Fabrication Techniques for Concrete Countertops | Best Pick Reports
Concrete countertops can be fabricated in two different ways: cast-in-place and precast.
Cast-in-place. Cast-in-place countertops are fabricated entirely in the homeowner’s home. The contractor removes the existing countertops and builds a mold directly on top of the existing cabinets. The mold is then filled with concrete that has been tinted to the homeowner’s specifications and allowed to dry. The surface is then sealed to protect it against stains. To ensure that the concrete is completely cured, most contractors will wait approximately two days before installing plumbing fixtures.
This fabrication method typically appeals to homeowners who are looking for a unique alternative to traditional granite or stone countertops because the surface of the concrete is finished by troweling, which is a technique that leaves a slightly varied appearance in texture and color. Another advantage of cast-in-place countertops is the ability to create a seamless surface. Since the countertop is all poured in one piece on-site, there is no need to bring it into the house in sections.
Precast. Precast countertops are fabricated in the contractor’s shop and brought to the homeowner’s home for installation. Instead of building a mold on-site, the contractor takes measurements of the area and builds the mold at his or her fabrication facility. The countertops are then poured, cured, and sealed in that facility and installed in the home in segments once they’re finished. Plumbing fixtures can be installed immediately after the countertop installation is finished.
Fabricating the countertops in the contractor’s shop offers some additional options. The contractor can create integrated backsplashes and drainboards, tint the surface with acid stains, and apply decorative inlays to the surface.
For homeowners in the market for a unique, customizable alternative to more traditional granite or stone floors and countertops, decorative concrete may prove to be an attractive option.