Interior Flooring

How Much Do Stained Concrete Floors Cost?

Stained concrete adds a colorful flair that updates drab, gray floors. Most stained concrete floors cost $3,000 to $18,500 for materials and labor or an average of $11,000.
Stained Concrete Floors Cost

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Highlights

  • The average stained concrete floors cost is $11,000, though a typical range is $3,000 to $18,500.
  • The cost to stain concrete depends on a number of factors, including the area size, type of stain and sealer, labor rates, needed repairs, and more.
  • Concrete floors offer homeowners a number of advantages, including strong fire resistance, durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements.
  • Staining concrete is a labor-intensive process that involves special tools and expertise. Some hazardous materials may be used, which means the job is best left to professional installers who are familiar with safety protocols during installation.


Concrete is a long-lasting, highly durable construction material that has traditionally been used outdoors for driveways, patios, and sidewalks. Recent trends have increased the appeal of indoor concrete floors for the basement, kitchen, or even the living room. However, interior concrete floors do not usually have a plain gray finish as an outdoor surface often does. Instead, the concrete flooring is stained to create a unique, eye-catching design or add a depth of color to enhance the room’s visual appeal.

“Concrete stains are highly versatile and allow you to achieve just about any look imaginable,” explains Jim Peterson, founder of ConcreteNetwork.com, an online source for decorative concrete information, products, and service providers. “You can keep it simple, using just one stain color that complements your interior decor, or be more daring and use multiple stain colors to create artistic floor designs.”

Stained concrete floors are resistant to water, impact damage, and heat, making them a good option for a busy household. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, stained concrete floors cost about $11,000 to install on average, but the price could range from $3,000 to $18,500 based on several key factors, including the stain type, sealer type, and size of the area. Many homeowners find that the custom-finished product is worth the cost to stain their concrete floors.

Factors in Calculating Stained Concrete Floors Cost

Stained Concrete Floors Cost
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In order to put together an accurate budget for this job, homeowners will want a firm understanding of the elements that affect stained concrete floors cost. Some of these include the service level, stain type, sealer type, local labor rates, and the size of the area that will be stained.

Area Size

The cost of concrete floor staining varies based on the size of the floor. As the size of the space increases, the cost of the job also increases. This increase is due to the additional cost for materials such as stain, plastic sheeting, and other necessary products, but it is also a result of increased labor rates due to the extra time involved.

On average, contractors charge $7 to $15 per square foot to stain a concrete floor, though the final price can vary depending on the difficulty of the job. Simple concrete staining projects may cost only $2 to $4 per square foot, while more detailed or stamped concrete staining jobs could cost between $12 and $25 per square foot.

Service Level

While most concrete companies set their fees for pouring concrete based on the concrete cost per yard, most concrete staining fees are charged by the square foot. Homeowners can ask if the contractor offers different packages or service levels that combine multiple projects at one bundled price.

  • Basic service levels are intended for simple jobs, like prepping a concrete slab or adding a single color of stain. Homeowners will spend just $2 to $4 per square foot for this level of service.
  • Intermediate service levels are a step up from basic and cost between $4 and $10 per square foot for contractors to add a slightly more complex design or multiple color options.
  • Upgraded service levels are reserved for full concrete slab preparation of a floor that will be stained with several different colors or moderately detailed patterns. Homeowners can expect to pay about $8 to $15 per square foot for this level of service.
  • High-end service levels are the most expensive, ranging from $12 to $25 per square foot. Generally, high-end service means that the concrete design involves stencil work, saw cuts, or hand-finishing to get the desired result.
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Stain Type

The type of stain can affect the color, design, finish, and even the way the stain is applied. Contractors will use either acid-based or water-based stains to achieve the homeowner’s preferred look. Generally, acid-based stains should be applied only by experienced professionals, since this type of stain contains hydrochloric acid and metallic salt, which chemically interact with the concrete to permanently alter the color and can cause health hazards. The result is a blend of dramatic, earthy tones, giving the room a more natural look.

