We always look at concrete as dull and unattractive. That was long ago, because nowadays, concrete can look as
shiny and as smooth as diamond.
There is a new innovative way by which concrete is being used in the construction industry. Concrete is now used
to make elegant and stylish concrete countertops. These countertops are in no way boring and unexciting. They can
display all color combinations that you want. You can also have any kind of surface texture, from smooth finishes
to leather like surfaces. Concrete countertops are softer to the touch compared with hard stone countertops.
They are also more flexible because you can customize their shapes. You can also do this with stone countertops
but it is more difficult and it will add up to your expense. No matter what type of design or décor you have in
your house, you can easily design concrete countertops to blend with them. In the area of strength and durability,
no one will question how strong and durable concrete is. It is the standard material that is used in making
buildings, houses, streets and many other things. Countertops made of concrete can be safely used for heavy duty
Flexibility of Concrete
Concrete is easier to work with than any kind of material because
you have more control in its composition and the way it will take its final shape. Each concrete slab is cast
separately allowing you limitless design flexibility. You can easily match the existing colors, décor and design of
your room. In other words, every concrete countertop is unique. There will be no other countertop that will look
the same as your concrete countertop.
Building Concrete Countertops
The typical materials used in making concrete countertops are
cement aggregates, acrylic, fillers and color pigments. Depending on the design and strength of your preferred
countertop, a proper ratio of all these elements is determined and they are all gathered and combined together. To
strengthen the structure, reinforcing steel bars, reinforcing fibers, fiberglass and wire mesh are distributed
evenly across the design mold – the area of the would-be countertop surface.
Once all of these reinforcements are set, the concrete components are poured into the mold and allowed at least
48 hours to cure and harden. As soon as the concrete is set, the slab will be given a thorough sanding to make it
hard and tough. The surface is then sealed using an epoxy sealant. It is then polished so that it will attain a
mirror finish. The final product is called polished concrete countertop which is highly resistant to water
intrusion, stains, scratches, heat, dirt and grime.
With its ease and flexibility of processing, we now have a variety of these countertops available in the market.
These concrete countertops differ among each other by their thicknesses, total weight and the styles of their
countertop surfaces. But their average thickness ranges from 1.5 inches to 2 inches. Their average weight would be
about 19 pounds per square foot. With these countertops, it is possible to incorporate all your faucets, sinks,
drain boards and soap dishes in the structure. For the surface color, you can also choose from as much as 150 color
Advantages of Concrete Countertops
Aside from the already mentioned benefits of concrete,
these countertops have additional advantages. Since concrete countertops are basically molded products, you will
not have any joints or seams on their surface. There is no place for molds to develop and bacteria to multiply. You
will have safe food preparation every time you use these countertops. Concrete is very resistant to high
temperatures therefore you don’t need to worry about your hot pots and pans. Cleaning and maintaining the surface
is also very easy.
Disadvantages of Concrete Countertops
You need to take good care of its surface because concrete has a tendency to get dull after a few months of use.
Concrete is also porous, therefore if the sealing and laminating is inadequate, you will see some stains on the
surface. Others feel that the industrial image of concrete is not appropriate for the kitchen.
Although concrete is more affordable than other expensive countertop materials, your actual cost will depend on the
design and size of your concrete countertop. Your choice of surface structure will also factor in its final cost.
To give you an idea, the standard polished concrete countertop costs $65 to $75 per square foot. The high-end
diamond polished concrete countertop will cost you around $180 to $200 per square foot.