Concrete Stains Add Pizazz to Brewhouse Floor

An environmental consulting firm saves money and conserves resources by giving their rundown concrete floor a new lookBy Anne Balogh, columnist

Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse in Rancho Mirage, Calif., is not only a favorite all-season hangout for the locals, but also for folks from Orange County, San Diego, and all over California whenever they're in town. Since opening its doors in 2002, the family-owned restaurant is the go-to spot for serious eats in a fun atmosphere, adorned with whimsical pig statues and walls full of family portraits. The colorful, newly stained concrete floor reflects that energetic vibe while standing up to the nonstop traffic of this popular stomping grounds.

Design objectives

Although the existing concrete floor in Babe’s was originally stained in 2002, owner Donald “Lucky” Callender felt it was time to amp up the wow factor. “His goals for the newly stained floor were to make it more inviting as you walk in and vibrant and exciting when you head to your seating area,” says Kevin Brown, owner of KB Concrete Staining, a specialist in restoring and staining concrete floors and exterior concrete.

The solution was to create two distinct patterns in the restaurant. As you enter, there is a 3-foot diamond grid pattern on a 45-degree angle, which continues to the bar and the main seating areas. The two areas that have the curvilinear sawcuts with the brighter colors are where the booths are located and lead towards the kitchen and main serving area.

How it was done

The job consisted of four colors of semi-transparent water-based stains, with each color separated by a decorative sawcut ¼ inch wide and 3/8 inch deep.

Before applying the stains, Brown’s crew lightly ground the entire floor to expose the fine sands and help provide some surface texture.

“The owner expressed concerns that dirt and grime would collect in the decorative cuts. I suggested that we grout the sawcuts so that no dirt and debris would get inside. It added a neat look to the entire project,” says Brown.

The floor was sealed with two coats of water-based sealer with a satin finish and finished off with five to six coats of a water-based floor wax with a gloss finish. “The owners wanted a stained concrete floor that would be easy to maintain. I suggested applying concrete floor wax, which would last three to six months before requiring reapplication, depending on wear and tear,” says Brown.

Project challenges

“I would have to say that the main obstacle on this project was not being able to work on the whole project at one time and having to work at night so Babe’s could open daily for business,” Brown explains. This required working on small sections of the floor at a time and completing each area by early morning, including application of the sealer. Even with all these starts and stops, Brown’s crew was able to finish the entire project in 10 working nights.

“The decorative sawcuts actually made the job a bit easier because we could use them as start and stop points. There are plans for Babe’s to expand next year, and the sawcuts will also help with the expansion,” says Brown.

Materials used:

Water-based concrete stains: NewLook Endura Faux Fusion in Sasquatch Brown, Egyptian Sand, Tamarind Spice and Mahalo Teal.
Concrete sealer: NewLook Endura AU water-based sealer

Staining contractor:

Kevin Brown
KB Concrete Staining, Eastvale, Calif.


Donald Callender
Babe's Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Interior Designer

George Turner, Turner Interior Designs, Palm Springs

See more decorative staining projects completed by this contractor:
Stained Overlay Creates a Grand Entrance
A Miraculous Makeover
Concrete Patio Showcases Creative Staining
Time for a Change

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