Water-based stains, or nonreactive stains, are much easier to apply, and it’s also easier to clean the area afterward. They use polymers and pigments to add color on top of the concrete without a chemical reaction. Homeowners have many more options for colors and designs if they opt for water-based stains.

“The type of concrete stain you use will also influence the range of effects you can achieve,” explains Peterson. “Acid-based stains, for example, react chemically with the concrete, creating translucent color tones and unique mottling effects, similar to the appearance of marble. If you want a more opaque look and a bolder array of color options, water-based stains are the way to go. In many cases, the different colors can be mixed, just like water-based paints.”

Sealer Type

Another factor that can impact the overall cost of the job is the type of sealer used after the stain is applied. Sealers protect the concrete floor from water, oils, and other liquids. The sealer creates a waterproof barrier to prevent liquids from being absorbed into the porous concrete surface. Concrete cleaning and sealing services cost about $1,500 if the homeowner prefers to have a full-service project with a contractor handling everything from start to finish.

  • Acrylic sealer works by creating a waterproof film on the surface of the concrete. This kind of sealer is relatively easy to apply and has a low price point of $0.85 to $1.15 per square foot.
  • Polyurethane sealer is around the same price as acrylic sealer, with an average cost of $0.95 to $1.10 per square feet. As a bonus, this sealer is twice as thick by comparison, which increases the durability and water resistance of the protective top coat.
  • Epoxy sealer is significantly more expensive than both acrylic and polyurethane and ranges in cost from $3 to $7 per square foot. The benefit of using this sealer is that it has a long-wearing, abrasion-resistant finish that can hold up well even in a busy garage with vehicles moving in and out repeatedly throughout the day. It’s considered one of the best garage floor coatings.
  • Penetrating sealers are used for outdoor concrete surfaces where a stain has been applied already. This clear coat of sealant also chemically reacts with the concrete, without damaging the stain. It seeps into the porous concrete and allows moisture to escape but not penetrate the concrete, making it an ideal choice for an outdoor stained concrete patio. Penetrating sealers often cost $0.20 to $0.75 per square foot.

Labor

Over half of the cost of a stained concrete flooring project is from labor fees. On average, labor for this type of project will cost about $2 to $14 per square foot, though the exact labor rates can vary depending on the company and geographic location.

Additionally, the labor rates for the job may increase based on the difficulty of the project. Homeowners will need a bigger budget if they plan to have a custom-stamped, stained, and sealed concrete floor, as that will take longer to complete than a simple single-color stain. The time and day of the appointment may also impact the cost of labor, since most companies will charge higher labor rates for weekend, holiday, and evening appointments.

Geographic Location

A factor that can often get overlooked is the difference in cost depending on where the home is located. In most cases, it will cost more to have a concrete floor stained in a major urban city than it will to have the same job completed in a rural area. This is primarily due to the difference in supply and demand.

This price variance isn’t limited just to the fluctuation between rural and urban centers; the cost can also differ among major cities. For instance, Chicago has an average stained concrete flooring cost of $14,100, while hiring a crew to stain a concrete floor in New York can cost about $16,400. Homeowners are encouraged to research at least three reputable companies in the area to ensure a fair price for the work.

CityAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Chicago, IL$14,100
Hartford, CT$13,300
Helena, MT$12,100
Honolulu, HI$16,900
Juneau, AK$16,100
Kansas City, MO$12,600
Los Angeles, CA$13,700
Miami, FL$11,500
New York, NY$16,400
Oklahoma City, OK$11,800

Additional Costs and Considerations

Staining a concrete floor can cost about $11,000 on average, but the total price may be affected by additional costs that could apply to certain situations. Some of these considerations include the cost to remove an existing concrete floor, make concrete repairs, or resurface the concrete before staining the floor.

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Existing Floor Removal

If the home already has polished cement floors, then there is very little the homeowner needs to do to prepare for the job. And while polished concrete costs less than staining, polishing is not always required depending on the condition of the concrete. But if the concrete floors are badly chipped, cracked, or missing entire sections, then it’s recommended to remove the existing floor and install a new concrete floor before staining.

