For a large open concrete floor that is not obscured by a lot of furniture or rugs, decorative saw-cutting, or "scoring", customized lines and basic geometric patterns into acid-stained concrete and decorative concrete (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 (similar to joints), 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 alternative dimensions may easily be set on the concrete saw by the contractor, if the customer so wishes. These decorative cuts/joints are best made prior to acid-staining and sealing the concrete. Afterward, they may be filled with a colored tile grout or polyurea joint filler to accent or complement 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 selected for a more contemporary or artistic look. Notice the large-diameter circular border in the Services section on Engraving, as well as the large square tile pattern in the photo above right.
Here are some of the most popular Acid Stained Concrete Scoring Patterns.
Decorative saw-cuts are also a good way to incorporate unsightly, existing 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 that separating colors usually involves a few extra days' labor for a concrete staining contractor, so the customer should expect to pay more per square foot. Also, decorative saw-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.