When many people think about concrete, they picture rough, colorless sidewalks, hardly the kind of material you would want for your counters or floors. Banish this image from your mind. Today’s concrete countertops and floors can be polished to a high shine; stained and stamped concrete can create just about any effect you can imagine. Concrete’s versatility makes it an increasingly popular choice in home remodeling today.
Countertops: Why select concrete for your countertops? The primary answer is versatility. Each concrete counter is unique, crafted specifically for your home, so you can specify any color, texture, and edge design that you can envision. The counters can be shaped into whatever shape you need; you are not limited by the constraints of the material and they can complement any kind of décor.
Stained and stamped concrete countertops can resemble a variety of materials, such as marble or granite, but are usually less expensive. Homeowners can also embed things into the concrete. Some kinds of concrete have small pieces of colored glass or stone embedded for a unique look with a sense of depth. On a more practical level, you can embed draining boards, cutting boards, and trivets into the countertop. Concrete can be shaped to include sinks, drawers, and other features as part of the counter. You even embed fiber optical cables so that the counter will literally light up.
Floors: Stained and stamped concrete can be made to resemble almost any flooring surface, including tile, stone pavers, flagstone, brick, slate, and even wood. The stamping is achieved when a tool is used on wet cement to create a textured surface. Concrete is cheaper than many of these flooring options and it is quick and easy to install. It is also more flexible in terms of design; you can shape it, color it, and position it in almost any way imaginable. Because it is porous, concrete readily absorbs color and you can stain it any color you want for an authentic resemblance to brick, stone, or other surfaces. Many concrete artisans use acid stains on the concrete which create a mottled effect that closely mimics the color variations found in many natural materials.
Durability: Many homeowners are concerned about concrete’s ability to withstand everyday living. Concrete is porous, but when sealed properly, it should be scratch and stain resistant, although experts recommend using a cutting board when chopping. It is very strong and not likely to chip or break. Hot items may damage the sealant on the concrete, so a new layer of sealant should be applied. Concrete floors are flood resistant; if a room floods, you only need to clean the floor, apply more wax, and you’re ready to go.
What do you like about your concrete floors or counters?