Pros and Cons of White Concrete Countertops
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Four things you should know before you pour white concrete countertops in your home! The pros and cons of cement countertops in the kitchen!
If you’ve been considering cement countertops, you definitely want to read this post. After living with concrete countertops for years, I am sharing how they’re holding up, plus a cost breakdown. It turns out, they aren’t that much less expensive than granite or marble!
White Concrete Countertops (Cement Countertops)
In this post, I will share the pros and cons of white concrete countertops after having them installed in my own home.
While I do love them, there are definitely some draw backs that you should be aware of before making the decision to put them in your kitchen. Our white concrete countertops were not what I initially thought they’d be, but I have grown to really like them!
If you’re landing on this page, it’s probably because you’re considering cement countertops for your kitchen or bathroom. There seem to be two draws to cement kitchen countertops: the cost and the look.
Let’s address the cost first: I think it is a misconception that white concrete countertops are less expensive than say, quartz is. *If you’re not DIY’ing it and using countertop specific cement.
The cost of shipping the concrete (a special cement just for countertops that isn’t readily available from hardware stores), plus the cost of labor and sealant adds up quickly!
Our white concrete countertops ended up being pretty darn expensive once we factored in labor. If you are opting for cement countertops purely because you think they’ll be less expensive than other options, I wouldn’t recommend them!
With that said, let’s talk about the look of concrete countertops: Before deciding on concrete countertops for your kitchen make sure you 100% love the beauty of them! They are a perfectly imperfect surface that is delicate like marble.
Concrete countertops will feature cracks, slight rippling from being leveled during the pouring process, and little pepper flakes of aggregate.
Trying to decide between quartz or cement countertops?
I personally love the cement surface more than the quartz counters we have in our laundry room. Cement is a beautiful option, but make sure you’re aware of all the quirks of concrete countertops before installing them in your home!
Pros of White Concrete Countertops
1. Concrete (cement) countertops are beautiful and unique!
I have cement, marble, and quartz in my home – and I absolutely love the cement just as much as I love the marble! Our white concrete countertops are very beautiful and seem to have a personality of their own.
It really is a statement element in our kitchen, and I love the unique imperfections which make the countertops have old-world charm in a modern way.
2. You can DIY concrete countertops.
I was initially drawn to concrete for our countertops because it seemed like a simple project that would be less expensive than selecting a stone countertop. While this didn’t necessarily pan out to be true (they were actually quite expensive), concrete countertops are something that can be DIY’d!
If you’d like to DIY this kitchen project, I would recommend reading as much as you can about concrete countertops and watching as many videos as you can. I would also recommend finding a friend experienced in pouring concrete to help you if you don’t have any experience of your own.
Personally, I didn’t want to take any chances on something so permanent, and we hired a contractor. Even with an experienced crew helping us, we still faced quite a few challenges during the process.
Cons of White Concrete Countertops
1. Cement is permanent.
Cement is a popular choice as a countertop surface right now, but in ten years, it might feel dated and old, and removing them will be difficult. The cement is heavy and if poured into place, is permanent! It will take a jackhammer and some serious muscles to remove the countertops, most likely damaging the cabinets beyond repair. This means that you won’t be able to update the countertops without demo’ing the entire kitchen. So be prepared to live with them for a long time!
2. Concrete countertops scratch & stain easily.
This is especially true for white concrete countertops! Cement is actually a pretty fragile surface that stains and cracks easily. It is also highly absorbent and must be sealed before you can use it in your kitchen. While I find the scratches to be charming, stains on the countertops really take away from their beauty.
If you’re considering cement countertops for your kitchen, be prepared to treat them quite delicately. They are not durable like quartz, think of them more like marble!
3. Sealing cement properly is difficult.
You might be thinking, “if the countertops are sealed properly, they won’t stain or scratch!”…This is theoretically true, but finding a great sealant is very difficult!
I have done lots of research on this, and even after sealing our white concrete counters with the StoneLok system (supposedly heat and scratch resistant), I can attest that they are still much more delicate than you’d think.
The sealant has flaked off in some places, and must be sanded down and reapplied periodically to protect the cement and keep the surface sanitary.
4. Cement cracks.
Cement inherently cracks, it’s just what cement does. Be prepared to see cracks in your cement countertops. This doesn’t bother me in our kitchen, but if you are a Type A person, you should be aware of this before installing them in your home!
Leave a comment
Hello, thank you for this information. My husband and I make concrete countertops. We have found most of your information to be true, however there is a big difference between DIY concrete and artisan concrete products. We too have white concrete countertops in our kitchen. But since our concrete was made with ultra-high density concrete and sealed with a penetrating sealer, we have zero cracks, zero stains and since the sealer penetrates the concrete, it can’t flake off. Our white concrete does show wear however and agree that it can act like marble. I mostly have trouble with lime juice etching the surface and making it look dull. Any lingering color from wine, coffee Or turmeric and even rust comes out with straight bleach. Let me know if you need tips
Also, most of the trained concrete artisans in our network around the US precast the concrete in the shop and deliver the finished product to install as any other flat product. Thus eliminating the con of being permanent and also the trowel ripples you described.
I too love concrete countertops and wouldn’t want any other surface in my kitchen. We have found as business owners, our biggest struggle has been educating people. We are DIYers ourselves, but the public needs to know that the concrete products and dealers sold at box stores will not give them the same result as the specialty ingredients that concrete artisans use.
For more information visit our website http://www.artifactmfg.us or message us for a concrete artisan in your area of the US.
The “cost” part is misleading here. Concrete countertops are actually a LOT less than quartz, for example. Most places quote around $120/sq. ft. for quartz. You can pour a very good concrete countertop for less than half that.
Thanks for bringing this topic up. I have also been considering a white countertop option for a long time, but I had a couple of nuances because of which I thought about whether it was worth doing just such an option. But now I understand that this issue is completely resolved. Now I understand the nuances that I have to face if I still choose this countertop.
This is really great content and information
As a concrete contractor im not a fan of white concrete BUUUT I can and will say that CRACKS are ok since they give character also they are (like Thanos said) “inevitable”
Would you be willing to share the style and maker of your backsplash? It is beautiful! Thanks!
Course, thank you! Here is a link: https://amzn.to/3agCycW
These are some great information that you have shared here pros cons white concrete countertops. I really loved it and thank you very much for sharing this with us. You have a great visualization and you have really presented this content in a really good manner.If possible visit this website https://www.thebenchtopguys.co.nz/ to gain more idea or tips on the same.
There is definately a lot to learn about this issue. I really like all of the points you have made.
I appreciate you love your countertops, and then positive comments supporting concrete countertops, but I do find some information misleading.
Look at Omega sealer from CCI – Concrete Countertop Institute.
Also it would have been helpful had you explained in greater detail the options of precast vs pour in place.
ANR Concrete Studio (instagram anr.cs) manufactures GFRC precast concrete countertops. They are 3 times stronger than traditional concrete, say like a patio. We have never had a countertop crack on us, stains are rare but much more manageable than a marble surface.
Heat, concrete countertops with the right sealer can usually take up to 600F and we can ad custom features like trivets, quartz can not handle this.
Omega sealer is UV Stable, allowing concrete to be used in outdoor applications, quartz is not UV Stable, marble would easily stain.
I appreciate the support of the material, we need more of this!
I agree with Andrew. Our company has been using Omega sealer and our customers have had no complaints. Super helpful article and appreciate the information!
Such an informative post! I liked the way you have described the pros and cons of white concrete countertops before pouring them in a home. Thanks for sharing!