Thinking of installing concrete countertop in your house? We know why. They are trending like wildfire for their industrial good looks and durability. The warm, gleaming surfaces are functional, practical, and stylish. However, before you make the final choice, getting the complete picture is essential. Research on concrete countertops pros and cons to know both the advantages as well as drawbacks of such a fixture.
Don’t know how and where to research? Don’t worry. This article will do all the work for you. It lists out relevant information that you will need. Whether it’s for your kitchen, bathroom, or any other space — you deserve to know about the best countertop options. So let’s begin.
Pros of Concrete Countertops
- Durability: Strength and Solidity
Concrete countertops are like Superman. Solid rock. The cement-and-sand mixture renders them strength and solidity. Want to know how much? Well, sidewalks are made of these — now you know what we mean. Such tough concrete counters are long-lasting too provided they are installed and sealed well.
- Availability Of Options
Thanks to newer innovations, a concrete countertop is no longer boring or cold; the material can now be shaped according to your space dimensions and finished as per your liking. You can choose from textured, etched, stamped, acid-stained, or sealed. Not many popular countertop materials can boast such an array. It’s the perfect choice for those who want a uniqueness or a modern flair in their kitchens or bathrooms.
- Heat Resistance
Such a countertop is the perfect choice for a kitchen fixture because of it being impervious to heat. It stands up very well to the wear and tear of an active kitchen. But do be aware that keeping scalding hot pots and pans on it is not a great idea. The localized heat will harm the sealant.
- Easy Customization
One of the best aspects of a concrete counter is that it allows for customization, especially embedment. It’s easy to fit additional features such as natural stones, tiles, glass fragments, or even fiber-optic lights. If you prefer an out-of-the-ordinary, personalized look, go for such a surface.
- Low Maintenance And Easy To Clean If Sealed Properly
If you’ve had regular sealing done on your countertop, and by that we mean annually, such a surface is easy to maintain and clean. However you need to be careful. Since this surface is porous, any spillage should be mopped quickly to prevent staining. You may use soapy water, preferably warm.
For a more in-depth cleaning, keep a pH cleaner handy — one that won’t harm the sealing. Avoid abrasive cleansers at any cost. When in doubt, follow the instructions given by your contractor.
Cons of Concrete Countertops
Contrary to the idea of a concrete slab you have in mind, such a countertop is expensive. On average, its price is anything between $65 and $135 per square foot. Add to it the hourly cost of installation ranging from $40 to $50 per person, and the whole idea of having such a surface loses some of its shine.
- Stains Easily
One of the most common complaints that homeowners have is that this premium material stains easily. You can blame it on the fact that it’s a porous substance; it absorbs liquids. Red wine spills or coffee — the slightest marking shows. And, such a surface tends to be more prone to bacterial growth as well.
The good news is that sealing the surface with good-quality epoxy sealer upon installation will take care of most of the problems. Such a procedure claims to make it impervious to staining and scratching, and also heat-resistant. Make sure sealing is done correctly, and by a professional.
- Requires Skilled Installers
These slabs are laid best by skilled installers. The reason is: the process is slightly more complex than in the case of granite and marble. Fabricating them requires a lot of skill and experience. For instance, this 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick surface usually requires a drop-front edging on the countertop to give an appearance of more thickness.
Most importantly, these countertops are very heavy, weighing around 19 to 25 pounds per square foot. To support this heavyweight, installers — more often than not — need to reinforce cabinetry and floors. In some cases, they install support frames for sinks. It’s important that both sink and countertop do not carry each other’s weight. One way is to fit the countertop to the cabinets with construction adhesives — of course after being carefully leveled.
The time duration for its installation also depends on whether the concrete is pre-cast at a factory or poured in place. The entire process of curing of such a surface takes about 28 to 30 days. If you’re in a hurry, go for a pre-cast one or a different countertop material altogether.
Prone To Hairline Cracks
If you love a perfect countertop, steer clear of a concrete one. It’s charm is only for those who appreciate a rustic, raw appeal. Since these are prone to hairline fractures, especially when poured in place rather than pre-cast, they are not flawless. Thankfully, the cracks are usually not easily noticeable. You may repair them with fiber reinforcement, rebar, or a wire mesh. But that will again require help from a professional.
A concrete countertop is rock solid and hard (just like granite or slate) but offers so much more than the other countertop material. Also, it’s a better fit in contemporary home designs and characterized by a modern aesthetic.
But do take into account all the concrete countertops pros and cons before choosing one for your kitchen or bathroom. Installing a concrete countertop is a huge task. You don’t want to regret your decision after a few months, do you? So it’s imperative that you choose well. The final result should be practical as well as stylish. This article will help you make that selection.