When people begin to think about replacing their countertops, typically materials like granite, quartz, and laminate first come to mind. However, there are several other options available in Canada, including wood, soapstone, stainless steel, and concrete. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at concrete countertops.
Concrete countertops have been gaining popularity over the last couple of years as a durable, beautiful surface option for the kitchen. If you’re picturing a dull, gray sidewalk where your countertops are supposed to be, you’re in for quite a surprise. While some people do enjoy the industrial appeal of a raw, gray slab, the reality is that concrete as a countertop material is incredibly versatile, customizable and extremely durable. When properly sealed, concrete countertops are stain, water and heat resistant.
How It’s Made
Concrete countertops are typically constructed in one of two ways: they are either precast, or site-cast. The difference being that precast concrete countertops are created offsite. An artisan pours the shape based on a template of the cupboard configuration. With a site-cast countertop, the entire job is completed in your home. The countertop will be poured and finished directly on top of the cabinetry.
Arguably one of the most highly-customizable countertop options, concrete can be prepared in a nearly limitless array of colours and a variety of textures. The addition of decorative and functional inlays is another detail that allows concrete to stand out as a very unique countertop material.
Functional elements like trivets and drain boards can be directly cast or inlayed into the countertop’s surface, making food prep easier and faster. Trivets are can be created with the addition of raised stainless steel rods placed into the wet concrete. Drain boards can be directly cast into the concrete and can be made of other materials.
Source: Designcast Concrete
In addition to the fact that concrete countertops can be created in a nearly limitless array of colours, they can also be further personalized with inlays and embedded materials like seashells, marbles, crushed mirror glass, stones, and more.
Concrete countertops can be easily finished with detailed edging, to further customize them to suit your home’s design style.
“Because concrete will take the shape of virtually any form or mold it is cast into it’s possible to produce the look of stone, rope edges, vines, and more.” (ConcreteNetwork)
In fact, with an artistic blend of colour, texture and edge detail, you can create a concrete countertop that closely resembles a piece of natural stone, wood, or marble.
Source: DesignCast Concrete
Once your countertop has been poured and finished, it will need to be protected. Protecting your concrete countertop is an important step, to maintain the water and stain resistance of this naturally porous material. Your installer should add a food grade sealant and offer you a choice of sheen level. Typically, the standard options start at matte and go up to high sheen. This is important to know, because the sealant is also used to enhance the countertop’s appearance.
Once sealed, your countertop will be easy to clean and resistant to stains. Keep in mind that over time staining and discolouration can still occur. However, concrete stain removal should be fairly simple depending upon the nature of the stain.
For more information about concrete countertops, browse the listings here on eieihome.com for local kitchen renovators or explore our articles for more tips and information on home renovation, interior décor, and home repairs.
Featured Image: Magnolia Market via Little Vintage Nest