If you want to create an eyecatching driveway to improve your property’s curb appeal, consider stamped concrete. Stamped concrete is made from molds pressed into freshly poured concrete. This makes impressions in the concrete that resemble other materials like brick or slate and allows you to create intricate patterns, such as herringbone and ashlar. Stamped concrete driveways can also be stained in various colors for more depth and beauty.
There is a wide range of associated costs with the range of colors and patterns available and the variations in driveway sizes. The national average is $6,900 to $10,400. Most people pay around $8,600 for a two-car driveway stamped with a two-color stain. This project’s low cost is $2,400 for a single-stall driveway stamped with a single-color stain. The high cost is $17,280 for a three-car driveway stamped with a differing style border and hand-applied three-color stain.
|Stamped Concrete Driveway Prices|
|National average cost||$8,600|
|Average range||$6,900 - $10,400|
Most stamped concrete patterns fall between $12 and $18 a square foot. The lower end of the costs usually includes a solid-color stain, while the higher costs may include two colors, one of them hand-applied or hand-wiped. Costs can be higher if you have two different patterns stamped at the same time, such as having a contrasting border, more than two colors applied, or more than one color hand-applied or hand-wiped. In these instances, costs can reach $20 a square foot for some driveways.
Your driveway’s size heavily influences the project’s cost. Since stamped driveways are priced by the square foot, the larger your driveway, the higher your costs:
|Driveway Size||Average Cost Range|
|Single Stall (10’ x 20’)||$2,400 - $3,600|
|Single (12’ x 24’)||$3,456 - $5,184|
|Double Stall (20’ x 20’)||$4,800 - $7,200|
|Double (24’ x 24’)||$6,912 - $10,368|
|Triple (24’ x 36’)||$10,368 - $15,552|
The labor portion of a stamped concrete driveway project makes up most of the costs. Labor costs between $9 and $16 per square foot out of the $12 to $18 per square foot. Stamping concrete is extremely labor-intensive. First, the slab must be poured, a “release color” applied, then the mold set and removed. The concrete is “washed” to remove some of the release color, and finally, the desired additional colors are added and wiped by hand. You may also have the driveway sealed or given a top coat to improve its appearance and longevity. It can take up to 36 hours to finish a stamped concrete driveway, explaining the high labor cost for this project.
You have many patterns to choose from, depending on the company you work with. The stamps are made to cover large areas and create repeating patterns with different textures and sizes. While every company may have some proprietary patterns, there are a few that are universally popular and likely to be found nearly everywhere.
Cobblestone stamped concrete driveways are one of the easiest and most popular. The concrete is stamped to look like rounded, separate cobblestones in straight or offset patterns. The sizing of the “cobblestones” may be uniform, or they may vary, with some larger or smaller than the others for more authenticity. They can be a single color or have a range of colors. The more intricate the pattern, the higher the costs. For example, having a uniform size and single color costs closer to $12 a square foot, while varying sizes and multiple colors cost closer to $18 a square foot.
Herringbone stamped concrete driveways come in several styles. The herringbone pattern is made out of rectangles set at 45-degree angles to one another. In stamped concrete, those rectangles can be made to look like bricks, stone, tile, or wood. They can also have different dimensions, colors, and textures. Like with cobblestone, the more intricate, the higher the cost. The pattern is fairly simple, so it comes down to how you want it finished. If you want a lot of color and texture variation, the costs are higher than for something more simple and uniform.
If you want an intricate and interesting driveway, you can use the ashlar pattern in a slate look. The ashlar pattern is a popular pattern for tiles. It uses rectangles and squares of varying sizes in a repeating pattern. It can also be made to look like different materials. For the ashlar slate pattern, the pattern is given texture and color to resemble slate. Because slate varies from Vermont’s solid gray to incredibly varied color patterns from India, Brazil, and China, this pattern can be colored in a range of palettes. The more intricate the coloration, the higher the final cost.
You can stamp an entire driveway or just the border edge. You can also stamp the interior with one pattern and switch to a new pattern or color for the border.
Any time you have to deal with the edge of a stamped driveway, the edge must be treated differently. It needs to have a uniform shape, so the mold may be different and the work a little more involved. The edging or border costs around $6 a linear foot on average. If you use a more decorative edge or border with additional colors or radical changes, the border costs closer to $8 to $10 a linear foot.
To get the longest lifespan out of your driveway, it must be sealed. Some contractors include the sealing cost with the new driveway’s cost. Others charge it separately. Regardless, your driveway must be sealed periodically to keep it in good condition.
The cost to seal a stamped concrete driveway is between $1 and $2 a square foot. To seal the concrete, it needs to cure first. This takes about 6 months on average. Some contractors return at the 6-month timeline to seal, while others must be scheduled. Your driveway needs resealing every 5 years or so to keep it looking its best.
The maintenance for your stamped concrete driveway is like the maintenance for any concrete. It should be sealed periodically to impede staining. Clean it regularly with a pH-neutral cleaner to remove surface stains. The pH-neutral cleaner is important because anything too acidic or too alkaline could impact the concrete’s color or stain. Acids can also etch or wear at the texture of the stamped concrete.
Depending on the texture, you may need to regularly sweep the driveway because some textures build up surface dirt that detracts from the appearance.
Like any material, stamped concrete driveways have pros and cons. Stamped concrete is durable, long-lasting, and attractive. It can provide the look of a stone or brick driveway for less money than if you used those materials. It is also versatile to get a driveway with a wide range of looks and styles.
Like all concrete, stamped concrete does not do well in cold climates. In freeze/thaw conditions, it cracks and develops potholes. It is also more expensive than other driveway types, including plain and textured concrete, asphalt, and gravel.
Stamped concrete can resemble many materials, including brick and stone pavers. Pavers are individual pieces of material set in a base to create a pattern, while stamped concrete is one continuous pour of concrete that has been impressed with a mold for different patterns and stained for color and style.
Pavers tend to be longer-lasting and can move because they have a joint. Concrete cannot move, so it is more likely to crack and develop holes, particularly in cold climates.
Pavers can be made of many materials. For that reason, they have a much wider range of costs, from $10 to $50 a square foot. Most average around $30 a square foot. This makes them more expensive than stamped concrete on average, but they last longer and can be installed in cold climates where stamped concrete cannot.
Most stamped concrete is stained in the stamping process. However, you can give it a fresh color if you paint it. The average cost of painting a stamped concrete driveway is between $2 and $4 a square foot.
Many stamped concrete driveways contain some hand detailing or embossing. If you want to have a lot of this work done, the costs increase to roughly $20 a square foot.
When installing a new driveway where an old one exists, it must first be removed. This costs $1 to $4 a square foot, depending on the old driveway’s material. The softer the material, the easier and less expensive it is to remove.
If you need to have a tree removed to build your new driveway, this costs roughly $433 a tree. This includes removing the tree’s stump. If you have many trees to remove, the costs per tree could be lower. In some cases, the costs to remove the trees may be free if the company can take the lumber.
You can, but most stamped concrete is stained during application. The paint should be epoxy-based and designed for concrete. Be advised that it can peel over time.
Yes, stamped concrete makes an excellent and attractive surface for driveways. Like all concrete, it does better in warmer climates and should be avoided in freeze/thaw areas to prevent cracking.
Stamped concrete driveways cost between $12 and $18 a square foot on average. The exact cost varies depending on the color, pattern, and driveway size.
No, stamped concrete should never be power washed. The pressure can break down the sealer and cause the concrete to lose some of its color, finish, and appearance.