How to Make Concrete Look Like Tile

frugalhomediy September 28, 2011 2



When doing a basement remodel it can be hard to choose what kind of flooring to use.  A beautiful, long lasting, and cost effective option is to stain the concrete. Concrete stain seeps into the pores of the concrete and won’t peal or chip.  It also comes in a variety of colors.  However, if this is too boring for you, here is a way to make the floor look like giant tiles.

The concrete floor above is in a new house my father built.  He decided to cut the concrete into 4 foot squares.  The cuts were then filled with regular brick mortar. Why mortar you ask?  Because mortar is cheaper, absorbs stain like the concrete, and is more durable than regular tile grout.  After, the mortar is dry the floor must be washed with a special cleaner that’s mildly acidic.  Then the stain is applied. Manufacturers differ on when to apply stain. Most say 14 to 28 days after the concrete is poured.  When choosing how to apply stain, keep the following things in mind.

  1. Colors are more intense if stain is applied soon after concrete is poured. Stain diluted with water and applied immediately can often achieve the same results as full-strength stains applied later.
  2. Water drives the chemical-stain reaction. To achieve color consistency, make sure the moisture content of the concrete is roughly the same for every section. If one concrete section is stained 2 days after it’s poured, then other sections should be stained when they are 2 days old for color consistency.

There are many ways to apply stain, with each method providing a different final appearance.  Using a sprayers is my favorite method. However, the sprayer should be rated for acid and have no metal parts.  This is because the stain will quickly eat the metal parts, which can affect the color of the stain. Use a spray tip with a circular pattern, spraying in a pattern that goes from left to right, then right to left. This is followed by scrubbing the stain into the concretes surface using a medium-bristle brush in a circular motion. For a more uniform color it’s important to scrub in the stain and not just push it around. An additional spray pass just behind the scrubbing removes brush marks. This method ensures good penetration, minimal marking from either the sprayer or brush, and a solid looking color.  However, for a more wavy look just use a damp mop right after spraying and mop in a circular motion.

Additional water can be used to create different concentrations of stain color. Wetting the concrete before stain is applied is one way to do this. Following the application with water from a spray bottle is another way.

Whatever stain application method is used, be sure to carefully cover surrounding areas to avoid accidental staining.  Stains can be difficult, and in some cases impossible, to remove.  For more information Click Here.


  1. Anonymous June 22, 2014 at 11:40 am - Reply

    can it done insri lanka

  2. Jazmine L. August 27, 2014 at 3:41 am - Reply

    I have an existing concrete floor that’s 10+years in an unfinished basement that I would like to stain. Any suggestions of how best to prep the floor for staining? Which products do you typically use?

Leave A Response »