How much does it cost to install a concrete countertop?
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Concrete Countertop Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Consider a concrete countertop if you are looking for a customizable and durable countertop. Concrete is poured and formed while wet. This means it can be cast into many shapes and sizes. It can also be stained or colored in several styles and have various aggregates pressed into its surface. Whether you are looking for an industrial-style countertop or something with a bold hue and custom shape, concrete can achieve these goals.
Concrete countertops have a wide range of costs because the material must be custom formed in a mold and finished by hand, depending on the level of finish and customization you want. The national average range is between $2,100 and $4,500. Most people pay around $3,000 for a 30 sq.ft. kitchen countertop with an integral concrete sink and custom color stain. This project’s low cost is $650 for a 10 sq.ft. bathroom countertop with no color or custom options. The high cost is $7,000 for a 40 sq.ft. custom kitchen countertop with a matching island, two colors, aggregate edge, and integrated drainboard.
Cost to Install Concrete Countertops
|Concrete Countertops Price|
|National average cost||$3,000|
Concrete Countertop Cost per Square Foot
Concrete is a custom countertop, so costs are mainly labor. The material is inexpensive, coming in at between $3 and $6 a square foot. With the form, labor, fabrication, and installation, final costs are usually between $55 and $175 a square foot. Most people pay between $70 and $150 a square foot. The more customization and finish work, the higher the costs. For example, staining, coloring, adding aggregates, or creating a unique shape for the countertop increases costs.
|Countertop Size||Average Costs (Installed)|
|10 sq.ft.||$550 - $1,750|
|20 sq.ft.||$1,100 - $3,500|
|30 sq.ft.||$1,650 - $5,250|
|40 sq.ft.||$2,200 - $7,000|
Concrete Countertops Cost by Location
Concrete countertops are tough, durable, and suitable for many spaces. Like any concrete, they can stain or crack, so take care of them in kitchens and outdoors. Regular sealing and making sure not to install them outdoors in cold climates help them look their best.
|Location||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Bathroom||$330 - $2,100|
|Outdoors||$2,100 - $3,500|
|Kitchen||$1,650 - $7,000|
Concrete Bathroom Countertop
The average cost of a concrete bathroom countertop is between $330 and $2,100. Most bathroom countertops range from 6-12 square feet. They can be smaller or larger, which results in lower or higher costs. Concrete is a great material for bathroom countertops. You can have an integral sink with custom shapes and sizes. The material holds well to the type of use received in the bathroom, and maintenance is minimal.
Concrete Countertops for an Outdoor Kitchen
The average cost of a concrete countertop for an outdoor kitchen ranges from $2,100 to $3,500. Most outdoor kitchens are between 12 and 20 sq.ft. for the countertop area. This size can vary, so you may have an outdoor kitchen that needs a larger or smaller countertop. In this case, your costs could differ. Concrete does well as an outdoor countertop in warm climates. However, it can crack, which means it may not do well in a freeze/thaw climate.
Concrete Kitchen Countertop
The cost of a concrete countertop in a kitchen averages $1,650 to $7,000. Most kitchens have about 30 to 40 sq.ft. of countertop space, with 30 sq.ft. being the most common. You can have smaller galley kitchens or much larger kitchens that need island countertops. In this case, your costs may be higher or lower. Concrete in the kitchen should be sealed against stains. This sealant must be applied yearly to minimize long-term stains.
Concrete Countertops Cost by Type
Concrete countertops are endlessly customizable. You can have a basic finish with an industrial appearance. You can also stain the concrete for different looks and textures, or you can have the concrete colored before pouring. These are the three basic types of concrete countertops, but you can finish them in other ways. Ultimately, this means you can get a countertop unique to your home.
|Type||Average Costs per Sq.Ft.|
|Basic||$55 - $90|
|Colored||$60 - $100|
|Stained/Acid-Stain||$100 - $150|
Basic Concrete Countertops
Basic concrete countertops cost between $55 and $90 a square foot. These concrete countertops have not been colored or stained. They look exactly like what they are - solid concrete countertops. They can be cast in multiple shapes with different edge profiles, which changes costs. They can also be cast in different thicknesses. Adding extras to the basic concrete, such as a drainboard, integrated sink, or polished finish, affects the final cost.
