This egg-and-dart edge is easy to cast into a concrete countertop.
6. Your stone polishing diamonds won’t work for polishing concrete.
Actually, the diamonds will work fine, but the resin binders on your diamond pads won’t. Concrete is extremely abrasive, because unlike natural stone that is uniformly hard, concrete has hard aggregate and sand in a soft binder of cement. This abrasive surface will tear the diamonds out of a pad designed for stone. You need to use diamond pads specifically designed for concrete.
7. The answer to almost every client question about concrete countertops depends on the sealer.
All of the common questions such as: “Will it stain?” “Can I cut on it?” “Can I put hot pots on it?” can be answered with “It depends on the sealer.” Concrete must be sealed, as bare concrete is porous and susceptible to staining and acid etching. There is a plethora of sealers for concrete, both coatings and penetrating treatments, and they vary widely in performance.
8. Concrete is suitable for traditional homes.
Many of the concrete countertops and elements featured in the past in design magazines and consumer publications has a very modern look. This is a choice of the designer, not an inherent property of the concrete. Because of its infinite flexibility of colors and shapes, concrete can be molded to any look, from French Country to Industrial, from Retro to Rustic.
9. Concrete is the greenest possible surface.
No other surface makes it possible to use a very high proportion of natural, recycled and locally obtained materials. Because most concrete countertops are made from scratch, the maker can optimize as much as he wants to obtain aggregate and sand from local sources, incorporate post-consumer recycled glass and porcelain and choose greener cements and sealers.
10. You can’t afford to ignore concrete countertops.
Concrete combines the natural appeal of stone with the customizability of solid surface and adds a green element with local manufacture incorporating recycled materials. Many design and consumer publications tout concrete as the next big thing. Whether you decide to bring custom concrete countertop manufacturing into your shop, fabricate premade concrete slabs, or partner with a local concrete countertop craftsman, you need to consider concrete.
Edit. note: Jeffrey Girard, P.E., president of The Concrete Countertop Institute, is the pioneer of engineered concrete countertops. Girard’s mission is to raise the standard for concrete countertops through intensive training courses, membership programs, events, material testing, and guidance to manufacturers and designers. For additional information, visit www.ConcreteCountertopInstitute.com.