Using Concrete on Your Countertops
Made entirely of natural materials, this hardened mixture of water, cement, sand, stone and pigment isn’t just for your basement floor anymore. It can make quite a statement up in the kitchen, and homeowners are taking note, as evidenced by its quick rise in popularity. The counters can be pre-cast to fit a mold or cast on site.
Concrete must be sealed properly to resist stains and water damage. However, many fans of concrete argue that there's beauty in the way the an unsealed surface ages, like the aged charm of a well-used butcher block.
Quick tip: For an added dose of personality, embed vintage tiles, shells or other object in the countertop. Finding concrete to be out of your price range? Investigate concrete tiles; Sonoma Cast Stone offers 25 ½" x 24" sections in 48 designer colors that work well for projects with limited time and budget.
- Can be worked into different shapes, such as integral sinks and decorative edge treatments.
- Custom details like integral drain boards can be incorporated.
- Resists scratches and heat.
- Comes in a variety of colors (some manufacturers even allow you to create a custom color) and textures.
- Custom cast to your exact specifications.
- Much stronger than any other natural surface.
- Must be sealed properly to resist stain.
- Though sealing protects the concrete, waxing is required to protect the sealer. Most manufacturers recommend applying wax to your product every one to three months, which will help to maintain its sheen and repel liquids.
- Cutting on it will leave marks.
- Quick temperature changes can cause curling or warping to newly installed slabs.
Though your specific manufacturer's instructions reign supreme, concrete countertop manufacturer Sonoma Cast Stone recommends cleaning with a neutral pH soap, and being careful to avoid abrasive cleaners. Promptly rinse all spills from surface. Wax every one to three months and reseal every one to two years, based on your manufacturer's instructions.
About $80 to $150 per square foot.