As the most popular franchise in the world with more than 35,000 locations, Subway can afford to be particular in what it will and will not allow in its restaurants. This not only includes sandwich ingredients, bread, and beverages, but also the restaurants’ construction and decorative aspects, including the floors.

For its new location in West Haven, Utah, contractor Jeff Mead from Ogden, Utah-based J.C. Decorative Concrete, worked with franchisee MJW Subway to get an acid-stained concrete floor approved by Subway’s corporate office on a trial basis. The stakes are high. If all goes well and the floor holds up and is easy to maintain, Subway might allow other franchisees to also choose acid-stained floors.

To complete the 1900-square-foot job, JC Decorative Concrete started its work shortly after the drywall was hung. They requested complete control of the store for a full week to avoid headaches that often come with working around other contractors.

Because this was new construction, preparation was limited to masking off surrounding areas and cleaning the floor. This was done using a floor buffer with a black pad and a low-suds cleaner. Workers then mopped the floor several times to remove any remaining residue.

The three-man crew then applied Concrete Coatings’ Coffee Vivid Acid Stain with a pump sprayer. The next day, workers mopped the floor clean and allowed it to dry overnight. Then two coats of epoxy were applied. Rather than using a traditional water- or solvent-based acrylic sealer, the owner opted for the higher-sheen epoxy topcoat. This acts as a sealer, while providing a higher gloss and extended wear.

This was followed by three coats of acrylic wax, and then one more final coat of wax shortly before the store opened. The store manager will determine how often the floor will be waxed. Based on usage and wear, this probably will be once every four to six weeks.

The stain will last as long as the concrete and the wax are maintained. The wax protects the epoxy, which protects the stain.

Subway’s regional representative will visit the store soon and decide whether acid stains will be used on other locations in the region. If all goes according to plan, Subway will soon begin to embrace the simplicity and beauty of stained concrete.

For more on the products used in this project, visit Concrete Coatings Inc. at