By Meg Escott
Here's my concrete countertop review which includes a run down of the properties and pros and cons of concrete countertops. We'll also look at whether or not a concrete countertop is right for your home.
This review is based on my research, talking to suppliers, and my own experiences with concrete countertops.
This page is part of the countertop designs series.
This concrete countertop reivew wouldn't be complete without going into the properties of concrete in more detail...
You can ask your contractor about installing a concrete countertop, but make sure they hire someone qualified. Believe it or not there's a Concrete Countertop Institute. Who knew?
Aesthetic choice - Even though we might not associate the word concrete with fine finishing, concrete countertops can be absolutely beautiful. Stains, pigments and stones or particles can be added to concrete countertops to widen the design options. Using these additives, you can give your countertops the look of granite or other natural stone.
Seams - In theory, your concrete countertop can be moulded in one go. Or you may decide to use slabs and join them. The appearance can be minimized with the use of a color-matched filler.
Stain resistance - Because concrete is naturally porous, most concrete countertop fabricators recommend protecting the surface with a food-grade sealer or finishing wax to prevent water and stain absorption.
Heat resistance - Concrete is incredibly resistant to heat, but the heat resistance really depends on the sealer that you use.
Scratch resistance - Your choice of sealer will impact how scratch resistant your countertop will be. Minor scratches can occur in concrete countertops by cutting directly on the surface, so the use of cutting boards is recommended.
Cleanliness - Because it's porous, concrete will stain and could be a home for bacteria if you don't keep up with the sealing. A properly sealed concrete countertop is easy to maintain and keep clean. You can keep your concrete countertop looking like new by simply rinsing it with soap and water.
Cost - Concrete countertop prices are high, so this will turn off many homeowners right from the start. When you get estimates, you’ll find prices ranging from $75-$150 per square foot, or possibly higher if you choose an elaborate design or finish.
I haven't had a concrete countertop myself but one of my friends who's an architect has one. I spent some time discussing it with them the other day.
What strikes me about their concrete countertop is that it looks more like a natural material than a man made one. Although it's man-made, it is of course hand made so there are subtle variations in color and texture across the surface.
There are a few hairline cracks that have appeard as the house and cabinets have settled but these add to the patina.
We'll finish off this concrete countertop review by going over some observations to help you decide whether or not this countertop is right for your home.
Because of the similarity in price between concrete and other countertops your reasons for going for concrete would be:
So that concludes my concrete countertop review. I hope you've found it useful. See below for more countertop material reviews.