Concrete is versatile and can be customized according to your needs and desires. It is possible to have V shape, L shape or various other shapes of concrete countertops.
Being durable and strong, concrete countertops can serve you for decades if you maintain them well.
Besides being customizable, concrete countertops can also be easily stained with the color of your choice. You can complete the upper surface as you wish and even insert items such as porcelain or ceramic tiles for hot pots to be kept. You can add a traditional touch by elegantly carving the edges. Or how about a personal touch with stainless steel or copper inlays?
The color of concrete countertops does not fade or wear because the color pigments are actually introduced into the concrete at the time of mixing. Therefore they become part of every grain.
You can polish the concrete to a smooth sheen or work a texture over its surface.
Unlike most countertops, it is possible to cast sinks and other fixtures directly into the concrete countertop, making it seamless. This prevents leakage at the seams and makes the entire countertop easy to clean.
Each section of the concrete countertop can be customized according to your needs by adding a cutting board or a few trivets at strategic points, thus increasing its utility value.
Pricing of concrete countertops
Concrete countertops are on the expensive side. Starting at $50 and up per square foot, concrete prices are on par with natural stone prices. This price may be inclusive or exclusive of the installation cost.
The price depends on the size of the countertop, the surface finish, the built-in items and how complex the shape is.
Tips for buying concrete countertops
1. When choosing the design and color of the concrete countertops, the design and color of the kitchen cabinets should be considered. Your countertop should actually stand out and yet complement your kitchen interior.
2. Dark-colored concrete looks great with light-colored cabinets and light-colored concrete countertops brighten the look of dark-colored cabinets. The key is to use contrasting colors.
3. If you search some magazines or the Internet, you will have an idea of how to choose the right size, design and color. An interior designer would be the best to help you find the right concrete countertop according to your kitchen setup.
Installation of concrete countertops
Installing concrete countertops is a specialized job. It requires a professional and intensive skilled workers with high skills. Look for a reputable professional who has done the work for someone you know. Before awarding the contract, ask for sample photos so you can get an idea of what kind of work has been done before. The professional should be able to incorporate your likes and desires and at the same time customize the countertop to your needs.
Many contractors work as a team and will consult interior designers or architects in order to arrive at the design. They also have their own team of skilled workers. You must interact with the responsible person and convey your feedback.
Since this is a tedious task and requires space and equipment, the countertop is best molded in the manufacturing unit.
Before installing the concrete countertop, the worker will create a strong base on your cabinets. This is important to keep the countertop strong and from vibrating. The countertop, which is already reinforced with structural steel or wire grid, is then fixed in place, and sealed.
Maintenance of concrete countertops
The contractor should be able to guide you on how to maintain the countertop.
The countertop surface should never be used for cutting purposes; a cutting board should always be used.
Natural or synthetic acids found in tomatoes, lemons, vinegar and liquid cleaners should be avoided as they eat into the concrete and make it rough and porous.
Concrete is prone to scratching so heavy utensils or appliances should never be dragged across its surface.
Although concrete countertops are strong, they can form large cracks with sudden blows of heavy objects.
Placing hot utensils on the surface can ruin the finish; so you may want to insert some porcelain tiles to place hot utensils.
A warm soapy water solution is best for cleaning concrete. Harsh cleaning liquid can erode the sealant and make the surface rough.