Made entirely of natural materials, this hardened mixture of water, cement, sand, stone and pigment isn’t just for your basement floor anymore. It can make quite a statement up in the kitchen, and homeowners are taking note, as evidenced by its quick rise in popularity. The counters can be pre-cast to fit a mold or cast on site.
Concrete must be sealed properly to resist stains and water damage. However, many fans of concrete argue that there's beauty in the way the an unsealed surface ages, like the aged charm of a well-used butcher block.
- Can be worked into different shapes, such as integral sinks and decorative edge treatments.
- Custom details like integral drain boards can be incorporated.
- Resists scratches and heat.
- Comes in a variety of colors (some manufacturers even allow you to create a custom color) and textures.
- Custom cast to your exact specifications.
- Much stronger than any other natural surface.
- Must be sealed properly to resist stain.
- Though sealing protects the concrete, waxing is required to protect the sealer. Most manufacturers recommend applying wax to your product every one to three months, which will help to maintain its sheen and repel liquids.
- Cutting on it will leave marks.
- Quick temperature changes can cause curling or warping to newly installed slabs.
WHAT IS A GOOD SEALER FOR CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS?
One of the most popular sealants used to coat the surface of a concrete countertop is epoxy. The epoxy applied to a concrete countertop will usually be harder and more durable than the countertop itself. Other sealants that can be used are wax, acrylics, urethanes and densifiers like sodium silicate.
A good sealant should be non-porous, stain-resistant, scratch-proof, heat-resistant, non-toxic and easy to clean.
Read more about concrete countertops in Fu-Tung Chen's "Concrete Countertops: Design, Forms and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bathroom"
Book is available at www.amazon.co.uk for £14.86