1. Concrete overlay- here, they will take some new concrete and apply it in a very thin layer over existing concrete. This can have color in it and can be made to look solid or flagsone or a plethera of other textures and colors.
2. Color stain- This is probably the most common application. A color is applied to the floor kind of like a paint- but a bit more transparent. It is sealed and gives a more even color than the acid stain.
3. Diamond Polish- This is my favorite. A machine is used to polish the concrete (real diamonds on the polisher). It provides a super smooth, glass like finish that is incredibly durable. It's becoming more popular commercially although if you are working in a space that is already built (as opposed to a fresh slab) it's hard to get right next to the walls and in the corners- the machine is a little big. Color can also be applied with this.
4. Acid stain- This is a stain that when applied to the concrete forms a chemical reaction. With this product you get a lot of color variation- it totally depends on your type of concrete as to what colors you will get (well, it will fall in a color range but it's hard to tell exactly). You then seal the floor and it's good to go.
This acid stain is what we attempted... one weekend... we have not yet recovered.
Step one- tear up carpet and pad. Remove tack strips. Very thankful I did not have to do that all by myself.