The big fancy kitchen island you have always wanted or that quaint countertop you have been wishing for can be yours with customizable concrete. Knowing the prices and understanding the costs will be an important factor.
The average cost for a concrete countertop is 90 dollars per square foot. The cost is dependent upon the desired design, color, and other customizations. Hiring a professional will cost an average of 3,000 dollars while doing it on your own can be done for as low as 1,000 dollars.
Concrete countertops are often seen as incredibly low cost and effective, and while that is true for the ingredients, they can also be very high-end and expensive. In most instances, professionals make concrete countertops custom to a person’s needs. They are a fine craft of artisans with great skill. Therefore, the bulk of expenses come in customization and the need for a professional.
For 90 to 100 dollars you will get a basic, gray concrete countertop. This is with no color, stain, or polish. It is dull and stark and doesn’t hold many styles.
The next step up adds some stain, only adding up to around 104 dollars per square foot. This will provide a more glossy finish and aid in the life of the countertops. Staining the concrete doesn’t take place until the concrete is fully solid.
Coloring your concrete will also add around the same as staining, anywhere from 104 to 106 dollars per square foot. The pigment can be added into the mix, or put on after the concrete has set up.
While these are the basics, it a very much so still variable. Do you want to add a sink? Which texture do you want to show on top? Are there any fun angles or shapes you want to include? All of these can factor in the total cost.
Hiring A Professional
As previously mentioned, the bulk of the cost when hiring a contractor is paying for their time and skill. The mixture and installation are sometimes included, but his charge for time is anywhere from 30 to 60 dollars an hour, adding another variable to your overall cost.
What The Cost Entails
Professional concrete countertops usually come precast or cast-in-place. Before the slabs ever get to you, they may have been poured, sealed, measured, and textured already. While that may seem that is all that needs to be done, a professional will also install the concrete countertops as well, or set up shop right where the action will take place.
When the professionals come to do this, they normally will clean and level the surface, perform additional measurements, lay the concrete, clean up, and do a final inspection. Often times their charge includes a warranty. Not all professionals include each of these steps into the cost so asking beforehand is important.
Finding The Right Professional
Like most things in today’s world, the prices for hiring professionals fluctuate dependent upon the economy, time of year, and competition. It is helpful to call around multiple places to find the best price. When doing this, know what you want and your measurements as best you can to get the most accurate price. You can also have the contractor come and measure it for you before they give you a quote.
The best prices will be found in the down season, which normally occurs around late fall or early winter. This will ensure less competition and the contractor to have more time. Budgeting a little extra will also help though!
Doing It Yourself
Basic materials can make your concrete countertop much cheaper. Each square foot of the basic material is around 9 to 17 dollars. The main and biggest investment in doing it yourself is time. No, you don’t have to pay someone an hourly wage, but it will take your time away from other things. Being less experience, it will also more likely take you much more time than a professional. Another cost variable for doing it yourself is the proper tools. Buying additional tools may be necessary and would add additional costs.
Costs you will need to consider:
- Cement Mix – A sixty-pound bag ranges from $3.15 to $6.30.
- Colorant – Per square foot, the colorant is about $6.90 to $14.50.
- Caulk – Per square foot, caulk is about $1 to $2.
- Power Sander – At Home Depot, it is anywhere from $20 to $40 dollars.
- Painters Tape – It is between $5 and $7 dollars.
- Supports and Mesh – Wire mesh is around $.50 per square foot, while fiber mesh is about $.13 per square foot.
- Sealer – It is $.50 to $2.50 per square foot depending upon the type of sealer.
- Framing Material – If Lumber is used to frame, it is about $10 to $25 per piece.
There may be other materials needed depending upon your project, but there will also need to be tools that can complete the job. You may already have some around the house, but below is a list of tools that are commonly used for concrete countertop jobs.
- Concrete Mixer/ mixing tubs (or a wheelbarrow and shovel)
- Table Saw
- Power Drill
- Tape Measure
- Caulk Guns
Weighing the options is essential when deciding which way is best for you. Depending on your experience, a job done professionally verses on your own can yield very different results.
Doing it yourself can still yield beautiful results. A way to add beauty to your countertops, while not adding to much cost is to use broken pieces of old china or salvaged decorative materials.
Additional Design Costs
Getting a sink put in, different shapes or curves, and adding texture can all add to the cost of the job. While this raises the price, it also allows for your countertop to be very unique and specific to your building, home, or office.
- “Countertops with unusual shapes like curves will cost more, often around $100-$135 extra per square foot.” Source
- Putting in a concrete sink can add an additional $1,000 to 2,000 dollars to your total.
- Custom edging or thickness.
- “Custom coloring can cost about $600 extra for typical kitchen countertops.” Source Five pounds of pigment costs around $30 as another option.
- A backsplash can also add to your cost. Usually an additional $20 per foot.
- A stain-resistant countertop will also add charges.
- Adding supports for overhanging countertop or places for dishwashers and ovens can also be a requirement that adds cost.
- Unique design options like glow in the dark aggregate or Fiber Optic lighting can also add intensity and cost to your project. Glow-in-the-dark aggregate adds an additional $42 for a pound of materials, plus added installation.
While these features add style and make the concrete much more specific, it is important to remember that the more customized your countertops become, the higher the price will be.
Keeping up on the maintenance of your concrete can also be important. At the time of the installment, it needs to be sealed. It will probably need to be sealed again every 1 to 3 years to keep it looking new, and to avoid cracks oo chips. Resealing can cost about 25 to 75 cents per square foot.
A good way to avoid the sealer deteriorating quickly is to avoid acidic substances, like cleaners or juices that cause scratches and scuffs. An occasional wax coat can help to avoid damage and stains. “Regular sealing dramatically increases the material’s function and lifespan.” Source
If the concrete does end up breaking, it can be an additional 300 to 500 dollars to repair. Without proper repair, and sealing the concrete can develop mold within. Different aggregates or specialty concretes also may need more upkeep or repairs.
More Costs To Consider
Shipping can also be an additional charge if the countertops you want are not local. Most contractors are local and only install locally, but this is something that can be discussed with your contractor.
It can also cost an additional 50 to 200 dollars to remove preexisting countertops. That price depends upon the quality of the removal.
One last one to keep in mind. If pipes for the plumping need to be worked around or installed, this will cost more.
Decorative material can also add to your bill. A bag of recycled glass can costs about $30 a bag.
Comparison To Other Countertop Options
Other options to consider are the following: eye appeal, texture, durability, aesthetic. The table below shows the average cost of each.
|Wood||$40 per square foot|
|Tile||$40 per square foot|
|CONCRETE||$90 per square foot|
|Granite||$100 per square foot|
|Quartz||$120 per square foot|
|Marble||$130 per square foot|
Concrete is a great option for countertops and has many positive attributes. For example, concrete is very heat resistant, can be cast in any shape with many different edging styles, accepts inserts like glass and pebbles, and its appearance improves with age. The cost can be as high or low as you need it to be to get the perfect finished look.