11 Key Concrete Countertops Pros and Cons | Concrete Countertops Problems | Concrete Vs Granite
Concrete Countertops Pros and Cons | Concrete Countertops Problems |Concrete Countertops Maintenance | Concrete Vs Granite
Concrete is a durable, affordable material that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday life. It is usually more DIY than other countertop materials including granite, brick, marble, stone, etc.
Concrete countertops are easy to make, but you will need to put much time and effort into the preparation stage.
Concrete countertops are durable and offer a great, natural alternative to granite. They can look sleek and modern as well as warm and cozy.
If you’re looking for something distinctive yet easy to maintain, this material is the way to go!
Concrete countertops have been around for decades now but it seems that they are finally experiencing more popularity in recent years with homeowners.
It offers a very distinct look from most other countertop materials, which is why it can be a popular choice for people who want to make their kitchen look very warm and welcoming.
How To Make Concrete Countertops Yourself
Here is how to make your own concrete countertops.
Step 1: Design, Order and Gather Materials
The first step is to choose the design you would like. You can make any shape or size as long as it is practical and simplistic.
Keep in mind that the thicker the countertop, the more durable and simplistic it will be.
A single slab on a kitchen island would require at least four inches of concrete to be poured; however, a countertop that has a three-inch slab on top of an existing counter will need no more than two inches of concrete.
So, in general, the best thickness is three to five inches.
Concrete countertops can make a really great addition to any kitchen or bathroom. You can give them an appearance of stone, marble or wood.
The color of the concrete will be either gray or brown depending on the type and amount of aggregate that you use.
Remember that more aggregate means a lighter color, and more cement means a darker color.
When making your countertop, take the time to order the needed materials.
You will need a concrete binder, ready-mix cement, fiberglass mesh for reinforcing the slabs, spacers and various packaging.
Step 2: Mix Concrete
When you purchase ready-mix cement, you will have to pay an extra fee so ensure that it is free of stones.
The exact amount of cement can vary depending on the type of countertops that you are making.
Concrete countertops require a certain amount of cement and aggregates; therefore, you will need to follow the directions that are printed on the package.
It is best if you err on the side of caution and add more cement than is needed.
Step 3: Mixing and Placing Aggregate
You will want to mix lightweight aggregate with your cement. This step allows you to create a nice texture for your countertop.
The aggregate is usually crushed stone or gravel and is approximately the size of peas. Having aggregate will go a long way in your countertop. It is also best to mix the concrete with a power mixer than with a hand mixer.
This is because the power mixer spreads more evenly and uniformly than hand mixing does.
When you mix the concrete, you want to use at least 15 pounds per square inch (PSI). This is to ensure that the concrete will harden properly.
Step 4: Placing The Fiberglass Mesh
Measure your slab first before you place the fiberglass mesh on top of it. You also want to make sure that you place the mesh away from any edges.
This ensures that the concrete will not leak out of the countertop later on.
Step 5: Placing The Slab On Your Form
When you are ready, line up your slab on your form and then slowly move it into place. If you do not want a double-thick slab, then you only have to use cement and lightweight aggregates.
If you would like a thicker countertop then place a layer of lightweight aggregate on top of the fiberglass mesh.
Step 6: Curing Concrete Countertops
The next step is to allow it to cure. This can be done in a basement or in an insulated garage.
Allow the concrete slab to cure for six days or more before touching it, drilling it or even putting anything on top of it. Once cured, make sure that you use an oil-based sealer on the countertop to protect it.
Now that you know how to make your own concrete countertops, you can create an economical yet stylish addition to your home.
Concrete is very durable and versatile; therefore, it is important that you take the time to plan out your countertop before starting.
Concrete Countertops Pros and Cons
Concrete Countertops Pros
- Concrete countertops are very durable and strong, thereby offering great protection against spills that could lead to stains or damages.
- They can be made to look like any other material such as marble, granite and wood and their surface can be treated with sealers and stains.
- They can be customized to any size or shape.
- They withstand heat well and work well for industrial kitchens with lots of equipment that generates heat or in humid areas since they don’t absorb moisture.
- They can be easily maintained and cleaned.
Concrete Countertops Cons
- They’re usually not as attractive as other materials such as wood, granite, quartz and marble.
- They can look uneven or chipped if they haven’t been properly sealed and painted and cleaned regularly and this fine work needs to be done by a professional contractor who knows what he’s doing.
