For a large open floor not obscured by a lot of furniture or rugs, saw-cutting or "scoring" decorative lines and simple geometric patterns into acid-stained concrete and cement overlays is a great way to break up the monotony of a single color and draw more attention to the floor. Decorative concrete scoring lines are generally made with a guided angle grinder or concrete saw fitted with a diamond blade and a dust-free vacuum attachment. The most common cuts are about 1/8" wide and 1/4" deep, although exact dimensions may easily be adjusted by the contractor, if the customers wishes. These decorative cuts are usually done prior to acid-staining the concrete and may be filled with a colored grout to accent the colors in the floor, or left alone, for a more subtle appeal.
Straight wall borders and large square or rectangular tiles are the most popular patterns, while arcs, circles, and diamonds may be chosen for a more contemporary or artistic look. Notice the large-diameter circular border in the previous section on engraving; and the large square tile pattern in the photo at direct right. Here are some of the most popular Acid Stained Concrete Scoring Patterns.
Decorative saw-cuts are also a good way to incorporate unsightly control joints into a larger overall pattern and disguise them, as show in the pool patio project below.
For additional accenting, concrete scoring lines may be used to separate acid stain colors. It is important to note, however, that separating colors usually involves a few extra days' labor for a concrete staining contractor, so the customer should expect to pay a little more per square foot. Also, decorative cutting is generally not a problem with concrete slabs that contain radiant or "hydronic" heating, as long as the tubing was properly installed and is at least 1-2" below the surface of the concrete.