What is interior concrete? In essence, it is an artificial stone created as a result of the molding and hardening of the mixture. The latter consists of a binder (for example, cement), large and small aggregates, and water. For example, for concrete countertops, the main components are sand, cement, water, and some additives to improve performance.
The main thesis and argument “for” concrete kitchen concrete paver molds countertops – the material is pristine from an environmental point of view. While the resins of other “artificial stones” are already raising questions, we are working with natural ingredients.
- Cement is a mixed and fired limestone with clay.
- Sand is a natural mineral (all children play in the sandbox).
- Water – everything is clear here.
- Mineral additives – very fine sand
- Organic additives – no more than 2%.
Are stains on a countertop or concrete sink easy to clean?
Concrete is a porous material, which means it absorbs moisture and dirt like a sponge. No, concrete is not afraid of water, but even loves it, but it will not be easy to clean the pollution from the porous structure. In addition, calcium, which plays the role of the main binder, is easily degraded by acid. This means that a drop of lemon juice will leave a matte mark on unprotected concrete in a minute.
That is why concrete countertops for the kitchen and bathroom must be protected – they are covered with a special polymer coating, which lays a thin layer on the surface (100-200 microns), closing the pores. It is impossible to see a thin layer with the naked eye, and the luster of the varnish can be either matte or glossy. After processing, the concrete countertop easily withstands the effects of tomato paste, wine, coffee, and 9% acetic acid, as well as toothpaste.
Fact: When used carefully, a concrete countertop coating will last for many years and will not require reapplication.
Can you cut with a knife directly on a concrete countertop?
I will say this: the hardness of a good polished concrete for a countertop is comparable to that of granite. But we just learned that concrete is varnished for use in the kitchen. Therefore, when we talk about resistance to mechanical stress, we are talking primarily about this protective varnish. The hardness of the coating is not much higher than that of acrylic (artificial stone). Scratching is easy and simple, so it’s best not to cut anything on the countertop without a cutting board.
What if you put a hot pot on?
Our experiments show that polished “bare” concrete is able to withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees for 30 seconds, after which it begins to brighten. But a concrete kitchen countertop with a protective varnish will withstand no more than 150 degrees. This means that it will survive a hot pan, but not a hot pan.
If the concrete is treated – how to wash it?
Caring for a concrete countertop is almost the same as caring for a traditional acrylic sink or bathroom sink. Recommendations for the care of concrete are simple – the surface must be wiped with a foam sponge or microfiber cloth with any neutral detergent. It is not recommended to use sponges with abrasives and strongly acidic products.
In the kitchen and bathroom – no.
But for the tabletop of the coffee table, you can easily use concrete polished to a gloss. An impregnation for marble is applied to the polished surface – it will not protect 100%, but it will not hide the natural beauty of real concrete. Such impregnation must be renewed periodically, but you can do it yourself. From experience, I can advise impregnations Tenax, Akemi, etc. (they cost around 2,000 rubles for a 0.5 liter can).
Will the furniture fall apart under the concrete countertop?
This question is often asked by users who change the old countertop of the kitchen unit, leaving the old cabinets. Indeed, how heavy will the concrete countertop be and will it not be necessary to strengthen the frame to install such a surface?
Concrete countertops and sinks are divided into two types according to production technology:
- made by the method of gunning, in other words – by spraying;
- monolithic filling. Here they are quite heavy ~ 60 kg / m2 with a thickness of 3 cm. For such countertops, a reinforced frame is definitely needed. If you are installing a countertop instead of the previous one on a chipboard frame, where it is more correct to order a concrete version using the spraying method.
For spraying, a reinforcing layer of concrete with the addition of fiberglass is used. Such concrete is much stronger than monolithic and allows making U-shaped products with a thickness of 1 cm. Thus, 1 m2 weighs 20-30 kg, which is comparable to acrylic or quartz agglomerate.
For presentation, an average sink with a 10 cm high rim weighs no more than 35 kg. For such, reinforcing the boxes is not required, and therefore, you can easily replace the old acrylic model with a concrete one. This applies to both kitchen countertops and sinks.