Concrete continues to be an extremely popular material for constructing countertops, and why shouldn’t it? After all, concrete is durable, practical, and affordable as well as being highly versatile. Concrete artisans can create beautiful effects by sanding, polishing, grinding or stamping the surface, and they can even embed objects in the concrete for increased visual appeal. There’s no need for plain countertops when there are so many possibilities in concrete countertop finishes.
This is simply an “unground” finish. Once the countertop has been released from the mold, no grinding is needed. However, if decorative aggregates have been included, grinding can be done to expose them on the surface of the concrete.
To achieve a polished finish, countertop makers use diamond polishing pads. A 5-grit pad is used to expose aggregate, whereas an 800 to 1500 grit pad would be needed to create a high-gloss polish.
Veined or Pressed Finish
This is a technique that is best employed by skilled fabricators, and involves hand-packing a stiff mix of wet concrete into the mold, and then avoiding vibrating the mixture and slurry. This creates a void that can result in a pressed or veined appearance.
Protecting the Surface
Whatever finish you choose, make sure to protect it using the proper sealant. It’s essential in order to ensure that the concrete will repel spills and stains before they have the chance to penetrate into the countertop. Of course, even with proper sealing and waxing, concrete countertops will begin to develop a patina as they age. This frequently adds depth and character to the countertop, so it shouldn’t be considered a bad thing.
New Products at Concrete Countertop Solutions
Product Manufacturer, Concrete Countertop Solutions, has just begun offering Z Terra-Tint, which is their own line of dry internal pigments. It’s their first integral coloring system, and it comes in 3 lb. buckets with a 2 oz. scooper that makes it easy to keep each mix consistent.
They are also offering a brand new white countertop mix.
Z Counterform Countertop Mix pre-blended, all-in-one high-strength white concrete. ”We think it’s one of the nicest mixes we’ve ever worked with. It’s perfect for cast-in-place, and it mixes, pours, flows and fills better than anything else ever tried.” says Ed Baldoni of Concrete Countertop Solutions. ”We’re very proud of these additions to our product line, and we’ve already had wonderfully positive responses to them.”
You can visit the Z-Counterform website to learn more and find out how to incorporate these products into your next project.