Colored Concrete Countertops
Colored concrete countertops average $60 to $100 a square foot. Colored countertops have a pigment added to the concrete when it is mixed. This means the color goes all the way through the countertop. You can have more than one color poured or mixed in the mold for a variegated look. These countertops can also be formed or shaped and polished or stained to enhance them even more.
Stained Concrete Countertops
Stained concrete countertops range from $100 to $150 a square foot. Staining adds color to the concrete’s surface. This can give you many looks, such as marbling, wood grain, or custom patterns. The stain can also give the countertop texture and depth. This is done by hand after pouring, so it is extremely labor-intensive. The stain is not expensive, but the time it takes to apply it properly makes this costly.
Concrete Countertops Price by Finish
Concrete can also be finished in several ways. It can be ground down and polished, given multiple stains, have molds pressed into it, or aggregate applied to areas or edges. This changes the countertop’s final appearance and cost.
|Type of Finish||Average Costs per Sq.Ft.|
|Hand-Troweled||$70 - $100|
|Exposed Aggregate||$80 - $150|
|Wood-Grained||$80 - $150|
|Polished||$90 - $150|
|Marbleized/Veined||$100 - $150|
Hand-Troweled Concrete Countertops
The cost of hand-troweled concrete countertops ranges from $70 to $100 a square foot. Hand troweling involves the fabricator using a trowel to create different textures on the surface. The countertop is typically smooth enough to use every day. However, it may have rougher sections, lifts, hills, and valleys that create a more interesting surface. The more troweling, the higher the average cost per square foot. Combining hand troweling with another technique can also raise the project costs.
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Countertops
The cost of an exposed aggregate countertop is between $80 and $150 a square foot for the areas with aggregate. The countertop may have a lower cost because the aggregate may not be added everywhere, depending on how much aggregate is used and other features. Aggregates can be shells, stones, glow-in-the-dark glass, and other pieces of material embedded in the concrete. You can use aggregate to form rivers and swirls through the countertop’s surface or line the edges. You can even use aggregate over the entire surface for a unique appearance and design. Combining aggregate with different colors or staining can have stunning results.
Wood-Grained Concrete Countertops
The cost of a wood grain concrete countertop averages $80 to $150 a square foot. In this process, wood boards imprint the wood’s texture into the concrete as it dries. The concrete is stained with one or more colors to make the surface look like a wooden countertop. The look can be extremely realistic because real wood is used to create the grain. The more colors and stains, the higher the cost. Using a single color has the lowest cost.
Polished Concrete Countertops
Polished concrete countertops cost between $90 and $150 a square foot. Polished concrete is created by grinding down the surface using finer and finer grits until it has a mirror finish. This is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming process. You can combine the polished finish with colored concrete or some staining. Additional minor polishing can also be done with sealants and topcoats, which can be applied along with an acid stain. The results are not always long-lasting, particularly in busy kitchens, so seal and protect this finish if you choose it.
Marbleized Concrete Countertops
Marbleized concrete countertops range from $100 to $150 a square foot. This finish uses multiple colors of acid wash stains. Each is applied and wiped by hand. This can give you an amazing depth and appearance to the finished countertop. It is a very labor-intensive process that can take hours to complete. The more colors and “veins” you add, the higher the final costs.
Concrete Countertop Edge Costs
Concrete countertops can be given a few edge treatments during formation. The edge must be formed in a mold like the countertop while the concrete is still wet. Each fabricator has a set of molds to choose from. In most cases, adding the mold does not significantly raise the project price like creating a different edge does for marble and granite. While a slab countertop needs the edge ground down, the only thing needed here is to press a mold onto the edge. Therefore, there is a nominal charge - if any - for changing the edge.
