences 30+ years, the stain reacts to the minerals in the float coat of the floor. Old concrete has leeched most of these salts from the surface over time and the colors are quite muted. Do not expect the vibrancy to be achieved the same as what is shown in the color chart.

Exterior porches, sidewalks and pool surfaces are all stain possibilities. due to the rougher surfaces the finished appearance has more of a sandstone look than “aged marble”. Colors vary widely on these surfaces. Concrete pours at different time frames will result in varying colors, especially add-on slabs to older homes

Thank You,                                     


Michael Speach          

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