- They can eat away at your kitchen countertop if not installed properly so you would need to pay attention to installation details before you get started.
- They’re not suitable for high moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- They’re not easy to work with and require a lot of labor and hands-on knowledge and experience, which is why you would most likely pay more if you hire a professional contractor to do the work for you.
5 Tips to Ensure Your Concrete Countertop Stays Clean
- Maintain Your Concrete Countertop – Cleaning a concrete countertop is similar to cleaning a normal countertop. It can be cleaned using a sponge and warm, soapy water.
- Touch Up Scratches – Use a 150-grit sandpaper to remove small scratches from your concrete countertop. This will help prevent the scratches from getting worse over time.
- Seal Your Concrete Countertop – You need to seal your concrete countertops regularly in order to avoid staining and fading caused by harmful chemicals in cleaning products.
- Maintain Your Sealant – You should always maintain your sealant. This will help to minimize the chances of the sealant bubbling and deteriorating, which can cause water damage to your counters.
- Don’t Pile on More Concrete Than You Need – Don’t put more cement than you need on your countertops; this can cause your countertops to crack over time. This is particularly true in hot climates.
How To Care for Concrete Countertops
Caring for concrete countertops is a bit more challenging than other countertop materials. It requires a level of care and maintenance typically found in other materials, but provides a unique and beautiful appearance.
The two key items to consider when caring for concrete countertops are sealing it and protecting it from staining.
Sealing the countertop will help protect it from stains and give it a more matte finish. One of the most recommended sealers is the resealable, high-quality, and waterproof
Concrete countertops are a great option for those who want to have an eco-friendly, stylish kitchen. They are made with natural materials and offer the most durable surface available on the market. However, they can be expensive and difficult to maintain if not sealed properly.
Concrete Countertops FAQS
What are concrete countertops?
It’s basically poured concrete, usually with some sort of coloring added in order to make it look like marble or granite.
Are concrete countertops cheaper than granite?
Actually, they’re more expensive than granite since the material itself is more expensive. There are pros and cons to both materials, which makes it important to take your time before making a final decision on which one would be the best for your unique situation.
Concrete countertops are often more expensive than granite worktops. Prices per square foot for the most basic concrete countertops begin at $55 and do not include installation charges, which range between $30 and $90 per hour.
What are some problems with concrete countertops?
Concrete countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners, but they can present some challenges. Concrete takes time to cure and if not fully cured, it can easily crack and chip.
It also tends to stain easily and may need sealant applied every year. For those who want an inexpensive concrete top, the product may only last 10 years before cracks begin to appear in the surface.
To combat these issues, we recommend using polished concrete that has been sealed with a clear coating that resists stains and provides long-lasting protection from cracking due to temperature changes.
Concrete countertops are very costly. Once again, the notion that because concrete is used for sidewalks and patios, it must be cheap is untrue. Full-service concrete countertop installation should cost $100/sq ft or more.
Other problems with concrete countertops included: Curling, air bubbles, hairline fractures, and a stiff mix
Is concrete countertops heavier than granite?
Concrete countertops are heavier than granite, but not by much. The difference in weight is only the difference in the density of concrete.
If you were to frame up a residential unit space with poured-concrete countertops, it would be about seven to eight times heavier than framed-wood wall construction material.
Concrete countertops are heavier than granite in an absolute sense, but they’re also sturdier and more durable due to their higher density and high compressive strength.
Are concrete countertops hard to maintain?
In terms of care, concrete worktops require regular attention. To maintain the surface of your countertops and avoid stains, you’ll need to reapply sealer and wax on a regular basis. Spills and spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible.
Polished concrete is easier to maintain than other types because it doesn’t require sealing every year like other finishes. However, it will still need to be resealed and touched up at least once a year.
Are concrete countertops eco-friendly?
It depends on the type of concrete used and the environmental impact caused by mining and processing that material.
If your concrete is recycled, then it’s eco-friendly because the material was already in the earth to begin with. If it comes from recycled concrete, then you can assume that the concrete material itself is eco-friendly.
Concrete countertops are not considered to be eco-friendly in terms of recycling because they are so heavy and require so much energy to create.
They must be processed by melting and grinding, which means that energy has been expended creating them.
Are concrete countertops worth it?
In certain cases, concrete countertops can be excellent value for the money. In the long run, they will last longer and require less maintenance than other materials.
However, because they have a higher initial cost for construction, they might not always be the best option for those on a tight budget.