Not every fabricator has the same edge treatments or molds. A few common edges can be found nearly everywhere.
|Square||No additional cost|
|Eased||$1 - $5/linear foot|
|Bullnose||$2 - $6/linear foot|
|Bevel||$2 - $6/linear foot|
Concrete Countertops Installation Cost
Concrete countertops are labor-intensive. They are made to order for your kitchen - you cannot find readymade concrete slabs. In most cases, they are fabricated off-site, and then brought in and installed. If your home is being built or renovated and you are not living on-site, you can choose to have the countertop made in the kitchen. This can lower costs slightly, but you will be without a kitchen for the 4 to 10 weeks it takes for the countertop to cure fully.
The vast majority of the cost of these countertops comes from labor, fabrication, and installation. Concrete costs between $3 and $6 a square foot to mix and pour. Pigments cost $30 to $50, and stains cost $70 to $80. The remaining costs are labor and installation, which average out to $50 to $125 a square foot, depending on how involved and decorative your countertop is.
For a 30 sq.ft. countertop with a single color stain, the labor makes up roughly $2,500 to $2,700 out of the $3,000 total.
Concrete countertops can be created in two ways, which impacts costs. They can be made off-site, and the finished countertops can be brought to your home and installed. They can also be cast in your kitchen on your cabinets. Pre-casting or casting off-site is slightly more expensive but more convenient for the homeowner. Casting in place is slightly less expensive, but you cannot access your kitchen for up to 10 weeks, which is normally only done during a new home build.
|Type of Installation||Average Costs per Sq.Ft.|
|Cast-in-Place||$50 - $125|
|Precast||$60 - $150|
Cast-in-Place Concrete Countertops
The cost of a cast-in-place concrete countertop is between $50 and $125 a square foot. In this process, a mold is built on your cabinets. The concrete is poured into the mold there. Once set, the mold is removed, and the concrete can be finished. Concrete grows stronger during the 4 to 10-week curing period, depending on humidity and additives in the concrete. This method is not recommended for most homeowners because it is messy and means your countertops and cabinets are off-limits during this time.
Precast Concrete Countertops
The cost of a precast concrete countertop ranges from $60 to $150 a square foot. In this case, a template is taken from your cabinets to form a mold. The concrete is poured off-site into this mold. It forms and finishes off-site. It can cure the entire time in a factory-controlled environment, so the wait time is closer to 4 weeks rather than 10. Once cured, it is transported to the site and installed on your cabinets.
Concrete Countertops Maintenance
Concrete countertops are durable and long-lasting. However, they are not considered low-maintenance. Concrete can stain easily, so it must be treated yearly with an impregnating sealer. Silicone sealants are available that are invisible once dry and emit no VOCs. They are sprayed onto the concrete and left to dry.
Once sealed, your concrete gives you time to clean up spills before a stain sets. You can wash the concrete with your favorite detergent, but avoid things with harsh chemicals or scrubbing pads because these can harm the finish. Wipe up acidic spills whenever they occur because these can dull the finish.
Always use a cutting board to avoid scratches. Concrete is heat-resistant and does not need a trivet for hot pans. It may crack over time, however. These cracks are usually superficial and can be sealed to prevent staining.
Pros and Cons of Concrete Countertops
Concrete countertops are incredibly versatile and customizable. They are also durable and can last for decades when treated properly. They can be created in any size or shape and given any surface appearance. They can easily mimic wood or stone and have integrated sinks or embedded materials for the ultimate custom look.
However, concrete is brittle and can stain or crack. Seal it yearly and watch for spills that can damage the finish. While it is beautiful and customizable, it also takes a long time to create. This is not the best material for a quick makeover.
Concrete vs Quartz Countertops
Concrete countertops are frequently compared to quartz countertops —another man-made material. Quartz countertops can sometimes be created to look like concrete. Quartz is made of 93% natural quartz rock mixed with pigments and resins. It comes in many colors and styles and can mimic other materials. It is as durable as concrete but lower in maintenance because it resists staining and scratching and does not need sealing.
Concrete can be customized in ways quartz cannot. However, it takes much longer to get a concrete countertop than a quartz countertop. Both have similar cost ranges.
