Creating a Variety of Concrete Countertop Finishes
Concrete continues to be an exceptional material for building countertops. It offers a variety of solutions including being more durable, affordable, expressive and practical than other available materials. It is easy to use, and can produce an aesthetically-pleasing countertop in a variety of finishes.
Many concrete artisans use the product because of its versatility. They can grind, sand, polish, embed objects, or stamp the surface. It serves as the perfect medium between its architectural design, and its artistic expression. It can be used to literally transform a basic countertop concept into a unique work of art that can last for generations with very low maintenance or care.
Concrete Countertop Finish Options
The concrete countertop surface can be finished in a variety of options. Achieving a monochromatic appearance simply requires selecting an “unground” surface finish. This means that no grinding will be required once the countertop has been released from its mold.
However, decorative aggregates that might include glass or semi-precious stones that have been added to the premix can be ground down and exposed on the concrete countertop surface. Typically extensive grinding will be required to expose the “ground” surface finish.
A High Polished Finish
Concrete countertop fabricators can achieve a high-polished finish by using diamond polishing pads in a variety of grits that usually range from 50 to 1500 grit. In the low range, a 50-grit pad is often used as a way to expose the mixed concrete aggregate. The higher levels of 800 and 1500 grit pads are used to create a high gloss polish to the surface of the concrete countertop.
Other Available Concrete Finished Surfaces
It is not necessary to polish the surface of the countertop at all. It is all based on aesthetic requirements, where the decorative inserts or exposed aggregate is displayed, or not. In addition, hand-finishing pads are available to remove any rough spot or exposed burr. These handheld polishing pads work as the ideal solution in places where using a machine might be uncontrollable, or too severe to achieve the desired finish.
Pressed or Veined Finish
Skillful fabricators can create concrete countertop finishes through deliberate methods where veins can be created inside the poured concrete. They achieve this finish by hand packing a stiffer mixture of wet concrete into the countertop mold. They avoid vibrating the mixture and slurry. This can create a substantial void that with the proper coloring of numerous slurry coats can create a veined or pressed appearance on the decorative concrete countertop finish.
Protecting the Surface
Maintaining the ideal concrete countertop finish requires protection. Using the right type of sealant, it is easy to lay down a layer of safeguarding protection that is designed to repel all types of spills and stains, while preventing the stain from penetrating deep into the concrete countertop. Even with the sealing and extensive waxing the concrete countertop will begin to develop a natural patina as it ages. This is often unavoidable, but will begin to add unique aesthetic qualities to the piece.