Concrete countertops have become the design choice for many kitchens today. If you have decided to install concrete countertops in your home, you want to make sure those surfaces remain beautiful for as long as possible. Maintaining concrete countertops is not difficult, but there are some steps to take to ensure they remain scratch and stain free. This article will give you basic maintenance tips for concrete countertops that will keep all the surfaces in your kitchen or bath looking their absolute best.
The first step in caring for your concrete countertops is to learn how to clean them properly. The best products to use for this purpose are good old fashioned soap and water. Some commercial surface cleaners are safe to use as well. However, it is important not to use any sort of abrasive substance on concrete countertops that can damage the sealant and cause damage to the concrete underneath. This includes abrasive cleansers as well as pads that might scratch the surface. If something is spilled on your countertops, clean up the spill right away. Some substances left on the countertop can etch their way beneath the sealant and stain the concrete’s surface.
Concrete is a porous substance that requires an effective sealant to make a practical countertop surface. Sealants should be applied when the countertops are installed, and they may need to be reapplied if the sealant layer becomes damaged. If you need to have concrete countertops resealed, it is best to consult with a professional concrete contractor for the job to ensure it is done properly. Until the surface is resealed, be very careful what you place on your countertop surface. Some acidic substances can etch the surface of the concrete, leaving permanent marks.
In addition to the basic care of your concrete countertops, there are some preventative measures you can take as well. Avoid putting hot pots and pans directly on the concrete surface, since these can damage the sealant and leave the concrete underneath vulnerable to staining or damage. Instead, use a hot pad or trivet for hot pans and dishes. It is also a good idea to avoid cutting directly on the concrete countertop, since this can scratch the surface and cause damage to your knives. Use a cutting board for all of these tasks. You can even have a trivet or cutting board built into your concrete countertops for ultimate convenience.
It is perfectly normal for concrete to experience some cracking after it is installed. As long as the cracks are relatively small and reinforcements like wire mesh have been used in your concrete installation, there is usually nothing to worry about. The hairline cracks add to the charm and natural look of your hard surface. Concrete is not any more difficult to maintain than other types of hard surfaces in your home. With proper care and cleaning, those beautiful concrete countertops can be a lovely addition to your kitchen and bath for a lifetime.