Why Concrete For Counter Tops?
If you want something totally unique and durable enough to last a lifetime then concrete may be what you are looking for.
Concrete is an ordinary material with extraordinary possibilities. Unique and distinctive results come from the availability of endless possibilities for shapes, colors, textures and profiles. Because it starts as a liquid poured into mold there is no end to the shapes attainable. Choose from sharp angular contrasts to smooth graceful curves blending in to the kitchenscape. Flat and level work surfaces can blend seamlessly into a gentle slope that drains naturally into the sink.
Color choices are almost as endless. These are custom mixed to compliment the surrounding décor or stand out as the work of art it is. It is naturally gray and beautiful in its own right but the color array that can be added includes a wide variety of earth tones or reds, greens, blues, even white.
The most common texture of course is smooth. We can polish it to achieve a remarkable smoothness that is soft to the touch. Indeed, once touched it’s hard to not stroke it again. Visual texture is added by grinding to expose some of the gravels contained in the concrete or adding materials such as recycled glass, marble chips, aquarium stones, etc. Various items can be embedded in the surface for even more design flexibility. Sea shells, creek bed stones, skeleton keys, pottery shards, the list is endless.
Inlays and Customizations
Inlays can also be as useful as they are beautiful. A raised trivet next to the cook top for a hot pan for example. Set in brass rails level with the counter while the concrete slopes toward the under mount sink for drainage. Removable cutting board inlays protect the surface in the most used areas.
Profiles allow you to keep the main surface of the counter flat and level for utility purposes and use the edges for design elements. The front edge can be plain and straight, slightly angled, bull nose or quarter round. How about matching the edges to your crown molding or rope molding? Classic French or Italian themes? And not just the front edge, but the backsplash area can be just as decorative.
Raw concrete is porous and must be sealed. The sealant of choice will depend on the end use. The simplest is paste wax rubbed into the surface and polished for sheen. This would work well for a decorative piece such as a table top or mantle, but probably not as well in the kitchen because it has to be reapplied regularly and offers little stain protection. A clear epoxy will offer greater durability with less maintenance and longevity. This will provide an easy to clean surface that resist stains while feeling soft and smooth to the touch.
So the answer is a durable and beautiful surface with unlimited flexibility in design, color and texture for a truly unique expression in your kitchen. That’s why concrete is a great choice for counter tops.