5 Factors to Help You Make a Concrete Decision About Your Countertops
Before you make a solid choice, find out if concrete countertops are the right fit for your kitchen.
It's no secret—concrete countertops are in. They can add a cool touch to any kitchen, from farmhouse chic to modern and minimal. But we have to be honest. Concrete countertops aren't for everyone. So before you set your sights on this modern, industrial style, it's important to learn a little bit about concrete; you'll be spending a lot of time together, after all.
Something Special Is What You're Searching For
Marble and granite have long ruled the countertop market, but their ubiquity in modern kitchens has led some to search for something more unique. Concrete is about as new as you can get in terms of countertop materials, and it's one of the best options for getting a countertop that is completely custom to your kitchen. This means your countertops' shape, size, color, and thickness are all up to you.
While gray concrete is pretty too, it's only the starting point when it comes to style. Concrete can be colored in almost any hue or can be acid stained. Acid staining can be done on the entire surface of the countertop or in stencils for a more controlled application. Besides color, concrete also has the option of being accented with imprints or inlays to get a look that is truly you. As long as you have an idea in mind and a contractor who can do the design, you can have a countertop that is sure to suit your space.
You're All About the Kitchen Countertop Amenities
A key benefit of using concrete for your countertops is that it can be custom cast to do just about anything. Want a set place to show off your cutting board? Have your contractor add a slot for it to slide in and out for easy use and cleanup. Tired of that unsightly dish drying rack? Opt for a built-in drainboard. You may also want to consider adding trivets next to the stove for hot pans or a built-in towel bar. Whatever the need is, you will most likely be able to fulfill it with concrete countertops.
Concrete's Character Can Be Considered a Good Thing
Some designers believe concrete countertops get better with age. If you're considering concrete, it's important to understand that the look of your countertops will change through the years. Because concrete is porous, spots and marks will inevitably show up over time. For some, this show of use adds to the character of a kitchen and serves as a reminder of memories made. So if you're looking for countertops that will grow and change with you, concrete will do just that. However, if you're looking for countertops that stay pristine through years of use, you may want to consider using another material.
Periodic Countertop Maintenance Is No Problem
Concrete countertops are great in many ways, but their main drawback is that they're not as durable as other countertops. Concrete's porous nature allows it to easily absorb liquids that can end up leaving stains, making it important to stay ahead of any accidents. First, any spills or messes should be cleaned up immediately. This usually means wiping down grease splatter before you sit down for dinner and wiping down the counter between cooking tasks. Second, concrete countertops should be resealed frequently to aid in the fight against stains. Your particular type of concrete will dictate what type of seal should be applied and how often, which can be anywhere between every two months to once a year. Depending on the type of seal, resealing can be a quick process or an all-day ordeal, so don't be afraid to get the help of a contractor. When deciding on your concrete countertops, you can work with your contractor to get a better estimate of how much time maintenance will take.
Countertop Cost Isn't a Deal-Breaker
You may think that because it isn't stone, concrete is a budget-friendly countertop—but that's not always the case. Concrete takes specialized skills and time to create and install, making the price often comparable with stone countertops. Making concrete countertops involves designing the countertop, creating it to the exact specifications, allowing it time to dry and harden, and then installing it. Concrete countertops can either be cast on-site, if you won't need your kitchen for a few weeks, or be pre-cast off-site and then installed in your home. Casting on-site can help with transportation costs and can look better because you avoid having countertop seams, but it's typically only recommended if you're doing a full kitchen remodel where the mess won't be a problem.