If you want to completely remodel your kitchen, then you have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to counters, cabinets, and flooring materials. If you want a modern kitchen, then you may consider a more unique counter material. Concrete is one of these materials, and it is one of the cheapest types of countertops you can pick from. While this is true, there are some drawbacks to the counters. Keep reading to learn what they are and also how you can overcome the challenges.
Ability To Stain
If you have ever had a concrete driveway or if you have spilled oil on your garage floor, then you likely know that concrete can stain. Concrete is an extremely porous material. This means that it sucks up things like cooking grease, olive oil, tomato sauce, and a variety of other spills. Not only can some of these materials cause discoloration, but acidic substances like tomato, orange, and lemon juice can cause the concrete to breakdown. This has a lot to do with the basic makeup of the concrete and the lime that is held in the material.
Since concrete is porous, you will need to work with your remodeling contractor to have your countertops sealed at soon as the concrete is installed. Epoxy sealers offer the most coverage and help to fill in concrete pours so that staining and acidic degradation issues are reduced significantly. If an epoxy sealer is applied, you should have a sealer reapplied. Resealing timeframes vary depending on how heavily the counters are used. However, you should have the counters examined at least once every year or two to make sure the sealer is holding up well.
You should understand that the initial curing period of the sealer is about 28 days if a high-end epoxy is used. You may need to use your counters gently when the sealer is first applied or when a resealing is completed.
Appearance Of Grout Lines
Concrete countertops are typically created offsite and then installed in your home. This means that large rectangular pieces will be set together and seams will be filled with a grout material. While this is acceptable for many homeowners, the appearance of the seam can interrupt the solid and smooth appearance of the counters.
If the seams are a problem for you, then you can ask your remodeling contractor to secure a filler material in the seams of the concrete instead of a more beige colored grout material. The filler can be created to match the tone of the concrete exactly.
You also have the option of having the concrete counters poured onsite. This is a good idea if you want a unique shape or if you desire thinner concrete counters. Thin concrete counters will not be as strong as thicker ones. Pouring the concrete onsite can help to increase strength by allowing the concrete to cure undisturbed over the course of several months after pouring. Click for more info.