If you’re considering adding concrete counters to your kitchen or bathroom, you’re in for a treat. Concrete is one of the most versatile and durable materials around, and when used as a countertop material, it can be molded into just about any shape or style you like. It’s also easy to keep clean – a quick wipe with a damp cloth is usually all you need to keep it looking its best. This article will look at everything you need to know about concrete countertops, from their cost and installation to their pros. Let’s get started!
What are concrete counters?
Concrete counters are made from cement, sand, water, and small aggregate stones. The mixture is molded into a flat shape and cured by drying for several weeks in a controlled environment. Each counter is unique, but there are some commonalities—most are installed over a plywood base and have an edge cast separately from the rest of the slab. Another commonality is that they’re cumbersome—professionals should install concrete counters.
Benefits of concrete counters
There are many benefits to having concrete counters in your home:
– Concrete counters have unique designs and textures so that each countertop will be one-of-a-kind.
– Often cheaper than other materials such as granite or marble.
– Easily shaped and molded with multiple edges available.
– Durable, able to withstand heat from pots and pans.
– Resistant to mold and mildew growth, as well as stains from red wine or oil.
Types of concrete counters
Concrete counters are available in three types: “precast” (also known as “site-cast”), “tilt-up,” and “cast-in-place.”
Precast concrete counters are made offsite by pouring the concrete into molds. Once the concrete has hardened, the countertops are transported to the home and installed. Precasting is a valuable technique for building a new home or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom; it allows you to have custom countertops without installing them onsite.
Like precast concrete counters, tilt-up countertops are also created offsite. However, they’re made in a single slab broken up into smaller sections and transported to the home for installation. The “tilt-up” name refers to how contractors hoist the slabs into place. Tilt-up concrete counters work well for large kitchens, but the homeowner’s plan must measure carefully so that all sections fit together seamlessly.
Cast-in-place concrete countertops are created onsite from scratch after the cabinets are installed. This type of countertop provides more flexibility and customization than precast or tilt-up counters. The concrete is mixed with colorants and other additives to create a design that perfectly compliments the kitchen. However, cast-in-place countertops are also more expensive and labor-intensive than different types of concrete counters.
How to care for your concrete counter
The allure of concrete counters is their natural beauty, so you need to treat them with care. Here’s the best way to clean and maintain them, so they’ll look gorgeous forever:
1. To clean, use warm water and a few drops of dish soap on a damp cloth. Wipe dry immediately afterward.
2. If you’re using it in your kitchen as a countertop, don’t be afraid to use it as a cutting board or trivet—but never put hot items directly onto a concrete surface without using a trivet or heat pad first.
3. Concrete absorbs liquids quickly, so be sure to wipe up any spills immediately with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly with another fabric.
4. Don’t leave standing liquids on the surface for long periods, as this can cause discoloration and staining.
5. Don’t use any cleaning products with acid or alkaline ingredients on concrete counters; doing so may damage the finish and void the warranty (if there is one).
Concrete counter installation tips
1. Measure and mark where the sink will be. Use a metal tape measure, not a cloth measuring tape, because metal is more accurate. Mark the area with a pencil, not a crayon or marker, which may stain the concrete.
2. Cut an opening for the sink and faucet using a diamond-tipped saw blade. Cut the door from the top side of the countertop so you don’t risk damaging your cabinets.
3. Install the sink and faucet, securing them with plumbers putty or silicone caulk to prevent leaks. Then sand any rough edges on the underside of your countertop, near where you cut it out to fit the sink. These rough edges could collect dirt or threaten people who might fall against them, so it’s important to smooth them out before installing your countertop.
4. Secure your countertop to the base cabinets by applying wood glue to the top of your cabinets and then placing your new countertop on them. Let it dry overnight before moving on to the next step.
5. Seal your new concrete countertops with an acrylic or epoxy sealer designed especially for concrete use, like this one from Concrete Countertop Sealers. It will help protect your countertops from staining and fading, and it will also give them a nice shine.
What kind of maintenance is required for concrete counters?
You’ll need to seal your countertops with a food-safe sealant once they’ve cured, which will take about 28 days. After that, you can reseal them every one or two years (depending on use) or whenever they start looking dull. You can also use a granite cleaner to keep them shiny between sealings.
Can I put hot things directly on the counter?
Yes! As long as you use a trivet or something similar under pans, crockpots, etc., you can put anything hot directly on the surface. The only thing to be wary of is sharp objects falling on the countertop; if something vital falls on the surface and chips it, this could cause a future problem.
Can I use concrete counters in my kitchen?
Yes! Many people think of concrete as an industrial material, but when finished with a color of your choosing and sealed properly, it makes a beautiful kitchen surface easy to clean and will last for years.
Are our concrete counters waterproof?
Not entirely, but if appropriately sealed and regularly maintained (every year or two), they should be able to withstand normal wear and tear in a kitchen or bathroom.
How long do they last?
A properly cared-for concrete countertop can last forever. They are non-porous and durable and will not burn, crack or scratch under regular use. In addition, several sealers are available to protect your counters from stains and scratches. Still, it can clean most common household spills easily with soap and water or other cleaners designed for sealed concrete surfaces.
How much do concrete counters cost?
On average, the price of poured concrete is between $65 and $135 per square foot. If you prefer precast slab counters, expect to pay about $40 to $80 per square foot for materials. The final price of either method will depend on the size of your countertop, any edging details, and the complexity of the job.
Concrete counters are a popular trend in home design. They are durable, stylish, and easy to maintain. This article provides everything you need to know about concrete counters, from design tips to care instructions. Our team is here to assist you in your countertop decision. We will be glad to visit your home and assess your needs to find the perfect material for you and your home. Call us TODAY at (281) 559-6866!