So just what are your expectations when it comes to concrete countertops? Are you looking at them because of price? Available options? Edges? Or is it the colors? Just what do you get if you choose concrete over all the other countertop options out there? Well, let's go over some of the pros and cons of concrete countertops. To start, concrete can be formed into just about any shape or size. It also gives us a lot of flexibility when it comes to design. This includes integrating features—like sinks and drainboards—directly into the countertops.
What are other pros and cons of concrete countertops? Well, we can make the concrete countertops in segments (precast) or pour them on site directly on your cabinets in one seamless slab (cast in place), like you see in this project we did in Walnut Springs, TX. We built the mold right on site and poured them in one shot. We have a pretty wide range of colors to choose from. These were just natural gray, which is actually a pretty popular color. If you want even more variety, we can also acid stain them. Concrete polishing, embedding objects such as glass chips, and special edges are other available options. Lastly, we can protect them with different types of sealers ranging from water based, solvent based, polyurethanes, and epoxies.
Now for some of the cons. No, it's not a lot cheaper than other countertop materials. Sure, the material cost isn't high, but it takes pretty highly skilled personnel to create a finished product that doesn't look like, well, a do-it-yourself project. Another possibility with concrete countertops is that they can develop hairline cracks (very small, fine cracks). It's rare, because we always reinforce our countertops, but a possibility. Next on the list, you can cut on them or put hot pans down on them and you won't hurt the actual concrete itself; however, you may damage the sealer we use to minimize staining. A knife can cut through this sealer coat, and very hot pans will burn it. It's nothing that can't be repaired, but it's better to avoid the problem. Lastly, some sealers are better than others at protecting concrete countertops from staining. Some are glossier; others have a more matte, natural look.
We'll talk more about all the pros and cons of concrete countertops in the following projects.