Concrete is nothing new in home design. It's been serving as driveways, patios and pool surrounds for decades. But today concrete countertops are debuting on the inside of many homes with creative, elegant and whimsical new designs not possible with any other surface.
Concrete countertops are gracing the pages of magazines and starring in home improvement shows following and fueling a rise in popularity of this versatile surface. Cement has one unique advantage over other kitchen countertop materials in that it can be custom molded into virtually any shape, size or design you want.
It can be stained in a rainbow of colors. It can also be dyed, tinted, stamped and have unique designs acid-etched into its surface. Also, you can embed fun objects, momentos or even lights to make a personalized piece of functional art! Imagination seems to be the only limitation. Some even looks like wood. By sawing lines in the concrete, you can make it look like tile. And you can incorporate a sink of any size with a custom drain board or any other design feature you care to create.
Just like tile and all other countertop surfaces, concrete countertops do need some maintenance. Although a durable countertop, concrete needs to be sealed initially and waxed periodically to resist staining and moisture. It can be washed, polished and buffed to maintain its shine and it cleans up easily with soap and water or mild cleaners.
Cutting is not recommended or it will scratch, but you should use a cutting board with any surface. Concrete is heat resistant and stains aren't much a problem if you seal and wax as recommended by your installer.
Designers consider cement countertops to be kind of a specialty item with a very contemporary look… that is one of the drawbacks with many homeowners. True, it is very distinctive, yet it can be made to blend well with a variety of designs and decoration themes.
Another possible criticism is that colors cannot be exactly matched to say… a paint color. You can get close, but the finished color may be slightly different. Also, concrete countertop colors will get lighter a few weeks after installation and tend to yellow over time.
Concrete counter tops need to be installed by someone who knows what they are doing. In fact, the majority of the cost of concrete countertops comes from the skill and labor required to install. Expect to pay about as much as granite and possibly more depending on how complex your design is. (see )
Other countertops may be better all-around surfaces, but concrete counter tops are still durable and no other surface can offer the creative freedom available with concrete. So, if you really want to do something different with your design, explore the unique qualities of concrete.