Cost of Concrete Countertops vs Granite
Another popular countertop is granite. Granite countertops are made from large slabs of natural stone. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns. There is no control over the color and pattern because the material is natural, and each piece is unique. Granite cannot be customized like concrete, but it has a lot of color and interest.
Some granite may be lower in maintenance than concrete, but most granite also needs sealing. Granite can be installed faster than concrete, but both have similar costs.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Old Countertop Removal
When replacing an old countertop, it must be removed before the new one can be installed. Some fabricators do this for free. Others charge between $50 and $200 for the old countertop’s removal and disposal.
Treatments to Prevent Staining
Concrete countertops must be sealed to avoid moisture leaking into the concrete and creating stains. Silicone-based impregnating sealers work best and contain no VOCs. They are also food-safe. Many concrete sealers cost $2 to $4 per square foot.
When you replace the countertop, it is a good time to add a new backsplash. Backsplashes can be nearly any material, from tile and beadboard to mirrors. Backsplashes can greatly enhance the kitchen’s appearance. They cost between $900 and $2,500 to install.
Drainboards add style and function to your countertop. Drainboards are slatted areas that allow water to drain back into the sink. They require additional time to plan for and set and cost more per square foot. Expect concrete countertops with drainboards to be at the higher end of the cost range, around $100 to $135 per square foot.
Fiber Optic Lighting
One way to make a big statement is to install a concrete countertop inlaid with fiber optic lighting. The lights can be added to the edges or in a central pattern. Not every contractor has experience with this, but if you find one, it costs $125 to $175 per square foot.
Ambient Glow Technology (AGT) stones are available to add to the concrete aggregate. That means the AGT stones glow in the dark when your countertop is exposed to light. One pound of AGT stones costs $42 for materials. This does not include the installation cost. Those stones must be placed by hand during the manufacturing process.
When you cast a concrete countertop, you can cast a sink at the same time. These integral sinks are seamless because they are made from the same concrete. This can give your kitchen a sleek appearance. Adding an integral sink costs $250 to $1,000.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Most concrete countertops are 3 to 4 cm thick. If you want something thicker, they can be built up at the edge to give it the appearance of thickness without additional weight.
- Concrete countertops are made to order. This means you can have unusual shapes or an extended edge. Talk with your contractor about any options you want ahead of time.
- Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) is good for those who worry about their concrete cracking. Recycled glass is added to the concrete to make it stronger without adding weight.
- While you may be tempted to cast your own concrete countertop, remember this is a messy and time-consuming process. While you can do it yourself, most people find hiring a professional gets the best results.
- You can mix colors to create various inlays and patterns. Doing so increases costs.
- Concrete begins to harden quickly. Once this happens, no changes can be made to the project.
- Concrete countertops can be messy to make and install. Most professional installers clean your kitchen when they are done to ensure no dust is left behind.
- Are concrete countertops less expensive than granite?
Concrete countertops are not necessarily less expensive. Granite costs $40 to $200 per square foot, and concrete costs $55 to $175 per square foot, so there can be some overlap.
- Which kind of concrete do you use for countertops?
Use a concrete with a high pounds per square inch (PSI) rating, at least 6,000. This ensures the concrete is strong enough to hold up to the daily stresses a kitchen countertop faces.
- Will concrete countertops crack?
Yes, they may crack. This is particularly true if they were not cured properly, are in an area where they may shift, or are used outdoors. To help prevent this, consider reinforced concrete.
- Are concrete countertops high maintenance?
They are higher in maintenance than materials like quartz and porcelain but are lower in maintenance than marble. They must be sealed yearly to impede staining.
- How thick do concrete countertops need to be?
Most concrete countertops are 3 to 4 cm thick - the same or slightly thicker than a granite countertop.
- How much do concrete countertops last?
When properly maintained, a concrete countertop can last for decades. It is common to see concrete still standing after 50 years or more.
- Do concrete countertops increase the resale value of a house?
This depends on the concrete, its condition, the home’s style, and area. In some places, yes, it can increase resale value.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.