While granite is certainly still a trusted and effective surface choice, its heyday as far as dominating the countertop market may be coming to an end. One of its fiercest competitors: concrete. With the ease of installation, the durability of the material and the rise of the do-it-yourselfer, concrete countertops are taking the kitchen world by storm. Here are a few things you should know before plunging in and converting your kitchen into a concrete haven…
Concrete must be sealed. While certainly attractive and very durable, these countertops need to be sealed in order to prevent moisture from adversely affecting them, particularly in the form of cracks. Also because the material can be porous it has a tendency to stain if not properly sealed. Although some people tend to like the more industrial look of concrete that appears as though it has been truly worked on, and so staining may not be that big of an issue for you.
Concrete is heat resistant and durable-two characteristics you definitely want in your kitchen. So if you were to place a hot pan on the surface, you would not have to worry as you would with some other types of less hardy material.
Concrete is DIY friendly. With the emergence of home and remodeling shows, Americans have rolled up their sleeves more than ever before and have begun to tackle major home projects. Concrete countertop installation is increasingly one of them. Building a form, prepping the product, and then pouring, smoothing and sanding, the components of the process are relatively simple if you just take your time, do a little research first, and always ask for help if you get stuck.
Homeowners not interested in the do it yourself method are able to find a growing number of professional concrete countertop fabricators. These specialized companies frequently work like granite countertop fabricators taking your specific countertop dimensions and making the concrete countertop to your specific kitchen. The benefits of using a professional manufacturer of concrete countertops are many but include precise color and finish control as well as a consistency of concrete that provides a better overall product than most homeowners will be able to mix up outside in their wheelbarrow.
If you do choose to do it yourself, remember mixing concrete can be a messy process and is best done outside. You should also prepare for the inevitable drips, spills and other mishaps that happen when mixing and moving wet concrete!