When you think about remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, invariably you’ll need to consider which type of countertop you’ll install or have installed. There are many fabulous choices for countertops available; some common but sturdy, some not-so-ordinary. Everyone has heard of the usual suspects… granite, marble, laminate. But what if you desire not only a functional and beautiful countertop, but something that will stand out and spark conversation? That will be a focal point for your kitchen or bathroom? I suggest that you spend some time researching concrete countertops. That’s right, concrete. It’s not just for driveways and patios anymore. It may sound gray and, well, boring, but I think you’ll be amazed with what they can do with plain old concrete these days.
DIY, if you wish!
How many types of countertop materials can be created and installed by a motivated DIYer? A concrete countertop is one such project worthy of a seasoned weekend warrior. There are legions of concrete countertop tutorials out on the interwebs that will detain the process from measuring to creation to installation. Depending on which method/tutorial you choose, you’ll need things such as plywood or melamine, concrete mix, concrete color, rebar, trowels and various other tools, sealer or wax, sanding implements, etc. Don’t feel like doing it all yourself? There are even kits that can be purchased that will contain materials needed to create the forms and the correct amount and type of concrete to help you whip up the perfect countertop.
Shapes and colors, oh my.
Another beauty of concrete countertops is that they are amazingly customizable. Want a color other than regular gray? Check! Interested in a formed sink, or a double basin, or a unique configuration? It’s doable! For more intense shapes or ideas it may be best to leave the construction to the professionals, but using concrete as the material for your countertop gives you practically limitless possibilities.
Seal it. Then seal it again.
Since concrete is a porous material, it’s necessary to have your countertops well sealed. If they’re not properly sealed and maintained organic debris (read: food and drink) may penetrate the concrete to leave discolorations and odors. Gross. Multiple sessions of sealant and then clockwork maintenance sealing (possibly every 6 months or so) isn’t a bad idea. This regimen may seem strict, but it’s really not that different from the care instructions of other natural countertop materials.
Like any product there are pros and cons, so make sure and do your research and talk to some professionals if it’ll help you make a decision. If you go for it, you’ll get a stunning industrial feel for a fraction of the cost of real stone. Whether creating and installing yourself or hiring a company to create these masterpieces for you, do yourself a favor and give concrete countertops a try!