This gorgeous home, by Adam Wilson Homes, had concrete countertops and flooring specified. We did the countertops and they came out beautifully. The flooring work was initially awarded to a local guy for a savings of less than $1/sf . Before the house was even finished, that finish was coming off though.

The problem wasn’t execution as much as bad strategy. Dye-and-seal products are marketed to installers who don’t know better (or don’t care) as a fast way to predictably color and finish concrete floors. However, if the pores of the concrete are filled with colorant, and a film of sealer is formed over that, the sealer doesn’t bond well, and it takes colorant with it.

Our solution was to grind off all of the dye and acrylic sealer. The floor could’ve been stained grey as it was intended at that point (the first grey “stain” turned purple), but the owners/designers decided on a warmer and more earthy color. The point is to always only specify materials that go into the concrete rather than on top of the concrete for maximum durability and a graceful patina. Note: this floor was finished more than 7 years ago, and still looks pretty good without much maintenance so far.