With so many choices out there, choosing the right material for kitchen countertops is not an easy decision. Checking reviews are usually no help at all, as most people will go to considerable lengths to justify their choices, and only confuse the matter.
You could go the trending route, in which case you have either quartz or granite countertops as the starting favorites. However, you might also want to look at an unusual contender: concrete countertops.
You would be forgiven for your raised eyebrow or skeptical expression at this development, as concrete is more readily associated with uses that are more mundane. However, you would be surprised at the level of transformation from gray pavement to beautiful kitchen countertops, due largely to advances in techniques used for staining, colorizing, and polishing concrete for dimension stone use.
Concrete countertops are usually custom products and tend to be unique, as you can add anything to the mix, from wood to semi-precious stones. Additionally, concrete countertops are very tough and heat proof, so they work well in the kitchen. If you want something unusual and striking and yet durable for your kitchen, you can certainly consider this route.
However, it is not all wine and roses with concrete countertops. It is not a natural stone, so that is already a point against it for some people. That is just a minor issue with concrete countertops, though. Here is the lowdown on concrete kitchen countertops.
Concrete is cheap, but concrete countertops are quite expensive. While the same base materials are used, the process through which concrete countertops go adds considerably to the overall per square foot cost of the countertops. In fact, granite countertops are much more affordable at about $40 per square foot, installed. The simplest concrete countertops cost about $65 per square foot, not including installation costs. Designs that are more complex can drive the materials cost up to about $135 per square foot.
Time is of the essence when it comes to concrete countertops. Curing concrete countertops properly can take up to a month, and that does not include the time it takes to stain, colorize, and polish them, so the labor costs escalate. It is also not a DIY project as it takes considerable expertise to install them properly.
Concrete is very porous, as you might have observed with your concrete driveway after a heavy downpour. This is not an issue when it is for outdoor use, but it is definitely one if it happens to your kitchen countertops. Concrete countertops will stain much more easily than granite or even marble because of this porosity, so they require thorough and regular sealing to keep them in good heart.
Its porosity also makes concrete a less than desirable material for kitchen countertops because aside from staining quite easily with any liquid, which is bad enough, it can also encourage the growth of bacteria. Considering you will be using your kitchen countertops for all thing’s food related, this is a serious problem. You would be better off with granite, marble, or quartz countertops.
As mentioned earlier, the porosity of concrete requires regular and thorough sealing, much more than for granite or marble. This is not a big deal in terms of maintenance as a yearly sealing will not take that much time, effort, or expense. However, you do have to be careful about wearing away the sealer earlier than expected. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or cleaning tools to keep the seal intact.
What might be a problem for many homeowners is the monthly coat of wax you need to apply to keep concrete countertops looking smooth and pristine. You can choose not to do this, of course, but it will not be long before you will notice the difference. This is not a problem with granite, marble, or engineered quartz countertops.
Concrete countertops are very tough, but they do tend to develop hairline cracks along weak points such as cutouts over time. This is something that regularly happens with concrete as it settles, especially for countertops poured onsite, but they are easy to repair. That said, it is one more issue with concrete countertops with which most people would rather not have to deal.
You can keep hairline cracks to a minimum by employing expert installers. They use different types of support to stabilize concrete countertops such as fiber support, wire mesh or rebar. This will not eliminate the risk of developing hairline cracks, however. If this is a problem for you, then concrete countertops is a bad choice for your kitchen.
Concrete countertops are popular because they are unique, beautiful, and durable. However, the problems associated with them make them less than desirable for use in the kitchen. You might want to choose them for other types of countertops that will render these issues moot, but for the kitchen, you will are much better with granite, quartz, or marble countertops supplied and installed by a countertop specialist.
Keystone Granite & Tile is your best bet in the areas of Columbus, Ohio, Delaware cities, Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We provide free professional design consultation and quotes so you know exactly where you are before committing. We also have a quick turnaround, so you will get your products on time and on budget.
We have showrooms in Lancaster and Horsham, Pennsylvania as well as New Castle, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio, so you can see the products before you buy. We will walk you through the kitchen remodel design and help you choose the lights as well as other components.
For countertops, we carry a wide array of granite slabs and best-brand engineered stones such as Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all with manufacturer warranties. We also carry only the best brands in sinks, faucets, tiles, hardwood flooring, carpets, and cabinets.
We are experts in all aspects of kitchen remodeling, so you can be confident that you will get the very best in product and service quality. Give us a call or send us an inquiry through our website to set the ball rolling!