Staining a badly damaged floor won’t improve the look or the durability. It will only make the damage stand out more. Concrete staining professionals might offer concrete removal services for about $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot.

Concrete Repairs

Before estimating for polished concrete floor costs, homeowners and contractors will need to inspect the existing concrete floor for any signs of damage. Minor chips or cracks may require patching before the contractor can clean, prep, and stain the concrete floor. Some DIYers may be able to handle simple patch jobs on their own, instead of paying a professional to complete this work.

However, if the homeowner doesn’t have the time or experience to make the concrete repairs, then they may need to hire a concrete installation and maintenance professional to fix the floors. Typically, homeowners will find that companies that offer concrete crack repair nearby charge about $800 to $2,700, depending on the severity and extent of the damage.

Concrete Resurfacing

Similar to homes that need concrete repairs, some homes may require concrete resurfacing, which is essentially covering the concrete surface with a thin layer of new cement in order to patch extensive scratches, chips, cracks, and other damage. Resurfacing the concrete can also be used to level (or mudjack) an uneven concrete floor, though the cost of concrete per square foot can impact the price of this repair. Most concrete leveling costs $1,174 to lift a patio that’s shifted its position.

Resurfacing concrete ensures that the floor is damage-free when it’s time to stain the concrete, but concrete resurfacing can add a significant amount to the final cost of the project. Homeowners may need to budget an additional $3 to $5 per square foot if the concrete floor requires resurfacing. However, it’s worth the homeowner’s time to ask if the contractor can bundle these jobs for a reduced rate for the work.

Stamped Concrete

In addition to stained concrete, stamped concrete can dress up a gray concrete floor. Homeowners interested in stamped designs would need to work with the concrete installation and repair professional to come up with a suitable design for the stamped concrete, then plan out the best stain to accent or highlight the design. Whether they are budgeting for a stamped concrete patio cost or a stamped basement floor cost, homeowners can expect to pay from $8 to $28 per square foot on average. This is a higher cost than the cost to simply stain the concrete, since it’s a more labor-intensive process.

Stained Concrete Floors Cost
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Stained Concrete Floors Cost by Type of Stain

There are two types of stain used for concrete, so homeowners are encouraged to learn about them before hiring a contractor or company to stain the polished concrete floors.

Type of StainAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Acid-based$2 to $25 per square foot
Water-based$2 to $15 per square foot

Acid-Based

Acid-based stains are typically more expensive to purchase and more difficult to apply than water-based stains, with an average cost of about $2 to $6 per square foot for basic designs. If the homeowner prefers a more complex pattern or color option, the cost may increase to as much as $12 to $25 per square foot. Applying this type of stain is best left to the professionals due to the difficulty involved with applying the stain and the safety protocols recommended when working with hazardous materials.

Acid-based stains are often referred to as reactive stains because they use a combination of metallic salts and hydrochloric acid to permanently alter the color of the concrete. The acid-based stain chemically reacts with the concrete, creating earth colors, marbled patterns, or mottled designs that give the concrete a unique appearance that can be quite stunning.

Water-Based

Experienced DIYers may choose to tackle a concrete staining project if they are using a water-based stain, since this type of stain is easier to work with than an acid-based product. Water-based stains are considered nonreactive since they do not chemically react with the concrete to alter the color. Instead, these stains work like wood stains do, by seeping into the porous material to coat the concrete with a new color or design.

Homeowners who choose to hire a professional concrete staining company will need to pay about $2 to $15 per square foot for the application of water-based stains. One of the biggest benefits is that homeowners can choose from a wide variety of colors and work with the installers on a design to get the ideal outcome to match their personal preference.

Benefits of Choosing Stained Concrete Floors

Stained concrete floors are growing in popularity for a variety of reasons, including their high level of durability, fire resistance, and energy efficiency. In addition, concrete floors don’t require a significant amount of maintenance, and there are a wide range of colors, patterns, and designs that can be used to transform plain gray concrete into an attractive focal point of the room.

