Concrete countertops are prone to cracking because they are made of sand, water, and cement composites that are less durable than solid surface and natural stone countertops. By nature, concrete composites are stable and durable. However, if the wrong mixture of concrete is used to make countertops, it can cause hairline fractures or bigger cracks on the surface.|
Hairline fractures are small fissures found on the surface of concrete countertops. Most of the time, these small fractures are hardly noticeable and do not affect the overall structure of the countertops. However, over the extended use of concrete countertops, hairline fractures can go deeper and cause bigger cracks. In extreme cases, the cracks can cause severe damage to concrete countertops and break them completely.
The exposure to different elements like heat, moisture, and pressure can also cause concrete countertops to crack, but making the correct concrete mixture coupled with regular maintenance can prevent it from happening.
How to prevent concrete countertops from cracking
- Seal concrete countertops regularly. Just like natural stone surfaces, concrete countertops have porous surfaces. Over time, moisture can build up within the microscopic holes in the concrete and soften the countertop from the inside out. To prevent this from happening, professional countertop builders preseal your countertop as soon as it has been constructed and installed in your home. However, this seal can fade after a while.
- To prevent moisture buildup, seal your concrete countertop with a wax or clear epoxy substance. These sealants are sold by most countertop manufacturers and resellers. Seal your concrete countertop once a year or as often as you use it. The seal can also protect your concrete countertop from stains and help it retain its natural smoothness.
- Do not expose concrete countertops to extreme temperatures. Concrete countertops can withstand high temperatures from hot pots and pans. However, placing them directly on the surface of your concrete countertop can leave burn marks and cause hairline fractures. To avoid this, use protective pads or trivets that you can place on the countertop surface before placing hot pans over it. The pads absorb the heat and prevent your concrete countertops from cracking.
- Avoid hitting your concrete countertops. Accidentally striking your concrete countertop with hard or sharp objects like knives can cause cracks. If you strike the edges of your countertop, cracks can easily form there and chip a bit of the concrete at the same time.
- Use the correct concrete countertop mixture. Using a cement mixture that is made of unequal amounts of water, sand, and cement can cause your countertop to contract, shrink, and eventually crack over time. To avoid this, use premade cement mixes that can be readily bought from concrete manufactures and resellers. They eliminate the complex process of mixing cement on your own since they are ready to pour into the molds.
- For do-it-yourself builders who want to mix their own cement, observe the proper amounts of substances to use in your mixture. Information on how to create your own concrete countertop mixture is readily available from your trusted builder or reseller.