What's the Difference Between Countertop Concrete and Regular Concrete?

What's the Difference Between Countertop Concrete and Regular Concrete?

Cabinets and Countertops
By Alex Mikayelyan December 02, 2021

Concrete is one of the most versatile construction materials out there. It’s very moldable, easy to transport, even easier to mix, durable, and very cost-effective. It’s no surprise that there exist various types of concrete that handle both interior and exterior projects. While it may not be the most popular material for this particular construction project, concrete countertops are quite common and many homeowners prefer to have them over granite and quartz.

The cement used to make countertops is different from the other variants. It’s important to know the distinction between them, lest you end up making a wrong purchase and your project does not go as planned. Luckily, concrete mix manufacturers have made it super easy to understand what you’re buying and how you can use it. 

Countertop Concrete 

The Benefits of a Concrete Countertop

The Benefits of a Concrete Countertop

Concrete is quite durable and is commonly used for outdoor flooring, support beams, and vertical surfaces. It can also be given a glossy finish and used as indoor flooring that is both sleek and easy to maintain. For countertops, however, you cannot just use any regular bag of cement. Countertops require cement that has a high PSI rating, which is a measure of the material’s pressure and subsequently its strength. The higher the PSI rating the stronger the concrete is going to be and for countertops, it is recommended to have concrete with a PSI rating of at least 6,000. 

You can find bags of concrete mix that are created specifically to be used as a countertop. In fact, you can even purchase various kinds of concrete mixes depending on your preferred countertop appearance. For example, there is a specific mix for a white concrete countertop, in case you’re looking to brighten up the kitchen. Also, there are polished concrete countertops if you’re going for a glossy texture in your kitchen. 

Keep in mind, that you can make countertops out of regular concrete and there is nothing preventing you from doing this. Regular concrete can work as a countertop, but it comes with a few complications. The concrete mix used for foundation, hardscaping, or patio flooring is not meant to be sleek, smooth, and glossy — it’s simply there to hold up lots of weight and stay in one piece. However, not much is done to prevent chipping since a small crack in the patio floor is not going to be much of an inconvenience. 

On a kitchen countertop, however, even the smallest crack or chip is not only going to be very noticeable, but it may interfere with your cooking and prep work as you oftentimes need a completely smooth surface in the kitchen. To make countertops out of a regular cement mix, you’d need to use tons of additives to prevent cracking or shrinking. Cement mix bags specifically designed to make countertops come with all these already in the mixture, so you don’t have to go out of your way to find these additives and add them to the mix yourself.

Concrete countertops cost less than granite and quartz, making them a fantastic choice for kitchen remodels or renovations on a smaller budget, which is great for homeowners looking to freshen up their interior without spending too much on natural or engineered stone. You can find concrete countertops for $60 to $130 per square foot, depending on the type of concrete you’re looking for.

Other Concrete Types Used In Construction  

What Uses Are There for Concrete In Construction Projects

What Uses Are There for Concrete In Construction Projects

Different types of concrete are used for a variety of construction projects. Depending on what is mixed into the cement, these will perform differently and can be utilized for various construction projects. For example, the mixture used for concrete slab foundation installations combines sand with cement for a stronger formula. Other types of concrete in construction similarly have a different formula, designed to suit a specific purpose.

Precast 

If you don’t have the DIY experience to cast and mold concrete slabs yourself, there are precast concrete blocks you can purchase that forgo this process entirely. You can purchase concrete blocks that come in sizes or shapes that suit your needs, be it a staircase, wall, or any other construction project. These concrete blocks are best suited for smaller projects. 

Decorative 

Decorative concrete allows you to personalize it, whether through molding, coloring, or etching. It can be used to decorate interiors, such as creating an accent wall, but is also commonly used for stylish flooring and swimming pools. It is also very popular with outdoor living spaces, such as patios, where regular concrete mix may look too drab. The freedom to color, etch and mold gives homeowners more control over how their concrete surfaces will look. 

Glass Concrete

For something that is more unconventional, you can also try glass concrete, which has a sparkly, glossy, and grainy surface that makes for a very attractive addition to outdoor living spaces. As with any other concrete type you can find cement mixtures of different colors and grain consistency, allowing you to match it with the surrounding designs. 

Where You Can Use Concrete In Your Interior Design?

But aside from outdoor projects, there are various types of concrete for interior projects. 

Concrete Kitchen Flooring

How Well Can Concrete Work As Flooring

How Well Can Concrete Work As Flooring

Kitchen flooring is always tricky. On the one hand, you need to make something that is water and impact-resistant. On the other hand, you also want it to be something that is stylish. Concrete kitchen flooring may seem somewhat odd, as this type of flooring is typically found in public or industrial buildings. But with a glossy protective coat, concrete floors can look stunning.

Since the bagged concrete mix is easy to transport and is quite affordable, it is also a very practical option for homeowners looking for flooring that is not too complicated to install. However, you will need a professional cement mason to mold the concrete, as an untrained hand will have a hard time making the surface even. 

Concrete Vanity Top

Stylish and Sleek Concrete Bathroom Vanity Design

Stylish and Sleek Concrete Bathroom Vanity Design

Concrete kitchen countertops are not the only smooth surfaces you will need in your home. Concrete also works quite well for bathroom vanities. While it may not be indestructible, it is still a very strong material and can sustain a lot of impacts. Not that you really need it to with bathroom vanities, since, unlike a countertop, the vanity doesn’t usually hold up heavy loads as the kitchen countertop does.

But in any case, if you’re looking for something sturdy, concrete is a great option. Depending on the kind of mix you utilize you can choose its appearance and how grainy it is. You could even pick out a concrete vanity bag that imitates the appearance of natural stone, but obviously, with a much smaller price tag. 

Concrete Feature Wall

Why You Should Create a Concrete Feature Wall

Why You Should Create a Concrete Feature Wall

Contemporary interiors strive for simplicity. Not that modern interiors are boring, but rather minimalistic, taking advantage of the shapes and forms already present within the interior, as opposed to adding new ones through decor. However, one design element that is quite popular with most contemporary interiors out there is the feature wall

Concrete feature walls are perfect for modern interiors. They bring in some grainy and earthy textures into the room but are not a burden on the eyes. Concrete feature walls also make great backdrops for entertainment centers. So, with the more somber color of concrete, you can have a wall behind the entertainment center that doesn’t distract from the viewing experience.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan