Concrete is one of the oldest man-made building materials. It has been used to create magnificent structures capable of lasting thousands of years. Concrete has long been the go-to material for foundations, sidewalks, paths, and even roads, but does that durability hold true when bringing concrete indoors for use as countertops?
In short, yes but there are some caveats. All of the properties that make concrete such a popular building material make it just as durable when used for countertops. However, just because concrete countertops are durable does not mean that they are completely maintenance free.
The biggest draw of concrete countertops is that there is almost no limit to the amount of customization consumers can get in terms of color, shape, and appearance. This sets concrete apart from granite, which is the other most popular countertop material. Because no two concrete countertops are exactly the same, there isn’t a universally agreed best way to care for them. If you decide to go with a concrete countertop, you’ll need to figure out the best way to maintain it.
Your concrete contractor should be able to give you maintenance tips and recommendations that are specifically suited to your unique countertop. Most importantly, they should be able to recommend a good sealer.
Concrete Countertops and Stains
Concrete is a porous material. That means that it has tiny, little holes through which water and other liquids can enter. Have you ever noticed how concrete sidewalks and driveways will still look wet even after it has stopped raining? That’s because of the porous nature of concrete as it takes longer for water in these small holes to evaporate. The use of sealers will help to keep water and other liquids from ever entering the concrete matrix and will help to prevent staining. However, you should make sure to clean up spills quickly and promptly – especially when they are acidic liquids like orange juice.
When concrete countertops first started becoming popular, a lot of people had problems finding the right sealer for their countertop. This caused a lot of issues and turned many people off from concrete countertops altogether. Fortunately, concrete sealer technology has advanced by large amounts over the last few years. Ask your concrete contractor for their recommendation on the best sealer to be used for your countertop.
Do Concrete Countertops Scratch Easily?
Cutting directly on a concrete countertop can cause damage depending on the sealer you choose to use. Some sealers can be damaged by cuts and deep scratches which can, in turn, allow stains to penetrate your countertop.
Even if your sealer allows for cutting without compromising the integrity of your concrete, it is probably still not the best idea. Concrete is made of stone which can easily dull or outright ruin knives that are used on it, so prioritize the use of a cutting board.
Concrete countertops are an innovative new way to use one of the most robust building materials ever made. If you still have questions regarding the durability and functionality of these countertops, give the expert concrete contractors at RGS Contracting a call!