Have you always loved the look of industrial-modern concrete floors but have no idea how much a concrete floor costs to install? When trying to determine the cost of a finish-quality interior, what you can expect to pay to achieve that coveted look will depend on a variety of factors. There are considerations that will impact the bottom line differently for every project (from the state of your floor to concrete contractors and labor costs to stains and finishes), but despite the final costs, concrete floors can add a ton of value to your home.
The starting price for concrete flooring is around $3 per square foot and goes up from there depending on the space, design and any custom work.
Why Choose Concrete Flooring?
Concrete flooring is not only an eye-catching design choice but it's also a low-maintenance option and can be cost-effective compared to other flooring options. Unlike other flooring materials like linoleum, concrete has a solid reputation for being durable and long lasting when installed properly. While concrete used to be relegated to just garage floors or basement floors, thanks to advancements in design, interesting finishes, stains and stamping techniques, concrete floors are now welcome in all parts of the house.
To keep your indoor concrete floors looking as good years later as they did the first day, expect to regularly dry mop the floor to keep dust and grime at bay. Occasionally, wet mopping concrete floors with a nonabrasive pad will help restore a polished concrete floor's original shine. For unfinished concrete floors found in garages and basements, regularly broom sweep dirt and debris for maintenance and upkeep, adding the occasional power wash for a deeper clean and to get rid of stains.
How to Determine How Much Concrete You'll Need
To calculate the volume of how much concrete you'll need, you can either use a special online calculator like the one at Concrete Network or do it the old-fashioned way. Either way, you'll need to first determine the square footage (multiply the length of the room by the width) and convert the depth of your desired slab from inches to feet (divide the inches by 12). Once you have both numbers, multiply the numbers together. Take that final number and divide it by 27 — the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard, adding 10 percent for spillage and height variations.
For a 10 x 10-foot area with a 4-inch depth, the calculation would look like this:
10 x 10 feet = 100 square feet
4-inch depth divided by 12 = 0.33 square feet
100 square feet multiplied by 0.33 square feet = 33 square feet
33 divided by 27 = 1.22 cubic yards
Add 10 percent to the total by multiplying by 1.10: 1.22 x 1.10 = 1.34
The result is that you need 1.34 cubic yards of concrete for a 10 x 10-foot slab.
Do you have an oddly shaped room? Rooms with awkward angles and unusual features like semicircular floor plans will also influence and raise the costs. Overall, concrete — along with its installation costs — becomes more economical the larger and less nuanced a room (thanks to bulk purchasing) and the less skill needed to navigate around corners, small spaces and the like.
How Much Does a Basic Slab of Concrete Cost?
You've finally decided to install concrete floors. To estimate how much a basic concrete slab may cost, simply use square footage as your starting number and multiply it by the cost per square foot — usually estimated between $4 and $8 per square foot. For example, a 20 x 10 square-foot slab of poured concrete can be estimated anywhere from $800 to $1,600 including installation.
Of course, that cost will go up as soon as you add any designs or stamping or have unusual or odd-shaped areas. For larger jobs that require more than just a few bags of concrete, expect to pay extra fees to rent mixing equipment or for a truck delivery that can assist with spinning and pouring the concrete. Lastly, time is money, so don't forget that concrete takes time to cure, and while this may have seemed like a weekend project, allowing proper curing time is essential to prevent cracking.
How Much Does a Polished Concrete Floor Cost?
Ideal for entryways, a kitchen floor, living rooms and bedrooms, polished concrete floors can cost as little as $3 per square foot but can quickly go all the way up to around $12 per square foot. What's the reason for the wide price discrepancy? It all depends on your location and the complexity of the job at hand.
To achieve the look of a polished concrete floor, the contractor may need to grind the concrete numerous times to get that coveted high-gloss look. The less grinding that the floor needs to get that reflective shine, the less it will cost in labor.
Basic cost range: $3 to $6 per square foot for a polished concrete floor that only need a few passes of grinding to get that polished look
Mid-range cost: $3 to $8 per square foot for concrete floors requiring more grinding to achieve the high-gloss look or if stains and dyes or scoring the floors is added to the design
High-end cost: $6 to $12 per square foot for polished concrete for smaller jobs in residential homes
How Much Does a Stained Concrete Floor Cost?
If you want to add a color to your floor with a concrete stain, you will need to add an additional $2 to $4 per square foot to your job cost. The bottom line will continue to rise depending on the size of the job, additional surface prep, difficulty of the application and the type of sealer that is used for the installation as well as local contractor rates. Adding elaborate designs like multiple colors, stenciling, acids, faux finishes, inlays and stamps to the project directly increases the price as much as $15 to $30 per square foot.
Basic cost range: $2 to $6 per square foot to add one color with minor slab prep and a sealer
Mid-range cost: $7 to $14 per square foot to add couple of design elements like stains and colors, an overlay or stamping or texture in addition to minor slab prep and sealer.
High-end cost: $15 to $30 per square foot for elaborate custom work like multiple colors, stencils, complex cuts or material embeds such as glass, stone and inlays
Additional Concrete Flooring Cost Considerations
A stable, smooth and level surface is critical before any new concrete floors get laid. Otherwise, the slab will be prone to cracking. If you are lucky enough to already have an existing concrete slab in your home, then the costs of overlaying your concrete floor will be less expensive than starting from scratch. Expect to pay $3 to $7 per square foot, not including special designs. The current floor will need to be inspected for damage and then treated to smooth and fix any damage before the new work begins.
In addition to the shape and size of the room, time and skilled construction labor will make up the bulk of the expense when it comes to concrete flooring costs. If you choose to go the polished concrete route, expect to pay for and apply a polished concrete floor sealer after the installation and every few years to make sure all that hard work doesn't get ruined or stained. Lastly, don't be surprised when delivery costs are added to the invoice total. Expect to see additional fees for small jobs that don't fill the truck or if the delivery day is on a weekend.
- Concrete Network: Concrete Calculator - How Much Concrete Do You Need?
- Family Handyman: How to Estimate a Concrete Order
- Concrete Network: Concrete Price Considerations - Cost of Concrete
- Concrete Network: Concrete Floor Pros, Cons & Design Ideas
- FamilyHandyman.com: How to Calculate a Concrete Order
- Concrete Network: CONCRETE PRICE CONSIDERATIONS - COST OF CONCRETE
- Concrete Network: CONCRETE FLOOR PROS, CONS & DESIGN IDEAS