Concrete countertops are a custom product, designed by artisans. Concrete is often compared to mainstream materials such as granite and marble. Concrete is a craft product, hand-created, and unique to each customer. Concrete countertops are typically installed in high-end custom homes, restaurants, retail spaces and offices.
Concrete counter tops are a green product and made with materials that can give you LEED points.
The cost of a concrete countertop, is generated by the time, materials and creativity of the artisan constructing the special details, unique designs, transportation, and installation.. Concrete counter tops are typically specified by architects, designers and homeowners that want a completely one-of-a-kind product.
General overview of how concrete counter tops compare in pricing to other counter top materials:
Average cost per square foot:
For high end
Granite/Marble $85 - $200
Synthetic Solid Surface $85 - $150
Tile $10 - $90
Laminate $25 - $50
Engineered Quartz $85 - $200
Concrete $80 - $135
Here are a few items that add to the cost of concrete counter tops:
- Irregular or curved shapes
- 2"+ thick concrete
- Integral sinks, drain boards, cutting boards, and decorative aggregates
- Custom Edges
- Back splashes
Concrete Colors, Edges, Embeds and Inserts:
One of concrete countertops most appealing attributes is that it can be custom-colored. Countertops can be blended and modified to get a hue specific to your liking. This makes the color palette nearly limitless! Some of the most popular colors are warm browns, and clean grays. Some homeowners take this attribute to the next level and create very unique custom colors. Some modern homes feature electric blue concrete countertops, wine-colored burgundy kitchen counter tops, or green islands.
Adding an edge detail to your concrete countertop can be the difference between having a modern-looking countertop to having an old-world looking countertop. Edge details give a countertop a nice finished look and offer numerous design options.
What is a countertop embed or inlay? An embed or inlay is an object that is cast into the surface of the counter top or furnishing. Concrete counter tops can be modified and personalized with an inlay, an object such as a rock, piece of iron, sea shell, custom logo or other decorative item. Other items that can be either inlay-ed or embedded are pieces of broken glass, tiles, metal, and family heirlooms. Adding objects opens the door to creativity and adds an extra touch of personalization.
Inserts are small stones or other materials that are mixed throughout the concrete to add interest to a countertop. Often referred to as decorative aggregate, such as colored rock, various semi-precious stones, and glass that can be added to the concrete mix before casting a countertop. When the countertop is then polished, the aggregate is exposed.
Fiber optics can also be embedded in concrete counter tops! Their unique lighting makes for a great one-of-a-kind piece.
WET CAST VS. GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)
Wet cast concrete is a custom concrete mix that is mixed in a mixer and then poured/cast in the form usually with some type of metal reinforcement. Wet cast is limited in its size as large pieces can be extremely heavy and require more seams in the countertop.
GFRC is a custom mix of concrete that is sprayed into the form and reinforced with glass fiber infused concrete to form backing layers. This allows for lighter and larger pieces with far less seams and the ability to achieve a 3/4 inch minimum thickness. This process is ideal for countertops, shower wall panels, tiles, and furnishings both indoor and out.
We specialize in both methods and will discuss and work with you for what will be the best option for your project.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Concrete Countertop Stain Resistance
The most important factor to understand about concrete countertops is the stain resistance and type of sealer used. Any unsealed, natural state of concrete will stain because concrete is porous. In order for concrete to be used as a countertop material, it must be sealed. Just like granite, marble, or other man-made/synthetic stone. Concrete countertops are not a guaranteed non-staining surface. The concrete itself is virtually indestructible, but staining occurs when the sealer is compromised. The good news is that we seal our countertops with a sealer that is virtually impermeable and creates a surface that is highly tolerant and resistant to staining available in matte, semi gloss, and gloss. With a few precautions, concrete can be one of the most durable surfaces for counter tops.
Concrete Countertop Heat Resistance
A common question posed about concrete countertops is if they can withstand heat. Overall, a concrete countertop is a durable, tolerant material and is very heat resistant, but the concern is damaging or discoloring the sealer. As a general rule, it is best to avoid placing hot pans on countertops, however the sealer we use can withstand hot pans and bake ware of 350-400 degrees upon initial curing and slightly higher temps upon full cure. Using trivets of stainless steel, brass or copper are the best way to avoid damage to your sealer. Another one of concrete's versatile features is that you can embed a trivet(s) directly into the countertop, providing an easy access place for setting hot pans without the worry of doing any damage. You can also use hot plates or a hot pad on the counter, but embedded trivets are a unique and functional design option.
Concrete Countertop Scratch Resistance
“Will my concrete countertop scratch?” – A common question is whether or not you can cut on a concrete countertop or will it scratch. Cutting on a concrete countertop won't hurt the concrete, but it can damage the sealer. This can affect the sealer's ability to keep out water and stains. Because concrete countertops are a popular surface for kitchens and food prep areas, it's a reasonable question to ask. Just like Granite or Marble cutting boards should always be used when chopping or preparing foods. One creative option is to embed cutting boards into the concrete surface. We can devise embeds for removable cutting surfaces that protect the countertop, and still provide functionality to the food prep area.
The sealer we use is very scratch and abrasive resistant.
If the sealer is ever compromised due to cutting/scratches it can always be fixed or repaired.
Do Concrete Countertops Crack?
Concrete countertops have made leaps and bounds over recent years with advanced mix designs and additives. Minuscule, or what are referred to as hairline cracks, sometimes can develop. They rarely occur with our mix design, the cracks are non-structural and are a result of the natural shrinkage/drying of the concrete. These are the most common type which are very small and relatively short. In fact, more often, they are viewed as inherent characteristics of the concrete and not as flaws. The possibilities of hairline cracks may be inevitable, but it's certainly not a reason to avoid concrete countertops. With some concrete countertop designs, it is these cracks specifically that are desired for creating a rich, worn-in appeal to the surface. It's realistic to expect the cracks, but, also keep in mind, that any unwanted minor cracks can be repaired and/or disguised.
OUR COUNTERTOPS WILL NEVER CRACK LIKE A SIDEWALK, DRIVEWAY OR FLOOR WOULD/CAN.
Cleaning and Maintaining Concrete Countertops
Concrete countertops are really no different than any other type of countertop surface when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. A mild soap and warm water is recommended for daily cleaning. It is best to avoid using abrasive soaps, pads, or cleansers directly on the countertop, which could scratch or mar the countertop sealer.
Remember granite, marble, and man-made/synthetic products you pick out, CONCRETE you CREATE!
We look forward to working with you