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While concrete countertops are a fantastic, durable and beautiful countertop choice, it is also important to note that they also have some disadvantages. Many of the problems that occur with concrete countertops can actually be prevented by good care, maintenance andproper installation. Additionally, certain habits, such as using a cutting board when using a sharp knife, will help prevent damage to the countertops.
Concrete Countertop Disadvantages
- Heat Sensitivity: Concrete countertops cannot come into direct contact with scalding pots and pans. Placing a scalding hot pot or pan directly onto a concrete countertop could damage the top and break the seal. The heat could actually permanently damage the sealer on the countertop, so it's important not to place any hot pots or pans directly on the concrete. Keep a trivet handy so that you can easily place the pot or pan onto the trivet. To avoid the problem entirely, some homeowners have chosen to install trivets directly into their concrete tops. Not only is this a great functional option, but it is a great way to add a customized look to your countertop.
- No Cutting: Cutting with a sharp knife directly onto the countertop could cause damage. Knives can cut through the sealer and also create weak spots. As with trivets, cutting boards can also be installed directly into the countertop for a combination of functionality and design.
- Cracks: Hairline cracks occur in all concrete countertops. While there is no absolute way to prevent them, there are ways to limit their occurrence. Most of the time, the hairline cracks are hardly noticeable and some homeowners feel that they enhance the look of the counter. An excess of hairline cracks could mean that there is a problem with the way your countertops were installed. If you notice excessive cracks, have a concrete contractor check it for you. Sometimes, hairline cracks can go deeper and cause bigger cracks. In extreme cases, the cracks can cause severe damage to concrete countertops and break them completely. Keep in mind that this is rare and almost always occurs due to a bad concrete mix and or installation. Wiping spills promptly and avoiding direct heat and cutting contact will help prevent hairline cracks.
- Messy Installation: If you choose to have your concrete countertops poured and installed on-site then you will have to deal with a mess. Concrete is messy, but a reliable concrete contractor should include cleaning services as part of the job.
- Staining: Spills need to be wiped up promptly, especially if they are acidic like vinegar, lemon juice, red wine, etc. Even just a few minutes of exposure could cause astain on some concrete countertops.