When it comes to interior decorating, expensive doesn’t always mean better. There are times where cheaper items can look even better than expensive ones. Countertops are a great way to show this off. While on one end may be the beautiful, expensive quartz countertops, the other end will have something like concrete countertops. They can look just as good as the more expensive ones, but you should know how to clean concrete countertops. These countertops need a bit more care, though.
Concrete countertops sound like they might not look too good, but there are a lot of benefits to them. They might look a bit raw in the room, but you can find some really nice finishes and stains when it comes to concrete. Cleaning them is a different story, though. When you get concrete counter tops, there are a few things you have to do to make sure they stay in their best state. We’ll tell you how to clean concrete countertops here.
What is concrete?
When you think of concrete, you might think of the walkways, driveways, and roads. Is this the same as the cement for your countertops? Well, the answer to that is “yes and no”. While concrete is usually the same concoction regardless of where you get it, they are specially shaped and molded for countertop use. They don’t take it from the ground, after all. Some cement can even be colored or stained to look even better on top of your cabinets.
Cement is a binder, which is a material or substance that holds or draws other materials together. With this, it forms a cohesive whole. Cement isn’t usually used by itself, considering it usually binds gravel and sand together. There are many different types of cements when it comes to binding things, including hydraulic cement, Portland cement, and many other blends.
When it comes to countertop cement, it may contain Portland cement, sand, and a bit of aggregate. Of course, there are many different choices and styles out there. A home improvement store would likely have a variety of choices when it comes to cement countertops. You could likely commission a carpenter to make your cement countertops.
Sealing Concrete Countertops
The thing about concrete is that it is very porous. Whenever a material is porous, that means that moisture and bacteria can get deep into the material. If this happens, then it can cause staining, mold growth, and more. It can discolor and damage your countertops, so it is a good idea to get a sealant and seal the cement.
Before applying the sealant, however, you should make sure that it is designed how you want. There are a few other things to keep in mind. Make sure that your cabinets can handle such a heavy countertop. If you want to sand down the cement top and make it shine, you should do that before the sealant as well. Either way, before you seal, make sure you wipe down the cement countertop with a warm water and a clean, no-lint cloth.
Make sure you find the right sealant. However, doing the water test will tell you if you need to seal it at all. Some countertop producers apply sealant themselves, but the water test will let you know. Simply apply a bit of water onto the countertop and see if it darkens after about 30 minutes. You can also do this with lemon juice. If the area doesn’t darken, it doesn’t need sealant.
Afterward, simply apply thin coatings of your choice of sealant onto your concrete countertop. Let it dry for about 15-20 minutes each time and then apply another coating. Repeat this until you have an optimal coating of sealant. Repeat this every 1-3 years, depending on how the sealant holds up.
The thing about cleaning concrete countertops is that it isn’t much different from granite countertops. Concrete is part of the manufactured materials group of countertops, so they will be a bit cheaper than the average countertop. It will be much cheaper than quartz, but it is heavy. Transferring and installing might increase its price, but it is one of the easier materials to clean after sealing.
If your concrete countertop is sealed, all you have to do is wipe down the countertops with warm water and a bit of soap. It’s not a good idea to use harsh chemicals like ammonia or bathroom cleaners, so use soap or dish detergent to wipe down the countertops. This should be done every night before you go to bed or after you close up your kitchen for the day. It should be deep cleaned every week and polished every month. It is relatively simple to clean it, but make sure you have the proper polish if you want to keep it shiny.
Concrete is one of the cheaper countertops you can have for your home. The material is not as expensive as something like quartz, but it is one of the heavier materials to have in your home. You should be sure that your cabinets can hold up these concrete slabs. If they can’t, you could see damage come to your cabinets and the concrete countertops.
Cleaning them is as simple as wiping them up every night. They are normal countertops, so you don’t have to worry about damaging them too much. You may need to reapply sealant every 1-3 years, but it is simple to do as long as you apply thin layers. Make sure you research your countertop’s proper sealant and polish. Concrete countertops have specific types. Granite and other stone types should be fine to clean and seal your countertops.