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Fire Resistance

Concrete is a great choice for areas that are vulnerable to heat or flame, which is why it is widely used in commercial and industrial environments. However, concrete can also provide the same added safety measure to a garage, workshop, shed, basement, or kitchen, ensuring that even if a candle or hot pan falls on the floor, the stained concrete will resist damage.

Durability

The durability of concrete is one of the many reasons this building material is popular for flooring and walls. An accidental drop of heavy objects usually won’t cause damage to the durable floor, and it’s especially great at resisting scratches caused by sliding furniture. This benefit of resisting abrasion damage and impact damage helps to preserve the function and appearance of the floor longer than floors composed of softer materials.

Homeowners are advised that unprotected concrete can be vulnerable to damage from water, oils, and other liquids. So when choosing concrete as a flooring material, it’s a good idea for homeowners to pay extra to seal the concrete. Sealing will protect the stain’s aesthetic design and the durability of the concrete by preventing water, oils, and other liquids from seeping into the cement.

Energy Efficiency

It may seem odd for a homeowner to consider a stained concrete floor for its energy efficiency, since concrete is generally thought of as a cooler flooring option. However, concrete can absorb the heat from direct sunlight throughout the day, then gradually release the heat into the home as the temperature drops, reducing the operating burden of the heating system.

Similarly, during the warmer months of the year, the concrete quickly cools down at night and absorbs heat during the day to reduce the amount of time the air conditioner needs to run. This passive absorb-and-release cycle increases the energy efficiency of the home and helps to reduce the cost of heating and cooling the property.

Low Maintenance Requirements

Due to the high level of durability and resistance, concrete floors can remain in good condition for 20 years with low maintenance needs. As long as the home’s occupants regularly sweep and mop the floor to remove dirt and debris, the concrete will remain resistant to abrasion and impact damage.

Staining and sealing the concrete will create a water-proof barrier to prevent water, oils, and other liquids from seeping into the porous material. The homeowner will want to reseal the concrete every 2 to 3 years, though this depends on the amount of foot traffic the floor withstands.

Aesthetics

Concrete stains are available in two different types (acid-based and water-based), which come with their own design options. Acid-based stains permanently change the appearance of the concrete through a chemical reaction to get a unique, earth-tone aesthetic that enhances the natural appeal of the room. However, acid-based stains are difficult to use, and the result may look different than anticipated since there’s little control over the design pattern.

Homeowners who are looking for floors with a certain design or a specific color, such as black-stained concrete floors, can opt for a water-based stain, which is available in a wide variety of shades and colors. Concrete contractors can also add interesting visual effects, such as marbling, swirls, waves, or custom-stenciled designs, to further increase the appeal of the concrete flooring. Stained concrete offers homeowners nearly endless possibilities for enhancing their home’s eye-catching appearance.

Stained Concrete Floors Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

While it’s generally best to leave concrete floor installation to a crew of professionals, if the home already has a finished concrete floor, then an experienced DIYer may be able to apply a water-based concrete flooring stain. In general, water-based concrete floor stain is easier to work with, though the homeowner will still need to purchase the stain, protective equipment, plastic sheeting, and tools necessary to complete the job. It’s also worth noting that most DIY jobs end up taking much longer than anticipated, which can inconvenience the home’s occupants for days rather than mere hours.

That’s why homeowners are advised to hire an experienced contractor or a concrete staining company to apply any concrete stain. This is especially true if the homeowner is more interested in acid-based concrete floor treatments. The effect caused by the acid-based stain’s reaction with the concrete is challenging and hazardous to work with, not to mention the fact that it requires special tools and attention.

Additionally, a professional concrete worker can adequately inspect the floor to ensure it’s in good condition to allow the stain to adhere. Regardless of whether the homeowner chooses acid-based or water-based stain, hiring a trained, experienced professional will almost always lead to better results than if a DIYer attempts to tackle an unfamiliar project. Given that concrete stain can last for over 20 years, it’s worth investing in a crew of professionals to ensure that the homeowner is happy with the result.

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How to Save Money on Stained Concrete Floors Cost

The cost to stain concrete floors can vary depending on cost factors such as the size of the space and local labor rates. There are some decisions the homeowner can make to help reduce the cost of the project. Homeowners may be able to bundle additional services or shop around to help find reduced pricing to save money on the cost of stained concrete floors.

