These countertops are becoming a popular eco-friendly option in the home due to the flexibility and uniqueness of the product.
In the last few years there has been a lot more interest in the use of concrete countertops. Concrete countertops have the ability to be produced into just about any shape, style, or color.
Also part of their popularity is that each one is unique and cannot be duplicated. If you can think it, a concrete countertop can be formed to it. Truly it is a very versatile and stunning product.
The coloration of the product in a large part of this uniqueness. There are endless possibilities.
Extensive options are available for coloring concrete, and most manufacturers have a large selection to choose from.
The most popular include integral color (or pigments), add stains and dyes and dry-shake color hardeners.
Shop Forms for Concrete Countertops
In most cases people either pick one or the other, but some do both.
There are two fundamental ways that a concrete countertop can be installed in your home.
Pre-fabricated or precast is the first installation method. The concrete pieces are formed and created in a shop utilizing this method. The concrete is formed and poured in the shop, given time to cure and then it is delivered to the job site.
You will most like obtain the best quality counters utilizing this method as the quality control of the shop is very complicated to duplicate on the job site.
Forming the countertops in-place is the secondary method on installation, and remember to be patient. Usable strength for concrete is reached in 10 days, but it does not achieve full strength until 28 days.
If the concrete countertops are formed in position, a shop is not needed and the product usually will not need any seams.
A good quality sealer ought to be applied to the surface to protect it against scratching, heat, stains and etching problems.
Staining of countertops can outcome from the use of several commonly used household products. Ketchup, mustard, vegetable oil, coffee and red wine are some of the products that can easily stain an unsealed concrete countertop.
Commonly used household substances like vinegar, dish soap, bleach and lemon juice are able to dissolve the cement paste and etch the surface.
Stain resistance and etch resistance are two qualities you need to pursue in a good concrete countertop sealer.
Until recently the only sealers that were available were acrylics and waxes. Recent advancements in sealer technology has produced a much wider selection of materials available to the consumer.
As concrete countertops have gained in popularity, manufactures of sealers have seen the demand increase and new products have been developed.
An all-in-one sealer solution does not exist. It is significant to have the best sealer for application the counter will be used.
If you are installing a kitchen concrete countertop, select the sealer that is best for that location. (stain, heat & scratch resistant). If you are installing one in a bathroom, use the best for that application, and so on.
Durability and longevity are two of the most alluring qualities of concrete countertops. In fact, in most cases they can even outlast the home in which they are installed.
It may seem at first gloss that other countertop options are less expensive than concrete. But a concrete countertop will last longer and eventually give you a better return on your investment.
If concrete countertops price comparisons are created over the life of the product, their pricing will be very comparable to other high-end surfacing materials and in some case even less expensive.
Concrete countertops rarely if ever need replacement, particularly if properly installed and maintained. They also have the advantage of being fire proof, an advantage for their use in kitchens.
If you are skilled in the art of forming concrete, and you are very handy, you can, but normally this is not a do-it-yourself project.
Although the cost of the material is relatively low-priced, the time and effort it takes to construct the wood forms on site is tremendous.
Depending of the design, some of the more complicated shapes can be very difficult to produce. And because of the sealing, coloring, and finishing of the concrete is so crucial to the beauty and long-lasting attributes of the product, it is probably best that the installation be left up to a professional.
There are some additional qualities of concrete countertops you should be aware of:
The use of knives or sharp utensils directly on the concrete countertop should be avoided. Some counter tops, like wood, are meant to be cut on directly. Although the concrete material itself is very durable, it is the concrete sealer that needs to be protected. If you intend to do cutting on your countertops, utilize a cutting board.
Also, another characteristic of concrete is the appearance of minor cracking of the surface. These cracks are a natural occurrence for concrete but truly do not affect the strength of the material.