Questions about stained and scored concrete

I posted a question about this to another newsgroup but didn't get any answers, so I hope I may have found the right NG for solutions this time.
I am having a sunroom added to my house -- starting in 2 or 3 weeks. It will really be an additional room, with the ductwork of my existing central air/heating system extended to include that room. The contractor assures me that I have an adequate unit to do that (which will involve an addition of approximately 320 square feet).
At present, I have two sets of French doors that open to the area that will become the new sunroom. The windows have started to fog, so I am going to have these metal doors replaced with wood interior French doors. The threshold will be removed so the new patio flooring can be flush with the interior floor, and approximately 1 inch will be cut off the bottom of the doors to provide air circulation when they are closed. The existing patio (really, just a slab of concrete) is in very poor condition and will be removed. It will be replaced with a larger area of concrete. This time, it will have both rebar and mesh for support. I also specified that we use footers (hope that's the right term) because the soil here is very sandy.
I was originally going to use tile, but the contractor recommended scored concrete. I looked at some of his samples, and it looks very nice. The concrete would be stained about 3 weeks after it is poured. He says the stain will penetrate about 1/4", so I should not have problems with the type of white scratches that show up on unfinished concrete when furniture is moved around. I also want to be sure that this will be easy to clean (and I have cats, so there could be "accidents"). It will be sealed with an epoxy sealer.
Do any of you have experience with this type of produce? Is it easy to maintain, especially after a few years (light traffic area)? What about scoring versus plain? If it is scored, we will use a thin line to emulate tile (not the wide grout) and grout will be placed in the scored areas. Is it likely that this will create a problem in future years with cracking and lifting, or is this an unncecessary concern?
Thanks, MaryL
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Is the contractor going to have a building permit?

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Yes. He is the owner of his own construction business, and everything will be built to code (and with permits).
MaryL

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3 weeks? When I have used colored concrete we put color into the mix and then sprinkled more on top, when wet. Trowel it in again and looked for any color variations. 3 weeks seems to me the concrete will be set and the color will be just a top coating. Which may or may not stand up to traffic.
Ask to see other installations that are a couple of years old.
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-------- Yeah, ask about adding colorant to the concerete mix, and floating in additional colorant during the finishing process. You can use the same color for both, or go for a nice 2 tone effect.
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MaryL wrote:

There are numerous ways to finish concrete to use as a finished floor. Your best bet is to educate yourself on the various finishes, decide on the one that you want, then negotiate with your builder or a subcontractor to do what you want to do.
Here is a great place to learn about this:
http://www.concretenetwork.com /
Good luck,
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Thanks! That is a great site.
MaryL
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