Most countertops are handcrafted in custom forms created at the manufacturer’s facilities, where the preparation and curing can be better controlled. Those who want a countertop cast in place in the kitchen should be cautious. While it may seem like a valid method, it can be risky and messy. Concrete can be a difficult substance to work with, which is “why concrete countertops are so expensive. People are paying for the skill, craftsmanship, and labor,” Girard says.
Cleaning, Maintenance, and Repair Concrete countertops vary so it’s important to talk to the manufacturer about how to use, care for, and repair your concrete countertop. Concrete will get hairline cracks, but they should not be visible if the product is well made. Concrete is brittle, not elastic, so tops can suffer chips from sharp points or impact. Contact the manufacturer for their repair kits or instructions for repair.
Concrete countertops are usually treated with a penetrating sealer, but sealers differ. Depending on the manufacturer, some tops may require annual resealing. Typical maintenance includes waxing monthly to three or four times a year, depending on use. Waxing a countertop is similar to waxing a car: apply wax, let dry, and buff out.
Hot pots or pans can damage the counter’s wax surface, but it can be rejuvenated by rubbing out the damaged area and re-waxing. Use cutting boards and coasters to avoid acidic substances that can etch and oils that can stain if left on the concrete surface. Be especially careful about cutting on your concrete countertop. Cutting will not only dull your knife but damage the seal on your counter. A damaged seal allows liquids to penetrate and stain the concrete.