Concrete countertops are made of natural looking materials that can imitate the look and texture of natural stones such as granite, marble, and limestone. They can go well with other natural materials such as wood and brick. Concrete countertops can give any kitchen a warm or a cold effect depending on the coating, chemical stains, coloring pigments, and various aggregates that are applied on the surface. Concrete is a popular material for countertops, but it can be quite expensive. Casting concrete into natural-looking countertops requires a lot of skill, special ingredients, mixes, and technology. What you get in the end is a beautiful and durable concrete countertop that is easy to maintain.|
Some of the popular finishes used for concrete countertops are veined, steel trowel, and terrazzo finishes. Veined concrete countertops imitate the look and feel of marble. The surface is infused with a pigment before a grinding disk is moved across the concrete slab to create a marble-like pattern. It is coated with a shiny finish that makes the surface smooth enough to roll bread on. Concrete countertops with a steel trowel finish is usually a monochromatic surface that imitates the look and feel of steel. The surface features a impressive trowel marks and subtle variations of light and dark shades. It has a smooth surface akin to an Italian plastered wall. Concrete countertops with a terrazzo finish has a smooth surface with marble chips and glass embedded on the background that creates a two-toned mottled effect.
Most concrete countertops are cast in the shop so that the lines and edges can be formed accurately, and they can be cast, cured, and sealed under controlled conditions for superior quality and outcome. Each concrete slab is hand cast so no two slabs are identical. The concrete slabs have slight variations in color and texture that some people believe contribute to their beauty and uniqueness. Concrete can be molded into any shape since it is in liquid form before it is cast.
Concrete countertops can be dyed into almost any imaginable color. They are colored with special concrete dyes that do not fade or discolor overtime. They can have all the shades of one color because the surface can absorb dyes effectively. However, their color can also depend on the concrete mixture and the manufacturer. Some manufacturers can have an extensive color palette while others can only offer a limited color selection.
Concrete countertops are heavy. They can weigh 16 pounds to 23 pounds per square foot. Their heavy weight is the reason why manufacturers rarely cast concrete slabs that are more than 10 feet in height. Concrete slabs are usually made with a thickness of one and a half inches or two inches.