Concrete Countertops: Pre-cast vs. On-site

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Concrete countertops let the homeowner control much of the creation process, from the design, style and color to the thickness and even where the countertop is formed. Concrete countertops are formed (poured) either at your home or in the shop of the concrete contractor. Your concrete contractor will explain to you the advantages and disadvantages of each pouring site option as it pertains to your project. Considerations include the type of countertop, size, scope, complexity, and distance from the shop to your home. Here are some points to guide you as to which process is best for you.

Cast On-Site (in your home)

cast onsite

Poured on-site concrete countertops are also known as cast-in-place. This process is as if the concrete contractor brings the shop to you. The clear disadvantage to this is that concrete is messy and there will be a lot of preparation, including hanging plastic tarps and making space for equipment and tools. Here are some other considerations:

  • Size: If you have a small concrete countertop project it may be easier to have the countertop made in a shop and then transported to your home. For large projects, though, transporting the tops may end up costing you a lot of money and could risk breakage or damage.
  • Seamless Appearance: If you prefer a seamless look, then casting on-site is best, because long countertops can be poured on-site without a seam.
  • Perfect Fit: Some concrete contractors actually prefer pouring and forming on-site, as it allows them to make necessary changes and adjustments.
  • Participation: You can be part of the process when concrete is poured at your home.

Cast in Shop

When countertops are poured in-shop, also called pre-cast, the mixing, pouring and constructing of the slabs are completed in the concrete contractor's shop. Depending on the size of the countertop and the distance to your home, you may need to pay additional charges for shipping and delivery.

In general, most concrete builders and contractors feel more comfortable working in their own shops under their own conditions to make concrete countertops. Successfully casting concrete involves the right combination of temperature and humidity, and working in the shop enables contractors to have exact control over these conditions to ensure a good quality countertop for you. Once the countertop is made, though, the color and thickness cannot be changed. As mentioned above, your contractor will discuss with you all of the pros and cons as they relate to your specific project.

Updated June 26, 2018.

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