Concrete Floor Coating Cost

In this guide

Coating materials
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to apply concrete floor coating?

Concrete slab floors can be found in basements, walkout lower levels, garages, and in industrial-style lofts. Concrete on its own doesn’t always make the best surface for flooring, however, because normal use on unsealed or treated concrete produces dust that can get into every part of your home. Unsealed or treated concrete is also subject to chemical attack and abrasions, and can also develop cracks, holes, and other issues over time, which means that you’ll need to put a lot of time and effort into maintaining and repairing it over the years. Coating your concrete floor in a sealant, stain, paint, epoxy, or polyurethane coating is an attractive, durable solution to these issues.

There are numerous methods that can be used to coat your concrete floor. Some merely seal it, while others give it a more decorative appearance that looks like wood, metal, or terrazzo. Your costs, therefore, can vary tremendously based on what type of coating you’re using, as well as on the current condition of your concrete, and the size of the floor you’ll be covering. For example, installing thin epoxy coating plus stain on a 200 sq.ft garage floor costs $400 - $800.

Coating materials

There are a number of different ways that you can coat your concrete floor. Each of these methods has its attributes, and not every one of them will be right for every application:

Concrete sealer

At a bare minimum, any concrete floor should be treated with a sealer after curing. A sealer helps prevent dust and moisture absorption, and can help enhance the look of the concrete. Sealers come in a wide variety of different materials including acrylic, polyurethane, and epoxy. A sealer may be clear or tinted to enhance the color of your floors. Concrete sealers cost between $110 and $150 for five gallons or $2 to $4 a sq.ft. installed.  

Keep in mind that polyurethane is the longest wearing concrete sealer, outlasting both acrylic and epoxy sealers nearly 3 to 1. Polyurethane is also easier to use and apply, as there is less mixing and a shorter curing time. Epoxy can be a better solution if you are sealing concrete that will be used outdoors, as polyurethane is strictly an interior product. Epoxy also allows you to have greater control over the thickness of the final coat; uneven floors may make better use of epoxy, which can help level the floor with fewer coats than polyurethane will require. You cannot apply epoxy to a concrete floor with moisture issues, however, so make sure the concrete is fully cured and any moisture in the area is dealt with if you choose this. Sealer can be applied to any concrete floor, but is best used on those that are in good condition and that have finished curing.

Concrete stain

If you want to change the appearance and color of the floor, you may want to consider a concrete stain. Stains come in both water and acid base and will permanently change the color of your concrete floor. They require a top coat to help protect them once you are done. Staining typically costs between $2 and $4 a sq.ft.

Concrete paint

Sometimes known as epoxy paint, concrete paint is most commonly used on garage floors. You can find concrete paint in solid colors, or with decorative “chips” added to the surface. Epoxy paint is generally about 40% epoxy mixed with solvents, and gives your floor a “thin coat” of protection. Concrete paint costs around $33 a gallon or $2 to $4 a sq.ft. installed.

Polymer modified overlay

If your concrete floor is in rough shape, you may want to consider a polymer modified overlay. This is a sprayed on finish that completely levels and seals your concrete floor. You may opt for different colors and even patterns. The overlay is usually made of polyurethane and is impervious to oil, dirt, water, and other debris. Expect to pay around $2 to $6 a sq.ft. for a solid overlay on a floor in good repair, or up to $15 to $30 a sq.ft. for complex patterns or floors that require repair before the overlay is applied.

Thick coat epoxy

Epoxy 1 comes in two thicknesses for concrete floors. A thin coat is generally 40% epoxy and is sold as epoxy “paint”. It covers up to 7 millileters. A thick coat epoxy is 100% epoxy solids and is best used on floors that have small cracks, uneven sections, dimples, and other imperfections that need to be leveled and filled at the same time. A thick coat is often greater than 10 millileters. You can have your thick coat epoxy floor colored to appear like metallic or other patterns, or you can have chips added to the final coat to give it a more decorative appearance. Expect to pay up to $500 for five gallons or around $10 to $15 a sq.ft. installed for a thick coat epoxy floor.

