Steps to Etch Concrete to Resemble Tiles

Do you have a patio or concrete area that is just boring gray concrete? It doesn’t have to be! You can make your boring concrete look like stone tile just by cutting grooves into the concrete slab. The grooves will create an appearance of grout lines. You can also add stain to the concrete to further enhance the appearance of natural stone tiles. The cut lines can absorb stain to give the look of dark colored grout as well. Let’s walk through the steps.

First, you will want to cover any areas that you don’t want stained with plastic sheeting. Also, if you don’t want dust to get into other rooms or areas then be sure to seal off those areas with plastic as well.

Next, you will need to decide what size and patterns you want to use. Chalk can be used to mark where you want the pseudo-grout lines to be. Just make sure that the lines are straight if you are going for a tile look. Orange chalk is a good option to use to be able to see it against the gray color. Colors such as red or blue can leave permanent marks on the concrete.

When getting ready to cut the concrete you can cover the bottom plate of the circular saw with masking tape to protect the rest of the floor as you cut into the concrete. You will need a diamond saw blade in the saw to cut into the concrete. It is a good idea to wear a respirator or dust mask when cutting into concrete.

If you’re worried about cutting the lines straight you can use a straight piece of 2 x 4 wood to use as a cutting guide along the chalk line. The cuts should be ⅛ of an inch deep. Repeat this process until all lines are cut to achieve the tiled appearance.

Next, while wearing your respirator or dust mask, you will grind the surface down to remove any sealer and to open up the pores enough to absorb the stain. It is also a good idea to open any windows for ventilation if you are able to.

You’ll want to make sure that the floor is clean of excess debris and dust before applying the stain. This can be done by washing off the concrete, but you’ll want to make sure that the surface is evenly dry before applying the stain to ensure an even color.

You will then need to pour the stain into the sprayer. Typically, a special sprayer is used with acid stains that do not contain any metal parts, as they can impact the color of the stain.

Protective footwear, such as booties, are suggested during this process to prevent footprints on the surface of the floor. After making your stain passes you can work the stain into the concrete more by using a scrub brush, this will help the stain get into the cut spaces as well. After the scrubbing is done, it is recommended to do one final spray pass on the entire area. Then it is important to allow the stain to dry completely.

You can use different colors of stain for layers to give it a more interesting appearance. If you choose to use multiple layers, be sure to allow each layer to dry before applying the next.

Finally, you will want to use a good sealer over the newly cut floor to protect the color from fading and from the floor from other possible damage.

There are so many creative and custom options for finishing concrete, but first and foremost important is the concrete itself. At Custom Concrete Creations we have state of the art equipment and a properly trained team with years of experience. Custom Concrete Creations is a premier contractor serving the Omaha area as well at the Midwest. Give us a call or send us an email for your custom concrete finishing needs today!