In the last decade concrete countertops have really started to make an impression. The do it yourself appeal, and sheer strength of the material has a lot of people ready to take on their own project.
But, it may be harder than you think. As a granite shop we’ve heard many concrete nightmares from inexperienced folks who thought they would make a mold, pour in some concrete, and voila! Here are a few pros and cons if you’re trying to decide between concrete and granite:
Concrete is certainly a lot less expensive than granite, there’s no denying that. But, it’s for a good reason. The process for quarrying granite is extremely difficult. People dedicate their lives to finding the most beautiful slabs of granite from literally all over the world. Then, teams consisting of hundreds of workers come in and spend years cutting/use dynamite to get the material free from the mountain, then transporting it to local ports for sale. Not to mention all the work that goes into fabricating and installing the stone once we get it.
Granite has the largest variety of patterns and colors. Concrete can be died and acid etched in order to make the coloring different, but it just doesn’t hit the nail on the head when it comes to replicating granite. I can always tell when I see imitation granite made with concrete, or the real deal. If you can spare the expense, granite definitely trumps concrete when it comes to look. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have the real thing if I could, and not something that looks like it.
Concrete and Granite both need to be sealed. To seal Granite it takes about 20-30 minutes on an averaged size kitchen, and last for 5-10 years. With Concrete, the sealing process can take up to an hour and needs to be repeated every couple years. Even with the sealant, Concrete is one of the most unsanitary surfaces to use for countertops. This is because it’s so porous. Concrete has a much better chance of absorbing bacteria, and staining.
I would consider this to be the biggest Con of Concrete. Because concrete is SO heavy, it’s extremely hard to remove once installed. The tops have to be hammered and chiseled out with jack hammers, often damaging the cabinets and walls. Now, you’re not only replacing the counters you just removed, but also the cabinets and sheet rock that were damaged in the process.
As for granite, it is adhered to the cabinets with a thin bead of silicone. This makes removal much easier. If you have a seam in your granite, the person taking it out should torch the epoxy in the seam, causing it to come right apart. Then the granite can be removed safely and easily in sections.
Which brings us to the difference in weight; Granite is heavy, but nowhere near the weight of Concrete. This is another plus that makes installing and removing Granite easier.
There are many other comparisons we could talk about when it comes to the two stones. But for now we will leave it at these few simple Pros and Cons. If you have any other questions, or you’re thinking about doing Concrete in your home, please do some research first! Granite may be notoriously expensive, but not even close to replacing walls and cabinets due to a botched Concrete job. Please come by the shop and see us for your free quote! Or if you’re not in the area, you can always email your dimensions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.