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Concrete Stamps

Basic stamped concrete costs between $8 and $12 per square foot, but more involved projects can be as expensive as $18 per square foot. How much you'll pay for stamped concrete varies widely, depending on the prices for materials and labor in your local market and the complexity of the job. The most affordable stamped concrete uses just one pattern and color, while the more expensive installations feature multi-pattern designs with special coloring effects, such as hand-applied stain accents.

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Five Budget-Friendly Stamped Concrete Ideas

Concrete Price Considerations - Cost of Concrete

While the cost of stamped concrete may exceed that of asphalt or plain concrete, it is competitive with or often cheaper than the cost of installing natural stone, flagstone, brick or precast pavers. The main reason is the labor component—contractors find it more economical to pour concrete and apply a pattern than to haul and place individual paving units by hand.

Stamped Concrete Price Ranges
$8-12 per square foot
A cheaper option featuring one stamp pattern and one color.
$12-18 per square foot
A mid-range choice with borders, contrasting patterns and colors.
$18+ per square foot
The most expensive, but most realistic, selection with multiple stamp patterns and colors, specialty scored designs, or hand-coloring.

And keep in mind that your initial outlay for a project is only part of the total stamped concrete cost equation. Don't forget to consider these important factors:

  • Longevity and upkeep. Stamped concrete is generally more durable and requires less maintenance than most other paving materials, which can add up to big savings over time.
  • Increase in resale value. Many homeowners wonder if it is worth the cost to install a stamped concrete patio or driveway. The answer is yes, because it adds curb appeal and aesthetic value to your home, allowing you to maximize the return on your investment.

If you're on a tight budget, you can still achieve impressive results by mixing stamped concrete with fields of less-expensive plain concrete, such as installing a driveway with only a border of stamped concrete. Or do the work in stages, maybe tackling the front driveway and walkway one year followed by your backyard patio or pool deck a year or two later. Your patience will be rewarded!

Cost Saving Tip: If you have a large area you want paved, picking a basic design is often a great way to keep costs at a reasonable level. Seamless skins are a type of stamp that imparts realistic stone textures without any pattern (think grout lines). These stamps are much easier and faster to use, therefore reducing your costs.

Five Budget-Friendly Stamped Concrete Ideas

Like any amenity to a home, there are high-end, costly products, and there are low-end, often unappealing alternatives. With concrete, you can leave it plain and gray just like the day it was poured, and it will perform its utilitarian duty for a minimal investment. Or you can spruce it up, give it some texture and color and transform that drab slab. Sure, there are extravagant ways to enhance concrete with stamps, skins and texturing tools. But there are also plenty of design opportunities integrating stamped concrete that won't break your budget and still offer worthy appeal. Here's a look at five ideas for maximizing stamped concrete's attributes on a budget.

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  • Capitalize on concrete's ability to be poured in any shape. Your concrete walkway or patio, for example, doesn't have to be square or completely straight when it is stamped. Without a lot of extra cost, you can form concrete to any shape you desire. The simplest forms are installed in straight lines-obviously the simplest way to use forming materials. But ask your contractor in your initial design phase, and it might surprise you to find that for little to no extra cost, your concrete can conform to your landscaping, or encircle an existing tree. Add to the value of your stamped concrete by creating meandering pathways or softening those square edges of your patio.
  • Add a border. Keep your concrete economical by leaving the "fields" (the open center area of your concrete) plain and dressing up the edges with a patterned border. Borders help to frame the concrete, giving it a finished look. In addition, they offer a lot in terms of savings. Rather than stamping the entire area of your concrete, you can add a border and stamp only along the edges. This can be a big benefit to saving on labor costs. The final design is clean, orderly, and still adds flare to your project.
  • Keep color simple. Stamped concrete benefits from some added color because it can make the pattern look more realistic. But you don't have to go overboard with hand-staining techniques or multiple layers of color to achieve a appealing design. Use the same color for your border or your fields and you can save quite a bit of money. You don't have to do a lot to make an impact. Read more about options with colored concrete.
  • Create patterns with sawcuts. When you think of stamped concrete, don't think it only encompasses a repeating pattern. A lot of unique designs can be created with saw cuts. One idea is to sawcut curved control joints which can mimic the design of large slate pieces. Your contractor can then use a texture skin to add some dimension to the surface.
  • Continue stamped concrete on connecting concrete. When planning your stamped concrete driveway, for example. Look beyond just the drive. Sure your driveway can create a lot of impact with stamped concrete, but the whole look can be undone if you don't continue the pattern on connecting walkways, paths, or turnabouts. To save on costs, consider just incorporating a stamped border on your driveway, but continue that border on all concrete surfaces. Rather than splurging in one, single area, you can create a holistic-look and greatly blend your stamped concrete with your whole design.

Last updated: March 21, 2018