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Concrete Countertops – Stamped, Stained, Polished and Colored

Concrete can be used in many applications using a variety of techniques. It’s tough enough to last decades, strong enough to be used in structural applications, and malleable (before cured) to be molded into almost any shape or form. It can be used in floor, wall and ceiling applications, or used to build statues and furniture. It can be made to look industrial and cool, as well as traditional and warm. With so many applications, it’s almost safe to say that concrete can be used to do just about anything, and countertops are no exception.

Concrete countertops made their debut in restaurants, retail establishments, and homes more than a decade ago; however, they have grown to be more accepted in recent years. Once a countertop material only for the do-it-yourselfers and the exceptionally wealthy, concrete countertops are now beginning to find their way into mid-priced homes and common commercial applications.

The use of concrete countertops has become an increasingly popular way for designers and homeowners to achieve a look unlike any other material. Concrete countertops can add the perfect design element to almost any design style, including traditional, earthy, modern, industrial, contemporary, and more. Concrete countertops are only limited by the imagination and the ability to make the shapes as such.

Key components that affect the appearance of concrete countertops


All concrete requires coarse and fine aggregates for proper consistency and strength. In fact, these aggregates are a main composition of concrete. In the application of countertops, aggregates are of great importance. Obviously, the aggregates must allow the concrete to set as it should. However, aggregates can also play a role in the aesthetics of the concrete countertop. For example, the type of fine aggregate chosen (ie sand) can drastically change the color of the finished product. Also, if the countertop is polished, the process can crush the concrete and expose the aggregates. In this case, the sizes and colors of the aggregates are just as important as any coloring of the concrete to the final appearance of the top. Also, if you expose the aggregate, consider using non-gravel aggregates, including broken glass, marble or granite chips, nuts and bolts, etc.

Portland cement.

Portland cement is the binder that holds concrete together. Since traditional Portland cement is gray in color, it can affect the overall look of your concrete countertop. If you’re looking for a countertop that can be easily stained in dark colors, or want to leave your concrete countertops a natural gray, then regular Portland is the right choice for the project. However, if your concrete countertop is going to be white or light colored, or if you need it to be easily stained or stained, choosing a white Portland cement may be more appropriate. It has the same binding properties as traditional Portland, only it is white when cured. White Portland is the only way to achieve a truly white concrete countertop.


There are a variety of techniques used to achieve a certain color on a concrete countertop. One of the most basic methods is to add a pigment to the concrete mix before pouring the countertop. These colors are often called integral colors or integrated colors. Integral colors add color to the entire countertop, making the center of the counter the same color as the surface. This is especially important if it is going to be ground or polished after pouring. Post-pour colors will fade, exposing the original color of the concrete. Some post-pour concrete coloring techniques include stained concrete countertops, stained concrete countertops, and stained concrete countertops. Each coloring method will result in a unique and different result. In general, the same rules apply for staining techniques before and after pouring concrete countertops as they do for regular concrete slabs. Be sure to check out the rules and tips for each of these techniques before attempting it. For example, you may want to wait until the concrete countertop is fully cured before applying any stain, which can take up to 60 days for interior applications.


For every concrete countertop, you’ll want to use some type of sealer. Concrete is naturally porous, so you will need a sealer to prevent the pores from absorbing bacteria, stains, etc. There are many different sealants. Since this sealer will protect your concrete countertop investment, don’t skimp on this step. Especially for kitchen applications, choose an FDA-approved sealant. There are also some that are less complicated than others, so pay attention to details like application procedures and the duration between applications. Sealers can come in different sheens and even tints. A higher gloss sealer tends to bring out the richness of the colors, while a flat or matte sealer will tone down the concrete countertop somewhat. Stained sealer should be used carefully because if the color is conflicting or if the particle count of the stain is too high, it can completely ruin the hard work you put into the concrete countertop.

Decorative accessories.

Concrete countertop manufacturers have been trying many unique ways to differentiate their countertops. A semi-common technique is to embed decorative materials into the concrete countertop when the concrete has not yet cured. Inlaid materials can include seashells, tiles, natural stones, glass, etc. Even the most delicate objects, such as preserved leaves, can be removed. Although a sealant can add some protection, always consider the long-term durability of the materials you choose to embed in your countertop. Countertop artists have also been playing with objects to imprint them into the concrete. If used on a functional countertop, prints should be shallow to avoid creating an area for dirt and grime to collect. Impression materials are plentiful and can include rubber stamps, hand or foot prints, leaves and sticks, cookie cutters or cake pans, etc.

Surface Finishes.

For the surface, there are many different finishes you can choose from, including flat, polished, stamped or embossed, smoothed, textured, and more. This finish can have a big impact on the final appearance of the concrete countertop.

edge shape.

If you can imagine an edge finish, it’s available with concrete countertops. The only limitation is the ability of the manufacturer to create the mold or form. Of course, square corners are an easy and common edge shape for concrete countertops. Additionally, you can use a router, such as those used on granite or marble countertops, to create edge styles including round nose, round corners, triple egg, ogee, and more. There are also a variety of styrofoam molds and rubber edging that can imitate wood trim, jagged rock edging, and many more. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can create your own molds. Just remember: you only have one try. If you mess up, the only solution is a new concrete countertop.


If you’re really going for a streamlined look with your countertop, consider molding your sink into the concrete countertop. This will mean that you have one fluid piece that represents the seamless counters and sink. There are even more sink shapes available with concrete than with other materials. Again, if you can dream it up and build the mold, you can do it with concrete.

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