From million dollar homes in San Francisco Bay Area to scattering mountain homes in the Colorado Rockies, meticulous homeowners are now demanding custom designs and finishes for their kitchens. In other words, they want to express their individuality and different design preferences with the fast-growing design material of choice — concrete.
In fact, these so-called concrete countertops have already become a status symbol for kitchens, competing with granite and other high end countertop surface alternatives. Even Consumer Reports Magazine (August 2004) rated or ranked concrete as the highest for its ‘customization’ and ‘exclusivity’ compared to high-end kitchen countertops.
As a custom product, the length of time and craftsmanship that is need to make countertops that are concrete defines them as the most labor-intensive and priciest among leading countertop materials.
However, they are becoming more attainable for those who prefer not to shell out more than a few dollars. The latest DIY trend to awe homeowners and builders is building your very own concrete countertops. This has earned the popularity it deserves thanks to a best-selling book by Cheng which is called Concrete Countertops: Design, Forms, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath (Taunton Press, 2002). There is little money investment in designing or making concrete countertops, yet the creative gains of working with concrete are plentiful, this according to Cheng.
Homeowners are now moving on from the drab, manufactured design of traditional countertop surfaces and opting for concrete for its earthy, everlasting appeal. Plus, the options for customizing concrete or embed personal objects like stones, seashells and fossils into the countertops’ surface, adding pizzazz to it. Functional features like drain boards, soap dishes, and trivets can also be incorporated to fit the owner of the house ‘s needs and lifestyle.
Concrete has slowly become demystified as cold and industrial. On the contrary, this age-old material is warm and surprisingly tangible. People can’t help but touch their smooth, polished surface.
BREAKING THE MOLD
Another positive aspect of concrete is its adaptibility in both modern and traditional settings, especially when going with other materials like metal, wood or stone.
Concrete countertops that are L-shaped has a rough, rustic look to it, complementing the coarse country surroundings. A functional drain board and trivets can definitely add interest to the concrete countertop. Natural slate backsplashes, distinct wall accents, and a butcher block countertop at the kitchen island all resonate with the conventional warmth and earthiness of the concrete countertops.