Are concrete countertops unsanitary?
Concrete countertops are a popular choice because of the durability and stain resistance that comes with them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a clean freak or a slob, you won’t have to worry about your concrete worktops getting damaged from scratches and spills.
In terms of sanitation, concrete worktops are not as sanitary as other materials because they can spread bacteria and mold more easily than wood or other types of surfaces.
Because concrete is porous and difficult to seal, bacteria and stains can quickly settle into the surface. Concrete can become filthy and unattractive as a result of this over time.
Worse, heavy metals contained in concrete might rise to the surface and poison your meals.
Will concrete countertops crack?
Concrete countertops are prone to cracking, if not properly installed. They won’t crack immediately, but they will over time.
This is particularly true if you live in severely cold or hot climates, but it can happen in normal temperatures too.
To keep your countertop safe and sound, maintain it regularly with sealant and wax.
How often should you reseal concrete countertops?
It is not good practice to reseal concrete countertops more than once every three years. It is recommended that you do so once a year to keep your worktops in the best possible shape.
What are the disadvantages of using concrete countertops?
Because concrete is more difficult to install than other materials, it might be costlier. Some of the above-mentioned disadvantages might apply to you for this reason.
Can you put hot pans on concrete countertops?
As a general rule, hot pans should not be placed on concrete surfaces. Although concrete is extremely heat resistant, there is a risk of harming or discoloring the sealer.
Using trivets made of stainless steel, brass, or copper is the best method to protect your sealer.
The countertop can melt or crack if the heat from the pans is applied for a long period of time.
What is a high-performing concrete countertop?
Performance-oriented countertops are designed with durability and endurance in mind to prevent harm from scratches and spills.
Features that improve performance include:
- Water-resistant surfaces that repel harmful chemical reactions with cleaning products
- Waterproof or water-resistant seams that protect your countertops from moisture and water leaks
- Stain-resistant concrete to prevent discoloration from spills and environmental damage
- Molds and bacteria resistant concrete that protects you from contamination
Can you use a concrete countertop outdoors?
Concrete countertops can be used outdoors, but they’re recommended to be sealed for outdoor kitchens or patios because they aren’t as sanitary as other materials. You can, however, use them outdoors as a walkway or as a patio.
What is the best surface for a concrete countertop?
There is no right or wrong choice of the concrete countertop. It all depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some people prefer a smooth surface while others prefer a textured surface.
How long do concrete countertops last?
Concrete countertops are designed to withstand spills and scratches. However, because repeated use can cause them to crack, you should maintain your worktops by protecting them with protective sealant or wax.
Countertops made with high-quality concrete can last for decades, but that depends on the quality of the materials used to create it and how well you maintain it.
Do concrete countertops require maintenance?
Although concrete countertops are extremely durable, they are still concrete countertops, which means they are porous and prone to staining. To protect their surface, you should regularly seal them with protective sealant or wax.
Are concrete countertops durable?
Concrete countertops are more durable than other materials because it is more resistant to mechanical damage.
Due to its porous nature, it is harder for water to settle into the surface after being spilled on it, which makes it stain-resistant.
Concrete counters are also more resistant to water damage because their walls are tighter, so they can resist fractures more easily.
How thick should an outdoor concrete countertop be?
An outdoor kitchen would need a countertop that is at least 4.5 centimeters thick since it needs to resist heat and cold.
The typical slab thickness ranges from 1.5” to 2”. This is the most popular thickness, and it provides countertop edges a relatively standard appearance. Note that greater thicknesses are feasible.
If a 6″ slab is wanted, the back and middle of the countertop will remain 1.5″ thick, while the front will “grow” to the appropriate thickness.
What are some advantages of concrete countertops?
Some of the advantages of concrete countertops are that they are easy to maintain, they withstand high or low temperatures, and they can be customized to the homeowner’s needs.
However, there are some disadvantages of concrete countertops. They can be heavy, prone to wear and tear, and they need to be sealed every few years.
It is important to keep your concrete countertops clean by regularly wiping them off. It is also important to keep them sealed to prevent any stains.
Concrete countertops are durable and beautiful, but they do require some upkeep.
What are concrete countertops pros and cons?
Concrete countertops are a common in kitchen and bath design that has been growing in popularity.
- What are a Concrete Countertop Pros: Durable, scratch resistant, easy to clean, low maintenance;
- What are Concrete Countertop Cons: expensive, heavy, difficult to install properly.