Looking at Stamped Concrete in Kitchen

We are buying a house built in 2003. The tile in the kitchen has cracked. Instead of replacing it, we are thinking about this stamped concrete process. Anyone know anything about this as far as durability and so on? I'm guessing the reason the tile cracked is due to settling. After 2 years I'm hoping it has stopped. Anyway, the guy my wife talked to said he could either pour it directly over the existing tile or remove the tile and pour it.
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Greg wrote:

Stamped concrete is as durable as, well, concrete. Yeppers on the settling. I recommend you remove the tile first. check this stuff: http://www.bomanite.com /
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I'm
As I understand this. Your planning on ripping out the tile and concrete floor and putting down a stamped concrete finish. Wow, that is going to be spendy.
Or are you talking about the concrete FINISHES that are available.
Tile cracking could be from the tile, from something dropped on the tile, installation, improper bedding/thinset or ya the floor is settling. I would choose anything other than the last mentioned on first glance. If the floor is settling then I would be doing some serious walking away from the property. All concrete cracks now days. Better find out before you sign your bank account away.
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SQLit wrote:

The sky is falling the sky is falling!
??? Why remove the existing concrete? Bomanite's product can be installed 1-1/2" thick over base slabs. They also have a 'thinset' system that can be applied as thin as 3/8" and accepts imprinting tools.
As for the settling, it may be nothing more than stress fractures which are common in just about all slabs. You'd be walking away from just about every residential concrete slab in the universe.
btw, I have no interest in Bomanite other than I've seen the product and it's a good one.
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So you think it will be okay to just pour it over the existing tile? Or thicker is better?

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Greg wrote:

I would remove the tile.
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We are having the contractor over this week to go over things with us. From what I understand and have seen on their site, it is poured concrete and stamped with a prefab pattern. Then colored. Either acid or some type of finish. The acid color reacts to the primary color and creates a unique color. It looks pretty cool.
The guy said 6 to 7 dollars a square foot.

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If you have a settling problem I would fix this first before pouring a concrete slab. Stamped concrete in the kitchen wouldn't that be a maintenance issue like mopping, sweeping and vacuuming where the dirt and food particles get into all the nooks and crannies? Concrete is cold and hard and I don't like walking on it. Our house is on a concrete slab but none of it is exposed. Its covered by carpet, tile, laminate, vinyl, etc. I rather have stamped concrete on my driveway than in the house. I does look very nice though.
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A few thoughts.
I'm in Tucson and almost all houses here are slab on grade. I did an addition to my (custom) house, including a garage. There were over 70 tons of engineered fill placed under the garage slab and I had 1/2" rebar on 2' centers installed by my concrete contractor (a friend of mine). He said they hardly ever use rebar or even mesh in garage slabs. My slab only started showing hairline cracks after four years.
A neighbor is having a house built and they did the slab ten days ago. I walked over there today and it's already cracking. No rebar, no mesh.
So who knows what is going on under the OP's place, assuming it's slab on grade. The cracking may be over with or it may go on forever. Some areas here are now using post-tensioned slabs because of expansive soils.
As to concrete floors in general, my house, with the exception of the sunken living room is all done in brick pavers, tight-laid on a sand base over the slab. Just like you'd do a patio. We absolutely love them.
If I were to build another house, I'd have colored, stamped concrete through out. I have carpet in the living room and if it wasn't for the fact that I have two steps down and adding thickness to the floor would be a safety/code issue, I'd put bricks in there too.
We don't find the floors cold; I walk around barefooted a lot. Maintenance is an occasional mopping and a semi striping and a fresh coat of Johnson Fortify once a year or so, even in the kitchen. If you want dirty, unhealthy floors, lay carpet.
There is a new "in fill" development in an older part of town were some high-priced builder is building "solar, environmentally friendly" houses. They are using some kind of colored toweled on stuff over a plain slab. It looks as if they put down masking on two foot centers to created "scored" lines. It actually looks pretty good, except this fancy builder put the baseboards in first and then spread this crap around. There is bare concrete in all of the insider corners. Yuch. But what do you expect for $250 a foot anyway.

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I'm sure the mix also plays a part in whether or not the concrete starts to crack. I guess someone could apply saw joints if they didn't mind the lines down the slab.

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I'm
I would not be so sure to lightly dismiss any "settling" floor in a 2 year old house.
As others have pointed out cracked tiles might be a sign of weak/insufficient floor joists that might be allowing the floor to flex/bounce. Or worse a poorly laid slab if this is slab on grade construction with no basement. that may never stop settling.
Or nothing more critical than a shoddy install, or abuse by the previous owners.
You would be wise to check that the existing floor (if joists) will hold even 1" of concrete without additional support.
eg posts underneath, doubling up joists.
No one here will be able to give you a 100% answer as we can't see it. If anyone claims to know it all from an internet post, I'd take their opinion with a grain of salt.
Besides, the contractor you have mentioned coming in will likely want to examine the joists and/or correct any possible structural defects before he even starts the floor. His evaluation will rate higher than anything posted here.
You really want to grill him as to how long he will guarantee the job too, and get it in writing.
And then get a second quote, and compare them.
Pointless to rush the job if you will only have another cracked floor next year.
AMUN
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Examine the cracks closely. If there is any sign of vertical movement, then you should stop with all plans to overlay the slab until the problem is fixed. If the crack is minimal and there is no vertical movement, then any floating floor should work with minimal worries for years.
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