Concrete in the Kitchen: Countertopping and Flooring

From on April 15, 2008 in Kitchen Remodel

Just this weekend, I overheard two contractors discussing the different options for kitchens. One contractor was describing how one of his current clients had expressed her desire to break away from the commonly used granite countertops, and venture into the exciting new arena of concrete countertopping and floors. Concrete countertops are created either in controlled shops or directly on-site. In either method, the contractor builds molds and forms ahead of time, and then pours a mixture of cement, aggregates, and additives such as fiber reinforcement and acrylic. Some form of structural reinforcement is normally required as well: steel, wire mesh, and fiberglass are commonly used. After the concrete is cured, it is ground and sealed to give it a more finished appearance. Concrete flooring is made much the same way, and ground to a smooth perfection for an elegant, glassy appearance. The colors available vary by concrete contractor, but the cement can be colored through pigments, stains, or aggregates. You can even have your contractor create a custom design with multiple colors. Although these figures vary by region, concrete countertops and flooring begin at $65 per square foot, and that is typically uninstalled. The price varies greatly based upon the amount of detail and special features you include in the project, and how many hours of skilled craftsmanship is required. Structurally, concrete is very strong. However, it can develop hairline cracks, but many consider this part of its “imperfect appeal.” Normally, these cracks are not significant and won’t cause any problems. As long as the cement is properly sealed and protected (not setting hot pans or cutting upon it), you shouldn’t have a problem with staining. Concrete is a beautiful, new, and unique way to really set your kitchen apart. Get a jump on the future of contemporary kitchen design, and talk to your kitchen contractor about using concrete in your remodel.