The Concrete Network

Sawcutting Patterns and Designs in Concrete
Time: 05:56
Harris creates a decorative floor medallion using a variety of diamond cutting tools, including a walk-behind saw with a special pivot that allows it to cut perfect circles.

Decorative sawcuts, stencils and hand-traced patterns are great ways to give stained concrete floors and floor overlays a custom look. Stained concrete can also be scored into square or diamond patterns to replicate tile. Many tools are available for cutting pattern lines into concrete including grinders, hand-held saws, and special engraving tools designed specifically for scoring concrete (see Power Tools for Concrete). Dramatic effects can also be achieved by using stains along with stencils, tape or custom templates to create tile patterns, free-form designs and other graphics. Concrete stencils are usually made from plastic and have adhesive backings that stick to the floor surface (see Stenciling Concrete Floors). Some contractors also trace patterns onto floors using tape, PVC pipe, angle iron, and other materials.

Floor sawcutting and staining tips

  • If the floor will be all one color, you can cut the lines and patterns after staining is complete.
  • If the colors will change at the pattern line, cut the line first to form a barrier to stain movement, which will result in a crisper design.
  • If you cut patterns before staining, cut them just before cleaning the surface in preparation for the stain to remove all sawing dust.
  • If you cut after staining, do it after the first coat of sealer has been applied.

See these stained and patterned floor projects:

Or: