Concrete Countertops FAQs from All Around the World
Each time the house owners start remaking their kitchen, they decide whether to make DIY concrete countertops or order one online. In any case, there a lot of questions appear. That is why here in this article we tried to find the most frequently asked questions and answers to them. Shall we start?
· Can I choose the color of concrete countertops?
There is a possibility to choose color for concrete countertops from the color gamma that will look ideally for every countertop product. Each customer can make their choice of the most alike color to the sample. Well, there can be the slightest difference, though. Each product is one-of-a-kind in its own way, with its own slight variation of color, as concrete setting is a chemical process, and lots of factors may affect chemical reaction, like temperature, humidity, composition and proportion of concrete components.
· What is the size of countertops?
Concrete countertops may be of any size. To make sure of it see Concrete Countertop Solutions to find out more information and see pictures of concrete countertops samples. A monolith countertop may have a surface square up to 3 sq.m. and in some exclusive cases even more.
What is the minimal width of the concrete countertops?
The minimal width of a countertop is 23 mm, but various decorative elements may be even thinner; everything depends on the purpose and loading.
· What is the difference of modern concrete from that old one?
When you hear “concrete”, you immediately imagine a boring grey material, which is tough and not attractive. Up to now it really was so. However, with the development of modern technologies concrete has become a unique material that can make your, designer and architects’ bravest ideas come true. Modern concrete is highly durable: not only for pressing, but for bending as well. Minimal water absorbance allows using it in extreme conditions. Concrete countertops of some companies get their durability (for 80%) not during some weeks, but just for some days, and this lets increase productivity in several times.
· How is it necessary to care for concrete countertops?
While exploitation, concrete countertops require the same care as the countertops made of natural stone. What should be avoided when using concrete countertops:
- sponges with tough bottom
- cleaning agents, containing abrasive particles
- aggressive chemicals, which with time can damage protecting coating
It is recommended to use non-abrasive soft cleaning agents, not including acetic and citric acid.
· What is the width of countertops?
In most cases, concrete countertops are 25 – 40 mm wide. Such width gives countertops a feeling of massiveness and differs them from their standard size of 15 mm of other countertops made of some other materials. Such width (30 – 50 mm) allows making built-in drainage for sinks and built-in chopping boards if a client wants to have such. Front edge of concrete countertops with the size from 70 mm and more, may be included into design for making a product look more massive, but without additional weight.
· Will there be attachment seams on the concrete countertop?
Depending on the general length and configuration, the countertop can be either monolith or composite and have attachment seams. Acceptable width of joints is 3 mm. Such joint is filled with cement of the same color. After, all attachment seams are treated thoroughly and look seamless in the project.
· Doesn’t concrete have disposition towards cracks?
Well, yes and no. Concrete is lively material, and it gets its durability with years. With time, on the surface microcracks may appear on the surface. These internal processes are hard to control. Microcracks are not a product failure, and don’t influence the product functionality. Structural cracks appear as a result of incorrect choice of material content, or because of mistakes during product reinforcement.
It’s very important to differ structural cracks and crazes. If you buy a ready-made concrete countertop, require guarantee from the contractor that the countertop is of high quality and won’t crack into two parts. Anyway, concrete is disposed to shrinkage during setting and there is the possibility of crazes appearing, but that doesn’t happen often.
· How to avoid appearing of stains on the surface?
Household contamination won’t change the product appearance at once, but one should not forget about well-timed care for cement countertops. You should avoid contacting of the surface with acetic and citric acids, other aggressive chemicals or solvents that may lead to the sealer damage. Well-timed cleaning and care for concrete countertops will help to keep them pristine. After particular period the protective cover may be renewed.
· Is reinforcement necessary?
More and more concrete countertops are made with disperse reinforcement of fiber, which adds the product extreme durability, but together with that lowers the weight of the countertop. And – predicting your next question – we may say in advance that fiberglass won’t be seen on the surface. The concrete with fiber in it is located in the inner part of the countertop and absolutely do not appear on the surface.
· Isn’t concrete surface porous?
All concrete products are impregnated. Impregnation works in two directions – it is absorbed into concrete and fills pores, then the setting of concrete takes place and only the thin layer is left on the surface. As a result, there is a water resistant and contamination-proof cover, but the texture and color of concrete product stay unchanged.
· May one put hot pan or pots on the concrete countertop?
We recommend using trivets for hot things to provide longer exploitation of the countertops. Short-time thermal influence on the product surface won’t change its look immediately, but may lead to appearance of dark spots or whitenings, early wear and tear of the protective layer. Lacquered surfaces may demand some renovation.
· Are there scratches left on the surface?
Gradual wear of the surface is a natural process, its wear-off completely depends on the exploitation conditions. One shouldn’t cut food directly on the countertop – it may lead to early wear-off of the protective coating. Our recommendation is to use cutting boards. Small scratches can be repaired. Notwithstanding concrete durability, it’s better avoid falling of heavy sharp objects on the edges and rims of the product. In some particular conditions, cosmetic defects (stains, chips) can be also eliminated by professional specialists.
· Is concrete heavy?
A standard concrete is a heavy material, but one can use disperse-reinforced concrete, which is more durable and lighter than a traditional concrete. As a result of higher durability, the concrete countertops could be made with lower width.
With the standard width of a countertop – 25-30 mm, the weight of 1 sq.m. is about 35 kg, and this is twice lighter than the same countertop of natural stone. Thus, standard furniture will bear the weight of a concrete countertop without any supporting devices.