Last Updated Dec 2, 2010 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
Are you looking for a new benchtop for your kitchen or bathroom? It might sound a bit unusual but why not consider using concrete? Concrete has some great advantages! Read on for more.
Concrete benchtops are benchtops that are made from concrete. They come in two forms, precast or cast on site. Precast concrete benchtops are made in a mould and then installed once they are fully cured. These are great but you may have a few joins in the concrete, depending on how many sections make up your total benchtop space. Concrete benchtops can also be cast on site and this can provide you with more design flexibility. The concrete benchtop can be made to your required thickness but it is commonly between 50mm and 70mm thick.
There are several advantages to using concrete for your benchtops. Firstly, it is a very unique material so no two benchtops will be exactly the same. It is also very customisable – you can choose to have the aggregates showing through, to inlay items such as chopping boards, metal strips and coloured strips, or to finish it with different colours and textures (such as polished or natural concrete feel). Concrete gives you more design flexibility than just about any other type of benchtop. Concrete is also very strong and durable, and will last the test of time. It does need to be sealed as it is a porous material. The sealing will protect the concrete against staining and water damage. Just ensure that the sealant is food safe so that you do not have a toxicity risk. Concrete is also easy to clean and thus is very hygienic. Due to there being little if any joins, there are few places to harbour bacteria.
To care for your concrete benchtops, it is simply a matter of washing it with a mild soap and some warm water. Care is recommended when using solvents or abrasive cleaners as they can affect the surface of your benchtop. You should not cut directly on the surface as you may scratch the finish and the hardness of the concrete will also damage your knives, blunting them quicker. While concrete is heat resistant, you should not place hot pans directly on the benchtop as they may affect the sealant.