Labor

In many cases, a concrete coating can be applied by the homeowner. Epoxy paint, concrete sealers, water-based concrete stains, and both thin and thick coat epoxy are all available at most hardware stores.

Most are rolled or poured directly onto a clean, cured concrete floor that is in good repair. For floors that are mildly out of level, a self-leveling epoxy may be required; this is generally poured directly onto the floor.

Curing times for epoxy and polyurethane coatings are approximately 5 - 7 hours. Acrylic coatings may cure more quickly. If a second coat is desired, this can be applied once the first coat has cured. Generally, sealers, epoxy paint, and thin coat epoxies will require at least two coats. A concrete stain will require a sealer applied after staining as well. Thick coat epoxies generally require only one coat, as do polymer modified coatings.

If you are having any kind of decorative coating applied, or if you are having your concrete floor stained in a pattern, you may want to hire a professional to do the job. The vast majority of concrete coatings will cost roughly $2 to $4 a sq.ft. installed, but thick coat epoxies and floors that require multiple coats may cost up to $30 a sq.ft. installed. A typical 200 square foot garage floor, therefore, may cost between $400 and $800 on average, but can cost up to $6,000 for an intricately stained floor, or a floor that requires multiple coats or repair prior to coating.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • The majority of concrete coatings are clear, but they can be modified to give a different look to your floor after they’re applied. Staining is one option, but epoxy 1 paint, thin and thick coat epoxy 1, polyurethane and acrylic sealers and polymer modified coatings can all be tinted or colored prior to application. Depending upon how these are applied, it is possible to get a number of different looks on the floor. Most coatings can be purchased pre-tinted at no additional cost to you.

Additional considerations and costs

Priming

Depending upon the method of coating you are using, the floor may need to be primed before applying. Concrete primers 2 generally roll onto the floor like paint; they may alter the color of the floor prior to a top coat, or they may be clear. Always check the method you are using to determine if priming is required before applying. Primer 2 costs around $30 a gallon for DIY, or an additional $2 to $4 a sq.ft. if professionally applied.

Epoxy 1 and moisture

If your concrete floors are not done curing, or if there is moisture present in the room you are applying the coating to, you cannot use an epoxy 1 coating. Wait until the concrete has cured completely - approximately 6 months - before applying, and that the floor and room itself have relatively low humidity levels.

Repair concrete

If your concrete floor is in disrepair, you will need to have it patched prior to coating it. Small cracks may be left alone, but larger or widespread cracks, as well as holes should be filled and allowed to cure before a coating can be applied. The cost of concrete repair is around $3 to $5 a sq.ft.

Polyurethane

Polyurethane is sometimes known by the shortened name, “urethane”. This is technically incorrect, and may limit your search for the right product. Always look for true polyurethane made for coating concrete floors to get the best product available for your purposes.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Epoxy: An adhesive, plastic, paint, or other material made from polymers containing epoxide groups. Epoxy is best used for bonding or for creating a protective coating
2 Primers: Preparatory coat applied to materials (drywall, wood, metal, etc.) before painting to ensure paint adhesion, extend paint durability, and help seal and protect the surface to be painted

Cost to apply concrete floor coating varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Accokeek, MD
+2%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Bessemer, AL
+1%
Bethlehem, PA
+12%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Brunswick, OH
-8%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clinton, IA
-23%
Clover, SC
-24%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Cumming, GA
+2%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Encinitas, CA
+13%
Erie, PA
-17%
Farmington, UT
-18%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Genoa, IL
+3%
Glendale, AZ
-2%
Golden, CO
-18%
Grand Prairie, TX
+6%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Jackson, TN
+1%
Jonesburg, MO
-28%
La Habra, CA
+19%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milford, IN
-25%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Okmulgee, OK
-47%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orlando, FL
+2%

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources