This finished basement concrete floor had a moisture problem caused by a high water table and compounded by existing vinyl tile flooring. We removed the tile, chemically stripped the black cutback adhesive and cleaned the floor (photo above left). After having drain tile installed in the basement to address the moisture problem, the homeowner wanted acid-stained concrete, a flooring system that would be unaffected by any future moisture issues.
In order to acid stain the floor, though, we had to incorporate a design that would camouflage the "ghosting" pattern left by the tile. The homeowner chose a flagstone floor design she had seen in a magazine advertisement. Using that ad for reference, we began to draw out a rock design on the now bare concrete floor with soapstone chalk. We then painted in the grout color using a water-based acrylic stain and stained the individual rocks one at a time.
We layered each rock with different shades of acid stain to give them "natural" coloring. Once we finished the staining, and the homeowner had approved the coloring, we sealed the design with a water-based clear acrylic sealer and applied several coats of floor finish wax for easy cleaning and maintenance. Notice how the indelible ghosting pattern left by the individual square tiles is no longer even noticeable.