I get Asked this Question more than any, can you ballpark a cost….understandable, but there are a number of factors that can substantially increase or reduce the installation cost of a decorative concrete floor. Some you can control, such as the complexity of the project, and others you can’t, such as the floor size and existing condition. Here are the issues that can have the biggest impact on what you’ll pay:


Size of the Floor – Typically, the larger the floor area, the lower the cost per square foot for installation due to the economies of scale. A small residential floor project, for example, is likely to cost more per square foot than a large 50,000-square-foot commercial floor.

Material Requirements – Using multiple colors of stain or dye on your floor or a specialty epoxy or metallic coating will not only increase your material costs, but also the labor costs for installation.

Design Complexity – The more complex your project, the greater the costs for both materials and labor. Customizations such as embedded objects, decorative sawcuts, stenciled designs, and the installation of metal divider strips may increase the total floor cost substantially. (But the results will look amazing!)

Current Condition of the Floor – Existing concrete floors that require a lot of patching or surface preparation will boost your total installation cost because these flaws will need to be repaired before the final decorative finish can be applied. Extensive surface preparation, such as grinding, crack repair, and spall repair, can add as much as $2 per square foot to the overall cost of the floor. If a full resurfacing is needed, expect to tack on another $2 to $3 per square foot (for a $4 to $5 per square foot increase).

Floors on Grade vs. Above-Grade InstallationsDecorative concrete floors installed on raised decks or subfloors will need a cement underlayment installed before the finished floor can be applied. Typically installers put down a series of products including waterproofing, metal lathe, a concrete overlay and then the final finishing and sealing coats. These applications can add another $2 to $3 per square foot to the cost of the floor.

Moisture-Vapor Transmission – Some floors have a high level of moisture-vapor transmission that will need to be remedied before most decorative coatings, overlays or sealers can be applied. This is usually not an issue with stained or polished concrete floors, although it can affect the color.

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Rick LaFata
Custom Concrete Design

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