We are seeing concrete being used in many applications these days. One way you can add the modern touch of concrete to your home is by having concrete countertops installed. Concrete countertops are durable and easy to maintain, making them ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and even basement bar tops.
Concrete countertops can be customized to suit your one-of-a-kind specifications, with your choice of size, shape, color, inlays, aggregate additives, finishes, and edge details. You can even have items like recycled glass, seashells or iron scrolls embedded into the concrete. All of this customization does come with a high price tag though: concrete is comparable in price to granite and marble.
How They’re Made
Countertops are either pre-cast in a shop or built on site. This will depend on the contractor and on the intricacies of the project. They are made of cement, lightweight aggregates and a combination of additives such as fiber reinforcement, silica fume pozoland or acrylic. In addition some type of reinforcement is used; for example, wire mesh, structural steel or fiberglass. After the countertops have been poured, they are cured. Often, the next step is to grind or polish for durability and esthetics.
The concrete must always be sealed, often with an epoxy sealer. Epoxy sealers are extremely durable and low-maintenance. If you are investing in a concrete kitchen counter, double check with your contractor that it is finished with a food-grade sealer.
DIY or Call In An Expert?
For some very handy people with all the right tools, this could be a DIY project but be forewarned, this is not for the inexperienced. Building concrete counters can be very challenging and you can end up with cracks, air bubbles and structural problems. If you are going through a full kitchen remodeling anyway, your best bet would be to talk to your contractor and work with someone who is experienced in concrete work.
Concrete countertops are easy to maintain. Use a mild, non-abrasive soap for daily cleaning. Abrasive pads should be avoided. Approximately every 9-12 months, your concrete counter will require an application of water-based liquid wax.
Green Tip: using locally sourced aggregate and recycled materials such as glass from wine bottles makes this project even more earth-friendly.
Concrete countertops are a unique, modern and yet, timeless addition to any home. This is a great way to personalize your kitchen or bathroom by using a material that isn’t seen in those rooms every day.
For more information on custom concrete countertops, talk to your kitchen remodeling expert or concrete countertop contractor.
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