Compare Pros and Cons of Concrete Countertops
Are you sick of seeing granite countertops in every home? Are you looking to design a kitchen or bathroom that is anything but cookie cutter? If so, concrete might just be the perfect material for your new countertops.
Concrete countertops are pre-made in a factory, but most of the time they are individually cast in molds designed to each customer’s specifications. This means you will rarely see two identical concrete countertops.
Concrete countertops resemble natural stone, but with a more modern look. Originally popular primarily in ultra-modern and urban settings, concrete counters have greatly increased in popularity over the last few years. They’re the new ‘in’ product.
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Cost of Concrete Countertops
Concrete countertops start at about $65 to $85 per square foot, not including installation. Highly-customized concrete countertops can run $130 or more per square foot. On average, budget around $100 per square foot.
Installation costs vary based on the experience of your installer, the size of your countertops and geographic location. Generally, expect to pay about $40 to $50 per hour.
Concrete Countertop Pros
- Many design options - The color options are nearly endless with concrete. The countertops can be integrated with any color, stain or both. Concrete can also be cast in just about any shape or size, and the countertops can be personalized by embedding items such as recycled glass and stones.
- Minimal seaming - Large concrete countertops do have seams, but the appearance of those seams can be minimized by using a seam filler. With a filler, seams will be almost impossible to see.
- Durable - Concrete countertops are extremely strong and durable. They can last forever.
- Unique look - Concrete isn’t a countertop material you see every day. Your kitchen will stand out as having a unique, fresh appearance. Concrete also has the tendency to become more attractive over time - eventually, the countertops will develop a patina, which adds warm color and character to the material.
- Eco-friendly - Concrete countertops can be very eco-friendly, if you buy from the right company. Do your homework to find out whether the materials used contain toxins, or if the manufacturing process leaves behind a lot of waste. Concrete counters are completely recyclable, too.
Concrete Countertop Cons
- Requires sealing - Concrete is a porous material that is susceptible to stains if left in its natural state. Concrete countertops require sealing to make them resistant to stains and water damage.
- Sensitive to heat - Left in its natural state, concrete is very heat resistant. However, concrete sealant makes the surface vulnerable to damage or discoloration from heat or hot pans. Because concrete countertops always need to be sealed, all are sensitive to heat.
- Expensive - Concrete countertops are not cheap. In some cases, you can spend the same as if you opted for a high-end material like granite.
- Prone to cracking - Cracking is always a concern with concrete. Modern concrete counters are strengthened with materials such as wire mesh or fiberglass to help prevent cracking, but the risk is never eliminated entirely.