A lot of people tend to use the words stain and dye interchangeably. If you are looking to refinishing your concrete floors it’s important to know the difference between stains and dyes. 

The Science Behind Stained & Dyed Concrete!

Stained Concrete

Stains are great for outdoor applications because they are UV resistant. Another benefit is that they are truer to their appearance on the color chart and can achieve a more solid look. Stains are made from pigment and do not dissolve completely in water or solvents.They are micro ground to very small particles and the solvent caries these particles into the substrate, in our case, concrete. Since stain does not penetrate as deep as dye and sits more on top of the concrete it cannot be used when diamond polishing concrete. 

Dyed Concrete

Dyes create a much more durable concrete floor because they penetrate deeper into the concrete. This also makes them more translucent, giving that vintage style so many homeowners are in search of nowadays. They are metal complex dyes that are made in a laboratory. Their particle size is about a 1,000 times smaller than a stain particle. Plus, they are completely soluble in a solvent such as water or acetone.  Dyes are carried into the substrate deeper than a stain.

Salt & Pepper Analogy

One of the easiest ways to remember the difference between stained concrete and dyed concrete is to think of stain as pepper and dye as salt. When salt (dye) is mixed in water it completely dissolves but when pepper (stain) is mixed in water it gets distributed in the solvent but does not dissolve.

salt pepper analogy
  • The pepper
  • UV resistant
  • More true to color
  • Sits more on top of concrete 
  • Cannot be applied to polished concrete
  • The salt
  • Penetrates deep into the concrete
  • Translucent and vintage look
  • Completely soluble 
  • Can be applied to polished concrete
stained concrete
Ameripolish DYE

Find Us

AAA Southern States Refinishing
5255 Lanier Ln. Cumming, Ga 30041

Owner John Dykes- (770) 355-2453

Office- (678) 521-5288

Proudly serving GA since 1980

Areas We Serve

Our restoration & concrete polishing experts provide bathtub refinishing, epoxy floor coatings, concrete repair and more for residential and commercial projects in Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding areas of Roswell, Gwinnett, Cumming, Gainesville, Marrietta, Johns Creek, Alpharetta and Dawsonville.