stained concrete (interior) floors

What are the advantages/disadvantages of stained/stamped concrete over tile (e.g. travertine) interior floors?
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Cost perhaps?
Personally I'd have the Travertine or some nice oak boards.
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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:

Looks nice with peanut shells and sawdust on it.
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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:

Depending on who does the staining/stamping, you could have a really ugly floor or something beautiful. Cost will depend on your area and who is doing the work. Both are durable floors with the travertine easier to patch provided you keep some extra tile as insurance.
I'm assuming that you're talking concrete vs travertine as opposed to concrete on top of travertine. Probably a safe assumption, but you never know with some of the questions on this newsgroup.
R
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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:

Lately, stained concrete floors have become popular in our area. I've seen them written up in Fine HomeBuilding and other magazines as well. I personally like the look in the right application. My brother-in-law did about 1000sq ft of the stuff in a house he built last year. It particularly appealed to them, because they have a radiantly heated slab. He used the Kemiko (sp?) system which is basically an acid that reacts with the concrete to create a mottled color. In his case they chose a redish brown tone that looks vaguely like well-worn leather. Whatever tone you chose, they're all overcoated with an epoxy that can have anything from a matte to glossy finish. Here are a few considerations. First, the slab must be finished well. An uneven, rough slab obviously won't look as nice as one that is smooth. This also carries over to things like the control joints. My BIL carefully layed out the control joints so they would form a pleasing (as well as functional) pattern. Cracks will obviously be quite visible, so anything that can be done to minimize cracking is a plus. This means good subgrade prep, rebar, dryish concrete mix, good curing, etc. Also, if anything gets spilled on the raw slab prior to finishing, it can show up as noticable unstained areas. On the job I mentioned, he accidently spilled a bottle of PVC cement, but quickly wided it up. Nonetheless, it seemed to partially seal the pores, and that area ended up lighter than the surrouning floor. Even though the finish is meant to look mottled, this looks like a mistake. Secondly, the application process is fairly involved. He first sanded the floor - a messy job. Then several chemicals are wiped on, allowed to react, and then wiped off. Finally there's the epoxy, which must be allowed to cure for several days before traffic can be allowed on the floor. This is of course complicated further if any equipment is already mounted to floor. Finally, the epoxy overcoat is not as tough as some other types of flooring. My BIL has complained that dogs, kids, and furniture moving all scratch the floor. He frets when someone walks on it with shoes on, for fear a pebble stuck in their tread might leave a scratch. I will say however, he's pretty picky and uptight about that sort of thing and I think the floor still looks great. It's probably fair to say the epoxy is nowhere near as tough as ceramic tile. I guess what I'm saying is if you can't accept a little "character", it might not be the floor for you. I may sound down on the stuff, but I'm actually getting ready to do about 400sf of it in my own new house. We'll be using it in the laundry room and a half bath. If it shows a little wear over time, no big deal. Hope this helps...
Richard Johnson PE Camano Island, WA
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