Concrete countertops make excellent kitchen countertops for those that can’t afford marble or granite countertops. While the countertops are super affordable, and you can install them by yourself, they come with their fair share of negatives. Here are 4 common problems with concrete countertops and how to solve them:
They easily crack
The countertops can crack either soon after installation or later on down the line. The risk is heightened when you use poured in place concrete instead of pre-cast concrete.
Thankfully, you can prevent the cracks from coming about by adding rebar, fiber reinforcement, or wire mesh. If you do this, but cracking still happens, don’t fret as you can fix it. How do you do this?
Use a material that can bond to the concrete to restore its appearance and prevent liquid penetration that could stain the countertops. The material you use should be flexible and strong or stronger than concrete, so future cracking doesn’t happen.
You can seal the crack by yourself or hire a professional to help you out. If you opt to go the DIY route, start the process by cleaning the crack. If the oil or stains have penetrated the crack and discolored the concrete, address the stains before repairing the crack.
If the countertops are new and unstained, apply more sealer down into the crack by rubbing the sealer in with your gloved fingers. For you to repair the crack, the sealer should penetrate the crack and fill it.
A good sealer has low surface tension, so it readily wets out the concrete and has a low viscosity.
For best results, avoid topical sealers as they don’t penetrate and fill the cracks. This is because the sealers have low solid content.
Unlike other problems that worsen with size, it’s not the case with concrete cracks. The larger they are, the easier they are to fix, as it’s easier to get materials into the crack.
The countertops scratch easily.
Other than the countertops developing cracks, they also scratch easily, which can give your surfaces a cheap, ugly look. Thankfully, you can seal the minor concrete scratches and restore your countertops.
There are two ways you can do this: touch up the scratch with a sealer or reseal the entire slab.
When using a sealer, be cautious and ensure you are using the right one. As a rule of thumb, avoid a two-part sealer that you have to mix and spray onto your countertop with special equipment.
Your touchup kit should be as simple as possible. One of the best you can go for is the single-component sealer, such as acrylic.
When it comes to brushes, use a “spotter brush” that gives the best results as it’s fine and doesn’t hold a lot of sealer.
After you have touched up the scratch and the touchup is dry, adjust the sheen to match the surrounding finish, and if there is excess material in the touchup, use a razor blade to scrape off the excess.
They chip easily
Like marble and granite countertops, concrete surfaces can chip when they contact sharp objects near the corner of the countertops. The reason these areas are vulnerable is because there is little material available to resist the full impact of the pan, pot, or any other heavy object.
When there is a chip on your countertops, you can fix it in different ways depending on the chip’s nature. If the chip that came off is available and still intact, you need to glue it back on. On the other hand, if the chip fragment is unavailable, fill the damaged area with new material.
Regardless of the method you use, ensure the adhesive or filler you use color matches the countertops.
The countertops are prone to oil stains.
Since the surfaces are porous, they are prone to dark oil stains. Thankfully, you don’t have to undertake countertop replacement Durham when this happens, as you can get rid of the stains using a good poultice. An ideal poultice is a mixture of powdered sugar, baking soda, and flour with acetone.
Spread the poultice on the oil spot, then cover it with plastic wrap taped down to seal in the poultice.