Stained Concrete Floors Cost
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  • Compare costs and packages. Homeowners are always advised to ask for quotes from at least three reputable contractors or concrete staining companies in the area.
  • Choose a cost-effective stain. Homeowners can reduce the overall price of the job by choosing an affordable stain option.
  • Avoid costly design elements. Requesting etching or stamping will drive up the cost of the project, so homeowners can keep the costs low by opting for a more basic design.
  • Bundle other concrete upgrade tasks. Some concrete contractors will offer a range of concrete services, such as concrete polishing or sealing, that may be able to be bundled with a concrete staining project to get a reduced rate. They may even offer a reduced rate if a neighbor chooses to hire them for a job scheduled at the same time.
  • Ask for discounts. Many companies offer discounts to certain groups of customers, such as senior citizens, military personnel, and first responders.
  • DIY minor repairs. Sometimes homeowners can save on some labor costs by doing their own DIY concrete repair using the best concrete sealers or other patching kits. This option is best only after a pro has inspected the concrete to ensure a simple patch kit is sufficient before staining the concrete.
  • Consider financing.  Homeowners may be interested in financing this project using one of the best home improvement loans and home equity loans from lenders such as U.S. Bank and Flagstar Bank.

Questions to Ask About Stained Concrete Floors Installation

As homeowners begin their vetting process, one question they may have is “How do you stain concrete?” It’s a great initial question while homeowners are researching the best flooring companies that will be working in the home. Homeowners are encouraged to ask many questions to gain a better understanding of the contractor’s experience, the project cost, and the process from booking to completion.

  • How much experience do you have staining concrete?
  • Can I see a portfolio of past projects?
  • Do you have references available?
  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • What type of stain do you use?
  • How will you ensure the safety of your workers and the home’s belongings while staining the concrete?
  • Do you provide line item quotes?
  • Is the work insured or guaranteed?
  • How do you typically manage your projects?
  • How long will it take to complete this job?
  • Will you be completing the work, or do you have a team?
  • How long will the stain take to cure?
  • Do you seal the concrete after staining?
  • Will we need to leave the house during the project?
  • Will you remove old concrete flooring?
  • Can you patch minor damage to the concrete?
  • Are there special instructions for how to clean concrete after it’s been stained and sealed?
  • When is payment due for this work?
  • Do you offer ongoing maintenance packages?

FAQs

Staining concrete is an excellent way to improve the appearance of a concrete basement, patio, or even concrete kitchen floor. Homeowners can hire a professional to use a water-based or acid-based stain, depending on the desired look and result. The answers to frequently asked questions can help homeowners feel confident about their decision.

Q. What are the disadvantages of stained concrete floors?

There are a few disadvantages to stained concrete floors that homeowners can be aware of before starting this project. Concrete floors are hard and often feel cold, so a bare concrete floor may not be appealing to all homeowners. Additionally, concrete can crack over time, and repairing concrete with an acid-based stain may not yield the same results as the initial application. Also, it’s important to point out that staining doesn’t always result in a uniform finish, though that may appeal to homeowners who prefer more fluid designs.

Q. How long do stained concrete floors last?

One of the main benefits of a stained concrete floor is the long-lasting durability of this material. As long as the concrete is sealed and regularly maintained, it can last over 20 years. However, if the floor is not properly cared for, then the floor will start showing signs of premature wear.

Q. Is it better to stain or paint concrete floors?

Generally, it’s better to stain concrete than it is to paint. This is because stain penetrates into the concrete or permanently reacts with it, rather than simply sitting on the surface. As a result, stain lasts longer and adheres much better than paint. Painted concrete is prone to fading or chipping, which can negatively impact the appearance of the floor.

Q. Can you permanently stain concrete?

Water-based stains are intended for semipermanent designs, but acid-based stains form a chemical reaction in the concrete that permanently changes the color of the floor. If the goal is to permanently alter the look of the concrete, then acid-based stains are the best choice.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Forbes, HomeGuide