Concrete: Top Cast vs. Acid Stain/Wash
We are working with our landscaper on the backyard. They have built us a sitting wall with colored concrete cap and there will be a flagstone patio with a matching colored concrete border. By colored I mean warm in tone, not cold grey cement. They are treating the cement with a top cast treatment to lightly expose the aggregate in the concrete. Quite smooth to the touch and you can see a light texture of the tiny stones and sand in the cement. I think Dayton Grace Top Cast, #05 was used. They spray it on at night and scrub it down and wash off in the morning.
I inquired about the neighbor's concrete he did, which is even smoother and he said was an acid wash/stain. He said that process is actually cheaper than the top cast process. Top cast is more expensive. Is there truth to this? I'm asking because we still need to lay down some concrete walk ways, and I had asked him match the treatment of these walkways to be similar to the neighbor (with the acid stain/wash). I'm not sure if the landscaper is telling me acid stain is cheaper than the top cast just so I won't pursue it and saves him work, time, and money. I have no reason to distrust him
Ultimately, I really don't care what is more expensive, more luxurious, or cheaper. But I would like to know if he is really trying to provide me with a higher quality product or skimp work. It's probably better that all of the concrete be the same finish (top cast) so that the look of the landscape is consistent. A mish mosh of two cement surface textures might not blend. Still, I'd love to be educated if anyone is knowledgeable about this. Thank you