Prepping Concrete Floors for Stains and Overlays

Using the Dust Muzzle Leatherneck for Floor Prep

Concrete Floor, Staining and Prepping

Concrete Surfaces and Floor Preparation

Stains offer decorative concrete artisans endless design possibilities. Concrete surfaces can be restored from dull to new using the staining and overlaying technique. This technique helps decorative concrete artisans transform dull tattered concrete floors into concrete masterpieces.

Concrete staining and overlaying is a renovation technique that helps contractors save their clients money by: conserving resources while eliminating the need to remove or replace the concrete. Contractors can choose to add texture using color and patterns intended to give it a stamped look or they can simply restore the existing beauty of the concrete surface using the restoration process.

Preparing concrete surfaces for stains and overlays is a time consuming process that takes careful attention to detail to ensure each step is followed. If any steps are missed, a contractor can run the costly risk of not producing the planned results and having to re-do the job from the beginning.

Prepping a Floor for Stains and Overlays

Dustless preparation of a concrete floor to accept stains and overlays in an occupied building is a multi-step process. Depending on the look of the finished product, grinders and Skil saws as well as multiple types of abrasive wheels and blades may be needed to complete the job.

Prepping the Floor

To apply an overlay that won’t crack or peel, the concrete surface must be free of old paints, grease and solvents and it must be profiled with a diamond cup wheel.

If a floor has old paint, epoxy or other soft material on it, the silica carbide wheel is the most efficient way to remove the coatings. It is a 16 grit wheel designed to remove a lot of material very quickly. Do not lean on the wheel. It should be swept lightly over the surface so that only the coating is removed. This also lengthens the life of the silica carbide wheel. Leave the profiling of the concrete to the diamond cup wheels.

When stains and overlays are applied, the manufacturer will often recommend profiling the concrete. For this job, a diamond cup wheel is the preferred method for profiling or putting some “tooth” on the concrete. In order to avoid swirl marks when profiling the concrete, the 24-tooth turbo diamond cup wheel is the industry standard.

When Thinset is being removed from an existing floor, the double row diamond cup wheel is labor-saving in that the Thinset is quickly removed, but the operator has to be careful to avoid swirl marks.

Dust Muzzle Leatherneck

Dust Muzzle Leatherneck for Floor Prep

Dust Collection Products has a complete line of dust shrouds for grinding with diamond cup wheels and zec wheels on concrete floors. The Dust Muzzle Leatherneck is the most versatile dust collection shroud for floor prep. Because if its wide range of vertical flexibility, it can handle both Zec wheels which are only ¼” thick as well as the diamond cup wheel which tend to be over 1 ¼” deep.

Original Dust Muzzle

If the original Dust Muzzle is used with a 7” Zec wheel, the operator must choose the appropriate model 7” Dust Muzzle from the cross reference on the web site. If it is used with a diamond cup wheel, the operator should choose from one of the 8” models.

Dust Muzzle Ultra and Dust Muzzle Heavy Duty

The 5” Dust Muzzle Ultra and the 5” Dust Muzzle Ultra Heavy Duty can be used with all diamond cup wheels and Zec Wheels. The 8” Dust Muzzle Ultra and 8” Dust Muzzle Ultra Heavy Duty can only be used with Diamond Wheels. There is not enough vertical adjustment to accommodate a 7” Zec wheel.

Saw Cutting and Faux Grout Lines Using the Saw Muzzle

Expansion joints and faux grout lines are added after the stain or overlay is applied to the floor. Dust Collection Products manufacturers the Saw Muzzle for worm drive and hypoid, left-bladed circular saws. The Saw Muzzle can be used with a .100” kerf saw blade for cutting expansion joints or with a .250” kerf square cut blade, both with the diamond knockout for the worm drive saws. Dust Collection Products also carries three rolling carts. The Blade Roller and the Skateplate are used when making shorter cuts. For longer cuts, the Standup Rolling Cart is preferred because it allows the worker to cut standing up. The saw triggers from the handle and the rolling cart has an excellent guide that allows for cutting die-straight lines.

Choosing the Correct Vacuum

All dust collectors, regardless of the model or design, depend on a vacuum to remove the dust from the point of origin. Because of this, it is important to know how to evaluate different industrial vacuums. There are three important things to look for in a vacuum: CFM, static lift and filtration.

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)

CFM is an abbreviation for cubic feet per minute. This is a measure of the volume of air the vacuum is moving. 100CFM is the benchmark for efficient airflow. Most vacuums move enough air to work with point of origin dust collectors…at least for a few minutes. But on weak vacuums, when the filters start to load up, the CFM begins to drop.

Static Lift

Whereas CFM measures the volume of air moved, static lift measures the ability to keep the air moving under a load. Static lift is measured in inches. It can be equated to torque on a motor. If a vacuum has 80” of lift, it means it can lift a column of water 80” off the ground. When a filter is loaded up with fine dust, it becomes more difficult to pull air through the pores. A vacuum that delivers 120CFM with 80” of lift will continue to pull a large volume of air through the filter whereas a vacuum that delivers 120CFM with 40” of lift will tend to see a substantial drop in the CFM. This will result in loss of efficiency for the dust collector.


There are many types of good filtration They run from pulse type back flush systems to paper and plastic disposable filters. The most cost effective systems for the affordably priced vacuum systems use a disposable paper or woven plastic filter. They typically hold 5-20 pounds of silica dust. They filter down to .5 microns, which is close to the HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Absorbing) spec of .3 microns. When they are full of dust, they are removed from the vacuum and thrown away. They are typically used with a secondary filter that protects the motor and a HEPA downstream filter to remove particles from the exhaust.

Nacecare Vacuums

Dust Collection Products has a complete line of HEPA FLOW vacuums. The Nacecare 570 comes with a 2-year warranty and will out perform any other industrial vacuum in its price range. It comes with 10 filters and it can provide up to 99% efficiency with any of our dust collectors.

Call us for expert technological assistance when setting up your complete dust collection system on your next concrete restoration project during the staining and overlaying process.

At Dust Collection Products, the soul of our philosophy is to focus on helping concrete contractors and decorative concrete artisans control the dust at their construction sites.

We want to help every concrete contractor and decorative concrete artisans create a safe and toxic free construction environment by providing the Dust Collection tools and systems they need for every construction project.

Dust Collection Products provides the Dust Collection tools that concrete contractors, decorative concrete artisans, demolition contractors, bridge repair contractors and bridge painters need to eliminate all airborne contaminates, toxic dust, silica dust, fiberglass, drywall dust, anti-fouling paint and other toxic contaminates.

Dust Collection Products, helping concrete contractors, decorative concrete artisans remove the silica dust made during construction, repair, maintenance, rehabilitation and remodeling projects in a DUST FREE Toxic FREE environment.

Dust Collection Products in San Diego manufactures and sells a complete line of dust collectors for hand tools.

If you need assistance during your next concrete construction project and are not sure which tools will provide the best results, call us today at 877-223-2154. We are happy to help!