Concrete kitchen countertops are yet another countertop material. The benefits of a concrete countertop are numerous as well as being an appealing countertop material. But there are some drawbacks and potential problems you need to know before buying one of these countertops.
Concrete kitchen countertops can be pigmented to any color imaginable. Fabricators often have samples available for free, or to purchase. Pictures of these tops will not give an accurate representation of the color depth and surface texture.
I highly recommend getting some samples and see how they will look in your kitchen. The lighting will change the colors sometimes, and it may not look like the color in the showroom. Multiple colors can be combined into the same top as well.
The construction of a concrete kitchen countertop is very important. It has to be reinforced with diamond lathe or concrete mesh, and with 3/8 reinforcing bar (rebar) around the sink and other openings. If proper reinforcing is not done the top will be susceptible to cracking. Cracks are very difficult to repair, if not impossible. Proper support is necessary to help minimize the risk of cracking.
If you're very ambitious you could try to make your own concrete tops but there are some things that you should know before attempting this project. Check out my DIY concrete countertops page to see if it's something you really want to try.
Hot pans should not be set onto these tops. Thermal shock is a big downfall of these tops. A trivet should be used. Concrete countertops are very durable but not indestructible.
Concrete kitchen countertops need to be sealed in order to resist stains. This needs to be done on a regular basis, once or twice a year in most cases. Which adds to the maintenance requirements. Sealing is not difficult and can be done by anyone.
Please note that concrete kitchen countertop sealers only minimize the risk of staining. Concrete is very porous and once a stain is set in the top it will be impossible to remove. Also there are other downfalls to sealers such as a possible color change and other use issues. Other use issues include susceptibility to heat and excessive moisture.
Any possible shape can be made. Not only shapes, but any size can be made. It's ability to be made into any shape, size, thickness, and color is a great benefit. No two concrete kitchen countertops will ever be the same due to the fact that each mold is unique, and that colors can never be matched perfectly.
You can even have drain boards molded right into the top. Backsplashes can also be molded right into the countertop to make a seamless transition and eliminate the worry of water getting behind the backsplash. But note that any right angle is a potential problem area for cracking. Minimizing extreme angles is your best bet to eliminate this.
Edge details are endless as well. Any casting profile can be made. A skilled fabricator can make any edge profile you can come up with, scribble it down on a piece of paper and bring it to the fabricator and see what they can do.
Not only can you get any color you desire but you can add interesting materials to the mix. Materials such as seashells, pebbles, marble chips, and glass. Doing this adds your own personalized touch. Adding seashells for example, going to the beach and collecting your own shells will add to the uniqueness and the story of your countertop. Just imagine telling people that you collected the shells and had a countertop specially made to showcase them.
The price of concrete kitchen countertops is not cheap, but comparable to other materials. The average cost is $65 to $125 per square foot for fabrication. The more complex the design, edge details, and color choice the more expensive it will be. These prices are for 1.5" thick countertops. And of course thicker tops cost more.
There are special materials and tools that are required to make a concrete countertop. These materials, but especially the tools, can be expensive.
The finishing alone requires a knowledgeable craftsman. Once the concrete dries it will require even more specialized tools to remove any mistakes made in the finishing process.
For the reasons stated above why concrete countertops cost so much to fabricate and install.