A concrete countertop is one that begins as liquid concrete that's poured into a mold per the customer's specifications, cured, then honed and sealed to prevent staining. An advantage found with concrete countertops, and no other types, is that they're completely personalizable--with inlays and pinstriping, for example. Also, because the color and texture of each one has subtle differences, all are unique. Because concrete can crack, fabricators often incorporate additional materials like metal rebar, fiberglass fibers, wire mesh, or nylon and stainless steel fibers to strengthen the countertops.
Colors, shapes, designs
You can get as creative as you want with your concrete countertops. Choose the shape, choose the color, choose the texture (smooth vs. rough) and choose the thickness. Curves, sharp edges, angled designs, long spans, and more are possible. Hundreds of hues are available, from creamy caramel to jet black. Whereas a 1.5-inch thickness is standard, 2-inch slabs are common and thicker countertops can be crafted as well. Add a backsplash or integrate a sink into the concrete or a drain board, soap dish depression, steel rod trivets--whatever you can imagine can be done.Concrete countertops can be made to fit into any decorative style, from classic to contemporary. If you want yours to have a natural appearance to match other earthly materials in your home, no problem. If you want it to look like marble, granite or limestone, that's possible too. You also can embed meaningful objects into your concrete countertops, like seashells, coins, glass, iron scrolls or any number of other mementos, for a one-of-a-kind feature.
Durability and cost
Cost of your countertops, of course, depends on your chosen features. A standard, 1.5-inch thick concrete countertop runs about $65 to $135 per square foot. It's not the concrete itself that's costly but, rather, the fabricator's craftsmanship and time involved in manufacturing and installing a custom piece. Installation costs run about $40 to $50 an hour per person. In addition, the base price increases with any of these options:
- Irregular or curved shapes
- A 2-inch or greater concrete thickness
- Integrated drain boards
- Custom edges
- Other custom features
How to begin
Because it will be a concrete fabricator who creates your countertop, you first want to find a reliable one whose work you like. If your network of acquaintances or family cannot provide a recommendation, you can fill out the form on this page. Once you find a fabricator, if possible, visit their showroom. Look through their portfolios, at their standard and custom colors, and at any projects in progress to get a feel for the different options and what you love. It is essential to find a reputable contractor because a shoddily-made concrete countertop can warp, crack or twist. When done right, however, it can be functional, durable and even one-of-a-kind.