Stone, tiled and laminate countertops have given way to the newest and one of the most popular countertop which is making itself known rapidly, concrete countertops. Concrete is not attractive when used as a countertop for some people but today concrete countertops are available in different designs that will make it more attractive for homeowners who are searching for a new countertop.
Purchasing concrete countertops for your kitchen has a lot of benefits. The properties of concrete makes this countertop one of the strongest countertops available, plus the price of these countertops are typically less than the cost of those made from stones like marbles, granites and so on. The cost is lesser as compared to stones and wood because concrete can only be cast out as compared to stone and wooden tops that are still made from raw materials. When you are thinking of buying a concrete countertop, having a budget of $300 to $500 will give you a long lasting beautiful countertop. It is important to know that there are a lot of factors that can affect the price of concrete countertops. The design, installation and building can give you an overview on how must will you spend. The pricing also includes the shipping and construction. These concrete countertops are sold from $40 to $140 per square foot, when paying a contractor to install. Some manufacturers have a different installation fee which is not included in the primary estimate.
What are the benefits of buying a concrete countertop? First biggest advantage is the strength this countertop has. Concrete countertops are strong enough to stand against cracks, chips, breaks and scratches. Concrete countertops are solid, sanitary and can be stained to look similar to granite countertops and soapstone countertops. Just by having the proper care, a concrete countertop will last for 20 years still in its good condition without you worrying about repairing or replacing it.
Concrete countertops are resistant to heat, burning, scratching and marring. This will make certain that the countertop will not burn if anything hot is placed directly on it the only problem is that the heat may damage the sealant that covers the countertop. If the sealant gets damaged, the concrete countertop will be more at risk for damage and stains so it is important to reseal it right away to avoid further damage on the surface.
Concrete countertops may not be stain resistant since it is not a porous material but the sealant that acts as a protector will keep liquids and foods from causing any stain on the surface of the concrete countertop. The sealant is applied thickly on the countertop’s entire surface; first to protect the concrete underneath and second so that the sealant can be reapplied every one to two years. A sealer is applied since this will avoid any food and oil stains to form on the concrete countertop. To prevent stains, if you have accidentally spilled liquids or harsh chemicals on it, wipe it right away so not to cause further damage on the countertop. You can just simple apply the sealant on your own but make sure that the countertop is clean and dry. Also better to read the sealants instructions before you apply it.
In the past people would be concerned about finding styles and designs available when it comes to concrete countertops. Today, no need to fret since these countertops is available in a wide range of colors and styles that every consumer is looking for. One style sold in the market is the veined concrete countertop. These kitchen countertops have white veins placed in the concrete giving it a marble like appearance. Another type that homeowners usually get fascinated in is the terrazzo style where small chips of glass are incorporated in the concrete countertop which creates a textured outward show and a dramatic look for the kitchen.
What are the things that we need to consider when cleaning and maintaining the concrete countertops? First thing to put in mind is not to use any harmful chemicals or soaps. Always look for non abrasive soaps that will not damage the countertop. Also avoid abrasive pads when cleaning the countertop since it has an uneven texture that may cause scratches on the surface. Cleaning can just be done by using a soft cloth or a sponge; it can clean the surface well without causing damage.
Food and liquid spills must also be cleaned right away. Spills that are left on the surface for a period of time will cause a permanent stain on the countertop. Also avoid placing hot objects like pans directly on the concrete countertop. The heat will not damage the countertop but will cause the sealant to break. Always do not forget to place a pad on the countertop where you can put hot objects.
When sharp objects come in contact with the countertop it will cut all the way through the sealer and causing damage on it. The best thing to do is to store sharp objects properly and use a chopping board when you are preparing food instead of cutting it directly on the concrete countertop.