Concrete Countertops: Pros and Cons
Concrete countertops have been steadily rising in popularity with house flippers, renovators, and home improvement inspiration resources alike. It has now grown to be the fourth most common material choice for countertops just behind the long market leaders: quartz, marble, and granite. But what is it about concrete that has led the industry to transform a previous known industrial material into a premium kitchen countertop material.
1. The top three leading countertop choices on the market currently come with a high sticker price. It is not only a costly material but comes with costly labor and installation expertise. While concrete is not drastically cheaper as a material choice its installation does not necessarily require the extra hired labor. The average person can (with enough research) purchase, mix, pour, and install concrete countertops themselves. The price of concrete countertops start at around $65-100 per square foot. It is important to note that this price can increase on what customized features you would like to add on top of its most basic level.
2. Concrete has a list of customizable features. It can be poured to the exact shape you need, which is one of the most attractive features of using concrete. It can also be stained, etched, acid washed, texturized, mixed with other decorative materials, and the list goes on and on. It leaves a ton of room to have fun with the material and create a unique look for your kitchen or any other room where you include countertops. It has also been mentioned to gain better appearance over time. The oxidation process of the material can create a warm patina.
3. Because concrete is a hard material, it is a more durable countertop choice. It can stand up to cutting on its surface without scratches, is impervious to heat when not sealed, can be easily cleaned when properly sealed and treated and is known as a longer lasting material choice. This makes it an attractive material to not only home owners but future home buyers as well, which is important to keep in mind when renovating or updating your home.
1. Concrete, like granite, is a porous material. Therefore, it can trap bacteria, water, oils, and other solutions when not sealed and treated regularly and properly. This can lead to staining and unsanitary surfaces. Maintenance for concrete to avoid this usually entails an initial epoxy sealant and then annual water-based wax sealings every 9-12 months.
2. Because of the heavy weight of concrete, it also can create strain on your existing counters, cabinets, frames, and floors. It is important to extensively research, as I would encourage for any project, to ensure proper installation and care is taken. This can be avoided with proper supports.
3. Concrete can crack, just as you see in other structures. Settling of the house can disrupt the integrity of the material as well as pressure from everyday use. But the accessibility of concrete and its malleability makes it fairly easy to repair, usually.