If you’re considering a countertop upgrade, concrete might not be the first material that comes to mind, but it’s gaining popularity for good reasons. In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of concrete countertops, their costs, maintenance, design options, installation, lifespan, and more. Let’s dive into the world of concrete countertops!
The Pros of Concrete Countertops
- Versatile: Concrete countertops can be stained in various colors and customized with embedded items like glass and stones. You can even mold them to fit your kitchen’s specific needs and create unique veining or live edge designs.
- Long-lasting: With routine maintenance, including annual sealing and waxing, concrete countertops can last a lifetime.
- Premium Surface: Many homeowners consider concrete countertops a premium kitchen surface, and they can potentially increase your home’s value.
The Cons of Concrete Countertops
- Expensive: Contrary to expectations, concrete countertops can sound costly, with prices ranging from $80 to $150 per square foot on average. Additionally, professional installation can add to the expense. However, this is included in professional quotes. In the long round, with proper care, concrete countertops are a good investment for your house.
- Prone to Damage: Like other stone surfaces, concrete countertops can chip, crack, and sustain scratches. They are also porous and can stain or harbor bacteria if not properly sealed. That’s why you should choose a professional with experience in order to avoid beginners’ mistakes.
- Heavy: If not properly installed, concrete countertops can stress cabinets and floors, requiring additional support.
Concrete Countertops Cost
- On the low end, basic concrete countertops with straight edges and no custom finishes cost between $80 and $110 per square foot.
- The average cost, including integral or seeded aggregates, custom shapes, and more color options, is $100 to $150 per square foot.
- Premium concrete countertops can cost $150 or more per square foot, offering customization in terms of thickness, shape, color, casting techniques, and special aggregate designs.
- DIY installation is possible but challenging, with costs averaging around $1,000 for a medium-sized kitchen.
If you choose to work with us, our cost per square foot is about $90-$95. You can contact us to tell us about your project so we can give you a free estimate.
Concrete Countertop Maintenance and Care
Like other stone countertops, concrete surfaces require regular maintenance. This includes sealing upon installation and annual resealing. Spills should be promptly wiped to prevent stains.
Concrete Countertop Design Options
Concrete countertops offer limitless design possibilities. They can complement various kitchen styles, from farmhouse to modern. Homeowners can customize them with various colors and embedded features like drainboards and trivets.
Concrete Countertop Installation
DIY installation is a lengthy process, requiring a 28-day curing period, precise planning, and cutouts for sinks and faucets. The heavyweight of concrete also necessitates proper support.
Professional installers may pour concrete on-site or use preformed slabs. Sealing and waxing are essential steps, and additional support may be required.
To avoid disturbing life at home, what we do is take measurements of your kitchen and prepare all the pieces in our workshop. This way we only interfere on the day of installation.
Concrete Countertop Lifespan
When properly maintained, concrete countertops can last a lifetime. Regular sealing, waxing, and quick spill cleanup are essential for their longevity.
Concrete vs. Other Countertop Materials
Here’s how concrete compares to other countertop materials like granite and quartz:
- Heat Resistance: Concrete is heat-resistant, but hot pots or pans should be avoided on sealed surfaces to prevent damage or discoloration.
- Cost: The cost of concrete countertops varies based on customization and materials.
- Sealing: Concrete, in its natural state, is porous and may stain. Applying a surface sealer makes it water and stain-resistant.
- Stain Resistance: A good sealer can protect concrete countertops from wine, mustard, oil, and other stains.
- Color Options: Concrete offers endless color options through integral color, staining, or a combination, allowing coordination with room colors.
- Custom Shapes: Concrete can be cast in any shape and size.
- Seams and Grout Lines: Large concrete countertops may have seams, but these can be minimized with color-matched fillers.
- Edge Details: Contractors can create custom edge forms to replicate any design using molding products.
- Inserts and Inlays: Concrete countertops can be personalized with unique embedded items like pebbles, recycled glass, and seashells.
- Aging Gracefully: Concrete is not static and develops character over time, acquiring a warm patina.
Top Concrete Brands
If you’re considering concrete countertops, some reputable brands include QUIKRETE’s Countertop Mix and others like Encounter, Versatile Building Products, Concrete Countertop Solutions, V-Seal, and Kingdom Products.
Concrete Countertop Installation – The Pros of Professional Service
While some individuals may consider DIY installation for concrete countertops, it’s crucial to be aware of the challenges this option entails. DIY concrete countertop creation is a time-consuming process, and it requires a 28-day curing period before installation. Moreover, precise planning is necessary, including the creation of cutouts for sinks and faucets.
Concrete itself is quite heavy, weighing around 19 to 25 pounds per square foot, making it challenging to move and install. Handling the weight of concrete countertops can be cumbersome and may lead to unforeseen complications during installation.
In contrast, choosing a professional service for your concrete countertop project offers several advantages.
- Expertise: Professional installers have the knowledge and experience to ensure a flawless installation, minimizing the risk of structural issues and other complications.
- Efficiency: Professionals can efficiently handle the entire process, from taking precise measurements to crafting the countertops in their workshop. This not only saves you time but also guarantees a high level of precision.
- Quality Assurance: With experts at the helm, you can expect a high-quality, durable concrete countertop that will stand the test of time.
- Support: Concrete countertops often require additional support to bear their weight, and professionals can ensure that this is properly addressed.
Concrete countertops are a fantastic choice, offering unique designs and versatility. While they have their maintenance requirements and can be expensive, they are an excellent addition to various kitchen styles. If you decide on concrete, plan carefully and consider hiring a professional for installation.
10 Common Questions About Choosing Concrete Countertops
1. Why should I choose concrete countertops for my kitchen? Concrete countertops are versatile, long-lasting, and can enhance your kitchen’s aesthetics. They offer customization and unique design options.
2. Are concrete countertops expensive? Yes and no. Concrete countertops can be costly, with prices ranging from $80 to $150 per square foot on average. But, in the long round, with proper care, concrete countertops are a good investment for your house that can last a lifetime.
3. How do I maintain concrete countertops? Routine maintenance, including annual sealing and waxing, is essential. Promptly clean up spills to prevent stains.
4. Can I install concrete countertops on my own? While DIY installation is possible, it’s challenging and time-consuming. Professional installation is recommended for best results.
5. What design options do concrete countertops offer? Concrete countertops have limitless design possibilities. You can choose colors, shapes, and even embed unique features.
6. Do concrete countertops last a long time? Concrete countertops can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
7. How do concrete countertops compare to other materials like granite and quartz? Concrete countertops offer unique advantages, such as custom shapes and endless color options. However, they may require more maintenance. Once-a-year maintenance is enough to keep a great look on your concrete countertops.
8. What are the top concrete brands for countertops? Reputable brands include QUIKRETE’s Countertop Mix and others like Encounter, Versatile Building Products, Concrete Countertop Solutions, V-Seal, and Kingdom Products.
9. How can I ensure my concrete countertops look their best as they age? Concrete countertops can develop a warm patina over time, giving them a unique and appealing appearance.
10. Should I hire a professional for concrete countertop installation? Professional installation is recommended for ensuring a successful and long-lasting result, especially when dealing with the heavy weight of concrete.
If you have any more questions or need assistance with your concrete countertops, feel free to reach out to us at Concrete Concepts & Designs, your trusted custom countertop contractor in San Francisco Bay. We’re here to help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams!