Kitchen countertops are a major element in any kitchen, so replacing them with topnotch materials can greatly improve the look and function of the room. Many durable options are available to homeowner. Some of the most popular ones are marble and granite for nature lovers, and quartz for fans of engineered stones.
However, new options crop up all the time that might be worthy of your consideration. One of these is concrete countertops, which began making the rounds in design circuits a few years ago. Concrete might seem like an unlikely candidate for kitchen countertops, but it is a good one. It has been around for centuries as a building material, so it was inevitable that improvements on the technology would result in making it more attractive as a dimension stone.
One might argue that granite has been around for much longer than concrete, although that is not a good reason to choose it over concrete for kitchen countertops. What might help you make the right choice is by looking at several key factors of the two materials.
You might wish that price was no object when doing home improvements. Sadly, that is not the reality in most cases. A budget is a very effective brake to a headlong rush to kitchen remodeling, so you must keep it in mind when making your choices. This applies quite particularly to kitchen cabinets and countertops, which comprise a hefty chunk of any budget.
In terms of cost, granite countertops will set you back an average of $60 per square foot. This is for mid-level granite and includes installation, although you can pull down your costs to as low as $35 per square foot by choosing more common granite slabs. On the other hand, choosing an exotic stone can drive that up to $200.
Availability and source of the granite determines the cost per square foot for granite. This gives you considerable wiggle room in your budget as you have a choice of equally attractive slabs that sets the price needle fluctuating.
You can also choose granite tiles, which are not as attractive for countertops as slabs because of the seams but are much more affordable at between $5 and $15 per square foot. A good compromise is to choose slabs for your countertops, and tiles for backsplashes. Ask your remodeling company about this option.
Despite the base material being quite common, concrete countertops cost more than granite countertops per square foot. This is mainly due to the labor put into producing it. You can expect to pay a minimum of $65 per square foot for a simple design, and it goes up from there, not including installation. Installation adds between $30 and $90 per hour, depending on the type and size of the countertops. Installation can run from 8 hours for a preformed (offsite) countertop to 24 hours for pouring and setting the countertops onsite.
To put it in perspective, the cost for 50 square feet of countertops using granite is around $1,750, while using concrete is around $3,500. If budget is your top consideration, granite countertops are the better choice.
Concrete is a hardy, stable, and heat resistant compound, which is why it is the most common material for construction and other structures. Sure, it might develop some surface damage such as hairline cracks, but that is not a problem in most cases. That is not the case when it comes to kitchen countertops, however.
Homeowners would not take kindly to having fissures, cracks, and chips in their kitchen work surface. Concrete countertops typically develop these minor problems along stress points such as around cutouts. This is mainly since concrete is heavy, so as it settles, hairline cracks might appear. You can repair these quite easily, but it can be a bit of a nuisance for homeowners.
Granite has no such problem. With proper support and professional fabrication and installation, granite countertops will not develop any physical problems with reasonable use. You can damage it if you take a sledgehammer to it, but other than that, keeping your granite countertops in good heart is a walk in the park. Granite will not scratch easily, and it can handle heat just as well as concrete countertops. If minor problems do develop in your granite countertops, you can repair them as easily as you would concrete countertops.
As you can see, granite countertops are more durable than concrete countertops.
Both concrete and granite countertops are porous, so sealing is a good idea. Between the two materials, however, concrete is much more porous. You will have to apply a heavier seal more frequently on concrete countertops than granite countertops to prevent them from staining. Most granite countertops require just an occasional reapplication of sealer. Some homeowners even claim they have never needed a resealing.
Aside from staining, concrete countertops might also tend to encourage bacterial growth. This is not ideal for kitchen countertops, so it is something you should consider when choosing your countertop material.
Concrete countertops look very nice, which is why it has become so popular of late. However, there are so many issues with them that it might be a better idea to choose granite over concrete for kitchen countertops. Granite compares very well in terms of the best features of concrete and has none of its problems. If you want to update your kitchen safely, you should probably go with granite countertops.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath can help you with that. We guarantee you will love it for life!
We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We service the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We sell only top-quality products for all your home renovation needs manufactured by leading brands in the industry.
You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in kitchen remodeling and carry the products you need, including sinks, faucets, natural and engineered stone slabs, shelves, tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, hardwood flooring, and cabinets.
We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor. Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote and design consultation for the right kitchen-remodeling project for you.