Concrete Countertop Pricing
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Concrete countertops are becoming increasingly popular and are often the building material of choice for upscale kitchens and bathrooms. Interior designers and architects often designate this type of material in their design plans. Not only is this material durable, handcrafted, and attractive, once it's installed, it can literally be considered an art piece. Colors and textures vary, depending on the application and artisan who crafted the countertops. Continue reading to see a full cost guide for concrete counters.
- Low Range: $55 per square foot for 1 ½ inch thickness
- Medium Range: $100 per square foot for 1 ½ inch thickness
- High Range: $185 per square foot for 1 ½ inch thickness
There are several variables that will dictate the final price for installing concrete countertops at a home or commercial establishment. The design, construction and time it takes to complete installation will all play a part in the bottom line of a project. Irregular shapes, custom edging and backsplashes will add to the overall cost per square foot. Special details can be added such as thicker concrete and unique drain board features, but these will increase the price. Costs also will vary depending on the region of the country where the work is being done. In order to get a firm estimate, it's wise to have one to three contractors come to the job site to measure and provide an accurate, in-house estimate.
Measuring countertops is a rather complicated math equation that is usually best left to the professionals. If a homeowner is confident of his or her math skills, it can be done, however. First, it’s important to gain access to some graph paper for ease in measuring and uniformity. Next, the counter space should be divided up into rectangles and squares, measured, and drawn onto the graph paper, with each section clearly labeled. If the counters have unusual angles and shapes, these should be converted to simple rectangles and squares.
When the measurements are taken, appliances such as the stovetop and oven should be included in the dimensions. The length and depth of each section should be rounded up to the nearest inch. Once these numbers are gathered, a calculator can be used to compute square footage.
If backsplash is desired, the length and height of each section should be calculated, as well. Backsplashes are typically five inches tall, although some go all the way up to the cupboards. If the taller versions are desired, the measurements should be taken accordingly.
Allure of Concrete
Concrete is versatile in terms of architectural styles. It aligns with contemporary interiors, industrial décor and rustic looks. This product is not only chosen for its aesthetics, but also for the way it feels to the touch. Each unique countertop has personality, feels organic and is basically a work of art.
What is concrete, you ask? Basically, this is a building material comprised of cement, aggregates and water. Cement contains calcium, iron, silicon, aluminum and becomes the glue that holds the concoction together. An aggregate is the grainy substance that makes up approximately 75% of the mixture and gives it its unique texture. The grain-addition can be quite varied, but may include sand, pebbles, stones and seashells. The ratio of aggregates and their coarseness will determine what sort of strength, flexibility and appearance that the concrete will have.
A concrete countertop appearance can stand out even more when designers, artists and homeowners put on their thinking caps. Pigment can be mixed in many hues to give the surface a natural, stained look. Unusual items can be mixed in or embedded to make a bold, artistic statement. Broken glass, small tiles, marbles, or coins – the possibilities are fairly limitless.
Although concrete is rugged, it is not indestructible. Some scratching could occur, especially in darker shades, so abrasive cleansers should be avoided at all times. The acidity in citrus can eat into the surface’s sealer after prolonged exposure, so care should be taken with lemon juice or the slicing of fruits. Also, because concrete is porous, it can absorb stains like red wine and blackberries more readily than laminates or other materials. Having a thick sealant could eliminate these difficulties, however, and annual resealing is advised. Waxing the surface every five or six months can also keep the countertops protected against damage.
When homeowners or designers opt for concrete countertops, they need to take the strength of the cupboards into consideration during the planning phase. A square foot of this material can be heavy and weigh approximately twenty pounds, if it is the standard thickness of 1 ½ inches. Two-inch concrete will be even heavier. Cabinetry in the kitchen and/or bathroom should be strong enough to withstand such substantial poundage. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and hickory are often good choices in terms of strength.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Concrete Countertops
Obvious positive attributes of concrete countertops include their visual and tactile attractiveness and uniqueness. Being able to choose aggregates, tints and textures is a chance to exercise freedom of expression and to be truly creative. Designers and homeowners who opt for this type of countertop material tend to have artful flair and appreciate the beautiful things in life.
One con, as mentioned above, is that extra care must be taken to protect surfaces from staining or scratching. With regular resealing, waxing and avoidance of abrasives, these surfaces should be functional and lovely for many years to come.
Other Uses for Concrete
Upscale kitchen and bathroom countertops are not the only items being made out of concrete. This building material has also become a popular one for unique sinks, outdoor and indoor furniture, planter boxes, statuary, coasters, and many more unusual gadgets such as flash drives and scotch tape dispensers. In fact, there is even a concrete coffee pot on the market.
Homeowners and interior design professionals who are drawn to concrete countertops are not alone. When functional workspaces in kitchens and bathrooms are also objects of arts, it can be a win-win for all concerned. Being immersed in attractive environments can add greatly to the building’s inhabitants’ quality of life.
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Last updated on May 23, 2016