Concrete Bathroom Countertops
When faced with choosing bathroom and kitchen countertops for our new home, we thought the only big decision was the obvious one: marble or granite? After all, the two big cheese countertops were everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Therein lied the problem - the wow factor of granite and marble had gradually turned into a yawn after seeing it in kitchen-after-kitchen remodel projects. I suppose when we started to notice marble countertops cropping up in the bathrooms of Mickey D’s and gas stations, the high-gloss sheen really started to loose its luster. When our contractor suggested he knew a guy who could build us “some sick cement countertops” for about the same price as granite or marble, our first thought was, “Why did we hire a 28 year-old contractor?” Our next though was, “concrete?!”
Admittedly, our images of concrete were limited to patios, driveways and underground bunkers, so it was hard to make the leap from the grandeur of granite and marvel of marble to the concept of concrete. Visions of lumbering cement trucks discharging their flowing cargo through a bathroom window filled our imaginations. After an eye-popping Google image search of “Concrete Counter Tops,” we decided to make the concrete leap and you know what? “Those are some sick concrete counter tops!”
An ironic advantage of concrete countertops is their flexibility. Concrete can incorporate odd counter shapes and custom functional features into the pre-cast fabrication phase. You can have built-in drain boards, butcher blocks, and integral sinks, making concrete a truly custom countertop experience.
Concrete Creation Basics:
- Concrete contractors will either pre-cast the countertops at their shop and haul them to the site, or they pour, mold and build the countertops on-site.
- Methods vary from contractor to contractor, but in-shop or on-site construction is based on the complexity of design, such as radius edges or curved corners, but also the contractor’s preferred method, which means his way or the concrete highway.
- It’s not just straight concrete that makes up these countertops. To reinforce its structural integrity, an intricate mixture of lightweight aggregates, acrylic, rebar, wire mesh and fiberglass are used in various combinations.
- As far as the surface goes, all concrete countertops are cured and sealed, but you can go as rough and rustic as you want with concrete stamps and brush patterns. That even includes inlaid objects, such as colored glass or old coins. We went with the smoothed, polished look, where the contractor grinds down the surface “skin” of the concrete with diamond polishing stones and then coats with multiple layers of epoxy sealers, giving it a high sheen or flat, buffed look.
- Colors are not just limited to gray and grayer; dyes used during the concrete fabrication process provide a rich pallet of colors for you to select from, as well as the degree of color or stain you want to blend into the natural shade of the concrete.
- And finally, a warning: Concrete countertops are a specialized field and probably shouldn’t be entrusted to the weekend DIYer or even the buddy who lays concrete for a living. Find a and check out their portfolio and references before you make that big leap to concrete.
When choosing new bathroom countertops, you might think the only big decision is an obvious one: marble or granite? However, concrete is slowly making gains as a popular countertop material due to its durability and wide range of style and design options. Here is some more information.
On average, concrete countertops cost between $70 and $100 per square foot for professional installation. Stain-resistant concrete is more expensive at about $85-$175 per square foot. Get a price quote for more specific estimates.
Concrete countertops can be made in all kinds of beautiful shapes and colors.
They are heat- and scratch-resistant.
Concrete is a unique material that stands apart from the common granite countertops.
May crack under certain conditions.
Some homeowners don’t like the industrial look of concrete.
Concrete countertops can be complicated to install and shouldn’t be completed as a DIY project.
Concrete is considered one of the most durable countertop materials available. With the proper sealants and regular cleaning, your countertops should last the lifetime of your home.
Concrete countertops are relatively easy to maintain as long as they are sealed upon installation and periodically after the fact. When it comes to cleaning, use non-abrasive soaps that won’t harm the countertop finish. Also avoid using harsh pads or sponges that can scratch the surface.
Common Questions and Answers
Are concrete countertops built on site?
That depends. Some concrete contractors will either pre-cast the countertops at their shop and haul them to the site, or pour, mold, and build the countertops on-site. Methods vary from contractor to contractor, but in-shop construction is based on the co
What designs and styles are available for concrete countertops?
All concrete countertops are cured and sealed, but you can go as rough and rustic as you want with concrete stamps and brush patterns. That even includes inlaid objects, such as colored glass or old coins.
You can also opt for the smoothed, pol
HistoryThe first concrete countertop was created by Buddy Rhodes in the mid 1980s. It has since become a popular material due to its durability and customization options available.
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