Is stained concrete less expensive than ceramic tile?

shelly_kJuly 23, 2009

x-posted in Flooring

This house is new construction ranch with full walkout basement. We originally thought we would do ceramic tile in the foyer, baths, mudroom and wood floors in the kitchen, dining, study and carpet in the bedrooms.

I love the look of stained concrete. So I am wondering if stained concrete would be cheaper than ceramic tile in those areas? We are very happy with a cheaper but nice looking ceramic tile that is around $2-3 per sq foot. But labor for installing ceramic tile seems kind of expensive. Would labor and materials for stained conrete be less expensive?


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Just spoke with my contractor yesterday in fact regarding stamped concrete. It runs with labor anywhere from $8-$25 per square foot. This is what they told me. I would think the standard designs are more like $8-$12 per square foot. I think ceramic tile is more affordable in my opinion but you also have to consider backer board, mortar, grout, sealer, tile and labor. My DIY tile is costing about $3 sq foot with all supplies and I'm choosing a very nice in stock Daltile from HD called birch. Good luck

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 3:01PM
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Thanks, Dreamywhite. I too, see lots of ceramic tile that I like at HD or Lowes for pretty cheap. But I do like the look of concrete if I could have it done for about the same price. Tile seems like it would be so much more labor intensive with the cutting, grouting, etc. whereas a stain can be mixed with the concrete batch before it's even poured. I am not a flooring expert at all, but to me it seems like labor should be a bit cheaper.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 6:55PM
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Shelly k ,

We did our own stained concrete - it was pretty easy . The stain was about
45.00 per gallon and covered 400 sf . We rented a large commercial wet / dry
vacuum for clean up - which was 20.00 per day and bought a 20.00 garden sprayer to spray on the stain . The sealer and wax both run about 25.00 a
gallon and also cover 400 sf . We did not do any intricate designs but did use
a mix of colors .

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 7:11PM
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Stamped concrete is NOT the same as stained. ITs a different process.
Stained is put on after the floor is layed. Its a chemical reaction that is caused by the lime in the concrete.You can make it look like tile or whatever. here are 2 links

Here is a link that might be useful: stained concrete

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 7:23PM
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We stained ours ourselves with Kemiko's Cola color, came out to about 30 cents per sq ft. :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 11:23PM
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We paid $3.50 per sq foot 3 years ago for scored and stained.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 6:13AM
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Sorry Shelly - I guess I didn't read your post clearly. I thought you were asking about stamped not stained. That's what happens when you GC your own house and are trying to raise 3 toddlers at the same time. You live on no sleep and can't read clearly :) Yes then IMO stained concrete would be a lot less. If reg concrete is about $3 per sq foot to install then adding a color shouldn't be much of a big deal. Let us know what u decide. Also do u have a place u are posting photos of your new house? You have that really cool floor plan I like. Would love to see how it's turning out.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 8:50AM
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We haven't broken ground yet, but are hoping that we can in the next couple of months, at least before the snow flies. I'll be sure to post pictures on this forum when we do! :)

I didn't know reg concrete is $3 sq foot installed. That helps my decision -- it should be less than ceramic tile installed, even if I choose a cheap ceramic tile. I just want to add a color. I really like the cola color, but need to spend some time looking at different ones. Now I wish I could see pics of concrete transitioning to wood floor or carpet, since I don't want concrete in my kitchen (a little too hard to stand on for me).

I know about the toddlers -- mine are 2 and 4 and keep my busy!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 10:44AM
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