Modern kitchens won’t look nice without those stylish and useful countertops. The question now is which material should you use? Ask the most experienced countertop installers. Stone has been a favorite for many years. Marble and quartz are also ideal options. However, many homeowners nowadays go for concrete and granite. These products became popular building materials in the 1980s. Let’s do a detailed comparison between the two.
Homeowners usually consider budget first when it comes to home renovation. It’s practical to compare costs before anything else. According to reports to selectedly by homeowners, granite countertops cost between $35 (common) and $200 (rare) per square foot. It still depends on the source and variety. Another cheaper option would be to buy granite tiles for $5 up to $15 (one square foot). However, tiles don’t look as shiny as the original material.
Standard concrete countertops sell for around $65 or less per square foot. More expensive types cost approximately $135. It depends on the design’s intricacy. Costs normally don’t include installation fees. An installer can charge between $30 and $90 per hour. It takes about 10 hours of work for the average 75 SQ precast counter. Pouring in concrete onsite will require up at least 28 hours before the cement and aggregate harden.
In summary, concrete is more expensive compared to granite. This should help the owner to make a faster decision.
Form or Appearance
Nothing matches concrete in terms of look. For instance, combining blue stain and fragmented glass with concrete produces a glowing appearance. Neutral colors and composite material like Riverstone pebbles transform kitchen countertops into glossy fixtures. Homeowners have numerous alternatives. Concrete tops can have many curves and implanted objects. These include collections of old coins, trivets, coasters, and knife slots that run along the panel.
Granite boasts of unique aesthetics as well. It does not possess the flexibility of concrete. Yet, this material has exquisiteness and depth of natural stone. Colors and patterns abound. There’s sparkling black, blue, or gold. Scratches will eventually show in granite. In the same manner, acidic beverages permeate concrete sealants. Acid also damages lustrous granite finishes. Anyway, you can rely on competent countertop installers for upkeep. This concern brings us to the aspect of maintenance
Concrete and granite are both solid and durable. These materials have the capacity to endure weight. The primary utility issue that sets them apart is maintenance. Concrete is more absorbent. It is not as resistant as granite. Concrete sealing substances don’t address this problem completely. Said material requires sealing more frequently than its counterpart.
Hard stone stains fast from almost all kinds of liquids. Worse, it facilitates the growth of bacteria. Concrete also needs waxing every month to keep the surface clean and polished. Granite requires resealing only when the sealing compound fades. This may not even necessary if the surface is thick. In short, granite calls for less upkeep.
Toughness of Material
Concrete countertops are hard-wearing. Concrete stays intact. It can endure misuse with only a few abrasions and chips to show. This material resists extreme heat making it suitable for the kitchen. One downside of precast concrete is the very thin cracks along cutouts. These fractures emerge even after installation. Even then, installers can easily repair the fissures.
Granite doesn’t suffer from these gaps given proper installation and support. Damage usually comes from fabrication as well as installation. The material also shows heat-resistant features. It will not crack with normal use. Small damages are not difficult to patch up. Overall, granite is more resilient than concrete.
With regards to heat resistance, granite tops do not soften or blister. It remains as one of the highly heat-resistant products in the market. The cook can put a hot pot from the stove on the surface without causing any damage. However, countertop installers still suggest the use of trivets (like crockpots) for appliances that discharge heat. The crockpot can prevent possible cracking.
For scratches, granite is extremely hard. In other words, few minerals can graze the surface. Experts don’t recommend cutting on the surface. It can dull the kitchen knives. The metal residue left behind turns out hard to remove. The usual granite countertop contains two or three seams. The average slab varies. It depends on the color the homeowner chooses. The normal expectation is 9 x 5 feet.
Larger islands can be fabricated minus the seams. The U-shaped or L-shaped layout contains seams in areas where the countertop slants in another direction. Fabricators will likely use colored epoxy to connect the seams and conceal them. The seam can be one-eighth of an inch in thickness.
Covered panels (backsplashes) are not available with the granite countertop. Tiles, as well as full-granite panels, are commonly used.
Repair & Sealing
Don’t attempt to repair countertops with certain issues. Call the installer for this service. Fabricators normally use colored epoxy for filling in gaps. Those who use heavy cast-iron cooking pans must be extra careful in placing the fixtures under the sink. Cutout edges are prone to incur dents.
Majority of fabricators apply sealants prior to installation. It is meant as protection against easy absorption of liquids. Otherwise, granite absorbs the liquid left on the surface for a long time. They apply a commercial poultice to speed up the process. Most liquids simply evaporate minus these poultices.
For color options, concrete has limited choices in terms of pigments and patterns. Granite is the more exotic material. Some homeowners prefer natural-looking materials. Others look for outlandish colors or blends of shades.
Granite or Concrete – The Big?
These countertop materials are currently trending all over the country. Concrete has more concerns based on testimonials from many homeowners. They say it is would be practical to opt for granite which gives more value for their money. Once again, remember the criteria. To recap, consider market prices, durability, maintenance, form, and repairs before deciding on the material.