Are concrete countertops the right choice for you?
Concrete countertops are the most unique, personal countertop option because they are made from scratch for each client. To determine whether concrete is right for you, think about whether you believe that:
- You appreciate high-quality, hand-crafted items
- You want something that looks natural and has character
- You want something unique and personalized
- You think granite is too shiny, too formal, too common
- You think synthetic solid surface materials look and feel like plastic
- You need a color or visual texture that’s not available with other countertop materials
If so, concrete countertops may be right for you.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of concrete compared to other countertop materials?
- Custom: Concrete’s biggest advantage is that it is completely custom and hand made to fit your style and needs.
- Versatile: Concrete is extremely versatile. It can enhance any style, from Country to Contemporary. From Arts and Crafts to Industrial. From Traditional to Modern. The possibilities are endless.
- Low Maintenance: Simply wipe with damp cloth and soft detergents and other water based cleaners, nothing abrasive. Lancaster Concrete Designs’ sealer provides a surface that is extremely stain-resistant and low-maintenance. Common food items will not stain it. The sealer does not degrade, and therefore does not need to be reapplied every year like many other sealers. The sealer also exhibits great heat resistance.
- Scratching: While the sealer is very durable, it is possible to scratch it. For example, in kitchens, you should use cutting boards on concrete countertops.
- Lead time: Concrete countertops have a longer lead time due to the fabrication process. Please remember that your countertops are made from scratch and take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to fabricate.
How big will my seams be and where will they be placed?
Maximum slab length for standard depth countertops is about 8 feet. Seams are located around sinks and cooktops, or wherever required for structural reasons. Lancaster Concrete Designs will work with you to design seam placement that is both structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. Seams are typically 1/16” wide, similar to tile grout lines.
How much do they cost?
Even though it is a completely custom material, concrete is competitive in price with standard countertop materials. The price is competitive with high end granite, ranging from $75 to over $100 per square foot. We are happy to work with you and your designer to give you an estimate on your project, and we can help you with options to fit your budget.
Where can I use concrete in my home?
Lancaster Concrete Designs makes concrete countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, fireplace mantles, tables, desks, and anywhere else countertops are required. Horizontal countertops must be at least 1.5” thick. Lancaster Concrete Designs can make thicker countertops as well.
Concrete countertops can be straight, curved, notched, multi-level, etc. Unlike granite, which would drastically increase in cost for curved shapes, creating curved concrete shapes simply involves some extra complexity and labor in forming.
Concrete can also be used in vertical applications such as backsplashes, shower surrounds and fireplace surrounds. For vertical applications, concrete is generally 1” thick.
Integral and vessel sinks are possible. See the section on sinks for more information.
Concrete countertops and furniture can be used both indoors and outdoors.
What colors are available?
Any color! Lancaster Concrete Designs can develop custom colors to fit any style. Any color can be produced in a solid, speckled or variegated pattern. And, you can specify embedded stone, glass, or other objects.
What is the process for custom colors?
Lancaster Concrete Designs specializes in custom color development. We can customize existing colors or match the color of an item such as a paint chip or fabric. The process takes about 3 weeks and cost $100 each. The in-house color palette selection is free of charge.
Does concrete crack?
Concrete should not contain any structural cracks, if fabricated and installed properly. All concrete has the potential to develop non-structural hair line cracks similar to granite or marble. However, at Lancaster Concrete Designs we take care to minimize hair line cracks with precise computer calculated batch formulas and proper reinforcement.
Is all concrete the same?
Absolutely not, although many people like to generalize that all concrete is the same that is simply not the case. Concrete will vary greatly according to the quality and types of products used, and the methods used as well. We offer a consistent product that is properly formulated with the necessary reinforcements and additives. Every ingredient in your countertop is precisely measured to the gram. Precise fabricating methods are how we ensure consistency and quality in each handcrafted piece.
What edges are available?
For concrete, edging is formed and cast rather than cut like granite or solid surface. Therefore, edge choices depend on the availability of appropriate trim molding. For example, Lancaster Concrete Designs can do pencil, beveled, concave and reverse cove edging, and other custom edges may be available.
What about backsplashes?
Backsplashes are cast and finished separately and deck mounted after the countertops are installed. Backsplashes are nominally 1 inch thick and can be from 3 inches high to full height. Outlet openings are cast in, not cut on site.
Will concrete countertops stain?
All of our countertops are sealed to prevent staining. We use a high-performance sealer that is exceptionally durable and provides excellent resistance to incidental contact with staining agents such as red wine, lemon juice and olive oil. Complete care instructions are included in your Owner’s Guide.
Will they scratch?
While the sealer is durable, it can scratch if cut with a knife or subjected to heavy, sharp objects dragged across the surface. Cutting on the concrete may compromise the integrity of the sealer and allow stains to permeate the concrete matrix. Cutting on the concrete will also ruin knives, requiring a professional re-sharpening to reshape the damaged edge. Remember, concrete is made with stone, the same thing used to sharpen knives (and will therefore dull them just as easily). If you do scratch a countertop, you can easily repair it yourself using the Lancaster Concrete Designs Touch-Up Kit.
Are there any special structural considerations?
Typically, no special considerations are necessary for standard kitchen or bathroom vanity countertops. Cantilevered slabs, bar tops on knee walls and similar situations sometimes require brackets or other structural supports for the countertops. Lancaster Concrete Designs can advise on support requirements.
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes. Lancaster Concrete Designs warranties the structural integrity of the concrete for one year after installation.