Early in the demo reno we met with a local guy who makes concrete countertops in his spare time. He showed us some large samples of his work, and left us with a few small blocks in different colors. A few nights ago, we decided to test the concrete’s stain resistance. We squeezed some lime juice on one of the samples and left it overnight, along with a little puddle of olive oil. The darker stains you see there are from some frozen blueberries, half defrosted in their juice, that we set on the sample earlier in the day.
We let this all sit overnight, and the next morning rinsed it off. This is what we ended up with:
This did not bode well for our concrete countertops.
Fortunately, Nick emailed the guy to find out whether the samples had been sealed. They hadn’t. Concrete countertops require sealing before installation with a waxy sort of finish the makes the concrete less porous. I think you have to reseal it every now and then to keep it from staining, but otherwise concrete is heat and scratch resistant. It can also be tinted–as you can see, this one has a sort of greenish cast. We’d probably go with a straight-up grey.
After looking at countertops yesterday at IKEA and at Lowes, we’re realizing that the are really quite expensive, averaging about $60/square foot for solid surface materials. The concrete is considerably less pricey than that, and given that it’s a pretty natural material, and would be sourced locally, at this point it’s our top choice for the counters. This photo gives you an idea of what concrete countertops would look like: