Are you looking for a durable and stylish worktop for the kitchen or the outdoor kitchen? Then concrete may be just the right material for you. It can withstand a lot, is water-resistant, heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and can be shaped individually. Discover all facts and material information at a glance.
Concrete countertops: material and manufacture
We know concrete above all as a strong building material, for example, Foundations, Walls, ceilings, or floors. It consists of a mixture of natural aggregates such as stone, gravel, sand, cement as a binding agent, and water. When mixed with water, the cement becomes a cement paste that binds the aggregate, which gives the concrete its strength. The liquid concrete is painted or poured into molds and formwork and forms a stone-like substance when it hardens.
The rough look of Exposed concrete trend for several years. Especially for the purist industrial style or minimalist, the timeless building material is ideal for designed kitchens. Still, concrete surfaces are also becoming increasingly popular in combination with warm wooden elements.
Concrete worktops can either be molded and poured on-site or made to exact dimensions in external workshops. There, shapes are then built according to the desired dimensions, and the worktop complete with all the required cut-outs – for example, for a seamlessly integrated one kitchen sink draining or cutting surface – poured. After curing, the surface can be sanded and polished to achieve the desired finish. In addition, a seal, often made of a tough epoxy resin, is applied.
A good water-based wax sealant only needs to be applied every nine to twelve months for ongoing maintenance. This will ensure that the work surface remains stain resistant and the risk of cracks in the panel is reduced over time.
Properties of countertops made of concrete
One of the most popular ways to take advantage of the positive properties of concrete is to use it as a countertop in the kitchen. Concrete worktops are heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, stable and extremely changeable in shape and colour. Due to the heavyweight of around 100 kilograms per square meter and a thickness of 4 millimetres, the kitchen countertop the stability of the base units and the load-bearing capacity of the kitchen floor being checked.
Concrete changes over time and develops an impressive patina. If you want to prevent this effect, you should use a protective wax for sealing. For this purpose, solid stone wax blocks are heated and worked into the concrete similar to polish in order to ensure protection against soap, dirt and dust particles. A water-soluble cleaning agent and a damp cloth are sufficient for daily cleaning. Acidic agents should, however, be avoided.
Advantages of concrete countertops
One of the greatest advantages is that the customization options are almost limitless. In this way, colour, shape and size can be designed exactly as desired, as can edge profiles, recesses and surface seals. The concrete countertop can be left in its natural grey or machined to give it the look of granite, marble or even Wood imitated. Concrete can also be coloured in most colours, poured in any size and shape, or inlaid with materials that create patterns beneath its surface. In addition, the work surface can be equipped with individual elements such as draining surfaces, coasters or cutting boards.
The concrete itself can also be specially shaped to make kitchen work easier, for example, a worktop with a desired slope towards the sink. Textures and finishes are available to match any design style, including traditional, modern, contemporary, industrial or rustic.
Most construction companies reinforce the mix by adding fibreglass, which makes the concrete countertop exceptionally strong but also light. The reinforcement allows for long, seamless spans and even daring overhangs that are not possible with granite or other materials. An additional advantage is that glass fibre reinforced concrete is far less prone to cracking.
Disadvantages of concrete countertops
Susceptibility to stains
Open-pored concrete can withstand daily stress for years but is quite susceptible to stains. The surface should be regularly sealed with oils or natural wax to protect it against dirt and liquids.
The manual production of the concrete worktop often means that the acquisition is a little more expensive due to the amount of work involved. But since it is a very high-quality material, it increases the value of the kitchen in the long term and is, therefore, a good investment.
Long waiting times
Since the design, pouring and curing of concrete worktops take some time, this could be seen as a disadvantage if you are in a hurry. On average, the processing takes at least a few weeks.
|It can be customized in size and shape||High acquisition costs|
|Long-lasting, hard-wearing, and scratch-resistant||Elaborate to manufacture|
|insensitive to heat||Porous surface|
|water resistant||Regular sealing is necessary to avoid staining|
|Small objects can be embedded||Heavy: Real concrete worktops can weigh up to 100 kilos |
per square meter
|Can increase the resale value of the kitchen as it is a high-quality finish|
Concrete worktops for the outdoor kitchen
Eating outside is still in vogue. Instead of just barbecuing, cooking is now also done outdoors, because garden and balcony are advancing more and more to living room outdoors and at the centre of hospitality. When planning the outdoor kitchen, it is important to note that it is exposed to all weather conditions and must therefore be robust against sun, frost and moisture.
Concrete countertops apply to the outdoor kitchen as the number one material that is both highly functional and extremely decorative, as it can be cast in any shape and practically any size. In addition, the design with concrete in the outdoor area is attractive because of the easy maintenance and great design flexibility. However, the concrete worktop should definitely be sealed weatherproof for outdoor use so that it is not prone to cracks. Your advantage: Concrete worktops can even be designed to withstand frost better than granite countertops.
High-quality and modern materials are the key to a stylish interior space. The original concrete kitchen countertop combines an unusual appearance with practicality and durability. Such products have rich potential for surface decoration.
Features of concrete countertops
Concrete is a very durable and rigid material. It can withstand high temperatures with dignity. In this respect, it is almost not inferior to such a rock like granite. But the price of a concrete kitchen countertop will be much lower than that of a granite counterpart.
At the same time, concrete has several features. They need to be known and taken into account before buying concrete countertops.
- This material is somewhat porous, so that it can become clogged with various foreign substances over time. This means that you need to take care of such a product regularly and carefully.
- Protect the concrete countertop from direct exposure to any acids. It is very vulnerable to acidic environments. Even a drop of lemon juice can leave a stain that cannot be removed later.
- Often, to reduce the vulnerability of concrete to acids, a unique polymer layer is applied to the surface of concrete countertops. It is needed to protect the product from acid attacks. In addition, this layer helps the table to retain its shine and new look over time. But it is worth considering that polymers are not resistant to high temperatures and mechanical stress. Therefore, on a concrete countertop with a polymer layer, you do not need to cut anything without a cutting board. Also, you cannot put hot pots and pans on it without special supports.
Concrete countertop design
Concrete is an artificial stone. It is created by the formation and solidification of certain substances. Their mixture consists of cement, sand, water, natural gravel, and sometimes a coloring pigment. This concrete nature allows you to create products of any, even the most unusual configuration from it.
Concrete countertops are great for individual projects in Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and other cities. They can be of various shapes, including multilevel ones.
Concrete kitchen countertops are perfect for both modern and classic room designs. They have excellent compatibility with various textures:
- And many others.
Concrete is often polished to a shiny or matte texture during countertop construction. The addition of various pigments allows you to achieve a beige, gray, pink, or green tint in the finished product.