Acid Stained Concrete Scoring Patterns
Stained concrete floors look best either without decorative concrete scoring altogether or with large simple patterns that do not draw attention away from the marbling effects of the acid staining. Below are some of the most popular acid stained concrete floor patterns. The sawcut lines are generally scored at a width of 1/8" and depth of 1/4", but they can be cut up to 3/8" in width for a more dramatic effect, and they may be cut deeper to maintain color separation during the concrete staining process. Decorative concrete cuts look best unfilled, where they provide a subtle, shadowed effect, but they can be filled with colored tile grout for visual accenting.
Using multiple concrete stain colors with a pattern, and separating these colors by the decorative cuts, is a great way of enhancing the visual impact of a floor.
For example, borders are almost always done in a contrasting or complementary color, and oftentimes so are the double lines and corners of grid patterns. Color separation, however, with the basic larger patterns, such as square or rectangular tiles, is less popular because it results in a "checkerboard effect", if used over the entire pattern. But coloring a tile or two here or there with a different acid stain color does establish very nice, random accenting.
Decorative scoring patterns usually add $.50-$1.00 per square foot to the cost of a project, depending on their complexity. Color separation may add another $1.00-$2.00 per square foot on top of that, since it makes the concrete staining process much more tedious. This is because areas immediately adjacent to the sections being stained with a certain color need to be masked off with plastic to prevent stain from crossing the decorative concrete cuts. Then when these other areas are later stained, the sections that are already completed need to be masked with plastic to protect their coloring. This taping process is time-consuming and requires considerable knowhow and good technique to prevent blemishes from appearing due to the plastic and tape temporarily altering moisture vapor transmission ratesfrom the acid stained concrete.
Decoratively scored borders are normally about 18" in width, and they may simply be stained, as shown below or stained and then enhanced with decorative concrete engraving, or stenciling. Here are some catalogues of templates that may be used for Engraved Concrete Borders and Stenciled Concrete Borders. Also, stained concrete scoring patterns may be done with an existing concrete floor or with a decorative concrete overlay.