Concrete Countertops: All You Like to Know!
Monalisa Patel is a Structural Engineer who has earned her Master’s degree (ME) from the L.J College of Engineering and Technology Ahmadabad in 2018. She is an Engineer (Civil) at SDCPL – Gharpedia. Helping people to solve their queries about construction is her passion. Apart from being blogger, she also participates in structural design at SDCPL. She is reachable on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.
Concrete counter tops are the custom counter tops i.e. a handmade product. The basic material which is used for production is concrete (i.e. Cement + Aggregate + Water). With respect to cement & lightweight aggregates, also the combinations of additives such as fiber reinforcement, silica fume pozzolan & acrylic. Sometimes more than one type of reinforcement is used & it can be structural steel, wire mesh, fiberglass, fibers etc
Concrete countertops are basically the custom countertops & usually designed for kitchens or bathrooms in a house. By its name the homeowner, usually thinks that colour of countertop would be grey or similar to concrete, but now-a-days the experienced contractor can make the custom countertops which looks like natural stone. Colour options are also possible by adding different colour pigments & stains mixed with cement that give the unique appearance. These countertops can be made in any desired size & shapes & are durable & long lasting material. However, these counter tops have pros &cons as compared to other materials.
Concrete countertops are available either in precast form means shop build or built on site. Precast concrete countertops are usually made in shop by using special casting tables, where they are cured and sealed by the contractors. Precast of concrete countertops are done by 3 different methods such as Wet cast, hand packed & GFRC (Glass fiber Reinforced concrete) each has its own unique mix design, casting method and finished work. The Concrete Countertop Institute recommends precast concrete countertops for most applications because it is harder to get a high quality finish with cast in place concrete countertops. Horizontal precast concrete countertops should be at least 1.5 inch thick. Thicker countertops are also possible.
Concrete countertops are a custom crafted material for high end use & are often specified by designers or architects. If the custom countertops are built on site, contractor can form the countertop to any client’s particular needs such as radius edges, curved corners, etc. Here the forms are built directly on cabinets & then concrete is poured in it. The concrete surface is further troweled until it gets rid of pinholes and becomes smooth. Here many colour effects are possible by adding pigments to concrete as skilled craftsman can make amazing options with stencils and other techniques. To achieve fine finish in countertop requires a high degree skill with trowel as cast in place countertops often have rough appearance.
Both cast in place & precast concrete countertops can accommodate all types of sinks including drop-in, undermount & apron front. With cast in place countertops, finishing the inside of an undermount sink hole is more challenging. Integral concrete sink of almost any shape is possible. Concrete can also accommodate drop-in cooktops.
Concrete countertops are handcrafted and are typically priced at a premium to granite, marble, & other natural stones. The true cost of concrete countertops is not in the concrete itself, but rather in the artisan’s creativity & time for creating special details, unique designs, transportation, & installation. However this custom countertops are expensive to install. The total cost of concrete countertops with installation varies from 4000 to 9000 per square foot accounting labour expenses & cost of materials. Building a stylish custom shaped counter with a fully integrated seamless concrete sink will be estimated at higher rates.
The client chooses whichever method, first is to find the contractor with which they are comfortable & have some references that the contractor does the type of quality work that we are looking for!
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