We see it all. Most of the time we are pushing the latest design trends with designers and architects. One in particular that gained some traction over the years is concrete countertops.

When designing a farmhouse, modern or industrial look, the concrete countertop gives a different look than traditional stone or granite. It’s easy to see why. It has a rustic earthy look and when paired with a concrete floor, it carries the same design elements throughout the space. Now that concrete countertops have been out there for years, are they a good alternative to granite and tile?

Concrete Counter Top
Kitchen Island Counter top

Concrete easily stains and scratches

One would think the same material found in sidewalks could withstand plenty of wear and tear, but concrete has flaws. Concrete is porous. It can absorb liquids and even bacterial growth, which is why it’s incredibly important to seal the surface upon installation. In theory, sealing will make your counters stain-, scratch- and heat-resistant.

But in reality, even sealed concrete, will show markings, especially spills like olive oil, red wine, juice, or coffee. Something as simple as water spots maybe hard to control.

Concrete Counters
Kitchen Concrete Counters

They require maintenance

You will want to reseal every one to three years. Avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbers that can damage the sealer. To prevent stains, use cutting boards and clean up messes quickly. Wax countertops monthly once sealed to prevent stains

Concrete does crack

Does the thought of a hairline fracture make you cringe? That’s a risk that comes along with concrete countertops, most commonly when poured in place rather than pre-cast. Of course, you can prevent cracks to a certain extent by adding fiber reinforcement, rebar and/or wire mesh. Still, cracks happen, whether because of pressure or the natural settling of the house.

Concrete Counter Top Crack
Concrete Counter Top Crack

They are a big investment

Both time and money. Concrete cures in 28 days. And while it might be a less expensive option than, say, Carrara marble, concrete isn’t necessarily a cheaper alternative. Pricing is dependent on either pre-cast or poured in place and your personalization. Concrete can be cast into any shape and pigmented, stained, or textured with all kinds of shades and finishes; you can even embed tiles, stones, etc. The average cost per square foot is $65 to $135.

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