Concrete is often used in platforms, backyard patios and fence-post structures. It is one of the best and most stunning building materials today. It can be moulded, has shiny flexible colour and is sturdy in nature. Its durability, versatility, and budget-friendliness makes it a favourable choice for custom countertops.
Today’s innovative kitchen & bath design often use concrete countertops. Some of the homeowners like the concrete for its industrial yet rustic appearance, while others appreciate its customizable options! Concrete countertops are basically the custom countertops i.e. a handmade product. The basic material which is used for production is concrete (i.e. Cement + Aggregate + Water). However, these custom countertops have pros & cons as compared to other materials. So, let us know the pros and cons of concrete countertops.
Pros and Cons of Concrete Countertops
Pros of Concrete Countertops
01. Concrete countertop is durable, tough and hard.
02. It can be easily moulded into various shapes and forms as compared to the other materials, i.e. once the form is decided it can be shaped into curves and different angles. So, you can create unique countertop design configurations. It is very easy to form holes for sink, soap dispensers, and even add a peninsula while creating the shapes.
03. Sinks and Drains can be accommodated easily.
a) Concrete countertop can be coloured or pigmented with dyes to give it a natural and shining polished look.
04. It can withstand heat, scratches and stains. Although concrete is not scratch-proof material, it can resist scratches, particularly when compared to other softer counter materials like laminates, marble etc.
05. Concrete countertops can be cleaned easily and are less prone to decay. They are easy to clean as long as they’ve been built and sealed properly. Warm water is the best way to clean them. For heavy cleaning, follow the instruction of contractor or you can use a pH cleaner which won’t damage the sealant. Avoid using abrasive acidic cleaners.
06. Cutting boards can also be installed directly into the countertop for a combination of functionality and design.
07. As per the design and size of your countertops, you can have a smooth and seamless concrete surface.
08. The concrete design is such that it blends well with both traditional and contemporary designs.
09. The surface of the concrete countertop can be beautified by adding embedded stones, glass chips and colourful marble, or tiles or embedded cutting boards. You can also add recycled glass, shells, and even fiber-optic lights. When you understand the basic construction process, you can play around to create some spectacular surface effects.
10. Well – maintained and sealed concrete countertops last for long and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
11. Homes with concrete countertops will increase the resale value of the home because they are considered to be premium countertop materials.You can see from above how advantageous concrete countertops are. Well, as we have only discussed the advantages and disadvantages here. But if you want to know some basics of concrete countertops then, read this article.
Apart from concrete countertops, we have also tried to give the best & honest review in the form of pros & cons of Corian Countertops. Have a look at it once before you make a decision for your kitchen countertops.
Now, let’s understand the disadvantages of using concrete countertops.
Cons of Concrete Countertops
01. They are costly as compared to granite, marble, or quartz countertops. The cost depends on various factors like size, shape, thickness, finish, colour as well as additional features like backsplashes, edge designs, inlays, or decorative aggregates. You can save money by using recycled materials and limiting customization.
02. Your expense can also go up as you need a skilled and experienced person to fix it for you.
03. If you are installing yourself, then you should have to be well prepared for working hard and long for its installation and finishing work.
04. It may get discoloured depending on the usage over a period of time.
05. Concrete shrinks when gets dry, leading to cracks and gaps. But cracks can be repaired.If you want to know why your concrete countertops get shrinkage cracks, then check out Gharpedia’s blog on shrinkage cracks.
06. Concrete is very heavy and it is necessary to add reinforcement materials to lighten the weight on the cabinetry supporting it.
07. Lightweight concrete material is also available in the market which is much lighter than regular concrete; however, they are less durable.
08. Concrete can get stained if it is not properly sealed with sealants.
09. Spills from countertops need to be wiped up immediately, especially if they are of acidic nature like lemon juice, vinegar, red wine, etc. Even a few minutes of exposure can cause stain on concrete countertops.
10. If you choose to have concrete countertops installed directly on site then you will have to deal with mess and dirt as concrete is messy, but a reliable concrete contractor will include cleaning services as part of the job.
11. Hairline cracks may occur in all concrete countertops. We cannot prevent them fully; but they can be minimized. Most of the time, the hairline cracks are hardly noticeable and some homeowners feel that they enhance the look of the counter. In extreme cases, when they become wider these cracks can cause severe damage to concrete countertops and break them completely. Keep in mind that this is rare and occurs only due to a bad concrete mix or bad installation. Wiping spills and avoiding direct heat and cutting will prevent hairline cracks.
12. Placing hot pans or pots on concrete countertop can damage the top surface and sealant.
13. Cutting with sharp knives directly onto the countertop can cause damage too.
14. The porous substance of concrete countertop can absorb liquids and lead to bacterial growth; hence it is important to seal the surface during installation with good quality sealants.
15. If you are in a rush, you should not go for concrete countertops, because custom countertop takes time to design, cast and cure. That could be a drawback.To sum it up, know that concrete is the most durable building material of home. If you install concrete countertops, you do not have to worry about replacing them for decades. If you do not like it after few years or you don’t like its style or just want a new look, it is not easy to remove concrete. It needs team of professionals to remove the concrete countertops without damaging the kitchen cabinets.
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