Concrete countertops are beautiful sculptural pieces of art that are also functional. Many people are attracted to their natural beauty and to the flexibility concrete offers to form any shape they want. But before you decide to tear out your old countertop and put in a concrete one, there are a few pros and cons you should know.
Why Concrete Countertops?
Many people like concrete because it is very moldable. You can shape it into anything and the masters of concrete make doing a concrete countertop look really easy. Compared to other material, if done by you, concrete can be very cost effective. The majority of the costs will go into the labor of forming and pouring the concrete. The actual cost of the concrete is very minimal compared to the cost of granite and marble. Concrete fits with many different styles of homes from contemporary and modern to rustic and ranch style.
There are many advantages to concrete over other materials. Besides the cost if you do it yourself, there is the ability to shape it into anything you want. You can have your countertop continue down and become a side of the cabinetry. It can extend up into the backsplash. It can curve and angle in any direction and shape you want as long as you are able to form it. With different dyes and stains, you can get it to match any color you want and look like natural honed stone or polished stone. Concrete is also a very durable material and will last a lifetime as long as you care for it properly .
While concrete countertops are attractive there are also some disadvantages. If you decide to have someone else do it, the cost is comparable to getting granite or marble, If you decide to do it yourself there is a lot of work in the installation of the formwork plus the finishing of the concrete. Some people see it as art form that takes years of experience to master. Concrete still needs to be maintained. It needs to be sealed and resealed over the years. Even the best sealers will not last a lifetime and resealing it will depend on how heavily you use the countertop. Plus concrete changes over time. Stains and use will change the look of it, so if you like it when it is first poured you might not like it six months later once it has fully cured and settled. Concrete countertops will shrink as they dry, and you will develop some hairline cracks along with the voids you probably got when you poured it. It is also very heavy, so you will need to reinforce you cabinetry or add in some foam to lighten the load.