When you decide to install new countertops in your kitchen, there are a number of options. You could choose timeless butcherblock, chintzy laminate, or classy granite. However, one of the newer material options is the concrete countertop. Concrete is fast becoming a preferred material for constructing kitchen countertops, especially considering the health concerns associated with granite countertops emitting potentially cancer-causing radon.
The benefits of concrete countertops, on the other hand, are many. For instance, it can be filled with colored materials or decorative particles such as quartz or marble, giving the concrete the look of a number of different stones, like granite, for a fraction of the cost. It is inexpensive and incredibly durable, lasting for long periods of time with little upkeep. They aren't easily damaged from knives or dropped pots and pans, and they can be protected from stains with a simple sealing regimen.
Periodic sealing, maybe once every two years or so, will ensure your concrete countertops remain fresh and protected for the long haul. While the biggest threat to your concrete countertops would probably be acidic stains, like lemon juice, as well as other stains from tomato sauce or red wine. By choosing the proper sealer that will protect against heat, scratches, and other dangers, these stains will not seep into the concrete, instead sitting atop the material to be cleaned up at your leisure.
Low Sheen Finish: The Concrete Countertop Sealer 660 is the perfect response to the many questions that abound regarding which type of concrete sealer to use. If you are looking for a low sheen finish on your concrete countertops the 660 is an excellent option especially since is completely non-toxic, water-based and safe for interaction with food. It will protect your concrete from UV degradation, stains and scratches that can plague countertops. The Concrete Countertop Sealer 660 is easy to apply, simply mix the concentrated solution with equal parts water and spread the solution over the countertop with a rag for five minutes. Continuously make sure the countertop is wet for the whole five minutes, then let the sealer dry into the concrete without wiping it up. After the surface has dried, apply another coat of a 3:1 ratio of sealer to water, which will help fully protect your countertops.
Natural Finish: The Concrete Countertop Sealer 770 is also a non-toxic, water-based, food safe sealer that will not enhance the concrete or leave a sheen. If you are looking to keep the concrete countertops looking natural, or completely the same after sealing as they did prior to sealing the 770 is the product for you. The 770 is also able to withstand staining from household susbtances causing the fluids to sit ontop of the concrete rather than penetrating into the concrete giving you time to wipe up the mess. The Concrete Countertop Sealer 770 is easy to apply and is sold as a concentrated product. Simply mix the concentrated solution with 3 parts water and roll or brush the sealer over the countertop. Immediately apply a second coat while the first coat is still wet. After the surface has dried, your countertops will be fully protected.
High Gloss Finish: The Polyaspartic 745 is typically used in commercial kitchens and bars since it is the most durable countertop sealer available. The Polyaspartic 745 can also be used on warehouse floors and is able to stand up to forklift traffic, chemicals and abrasions so using it on a concrete countertop is a no brainer. The 745 can only be used on interior concrete countertops and leaves the surface with a high gloss finish. Since it is a coating rather than a sealer it sits on top of the concrete providing a smooth surface environment that allows for easy clean up and completely stops anything from penetrating through it. Before applying the 745 we recommend sanding the concrete countertop with a 220 grit pad to ensure the surface has enough porosity for the coating to adhere to. The Polyaspartic 745 is sold in a 2 part kit, so you need to mix Part A with Part B. It has a short workable life, which means once you mix Part A with Part B you have about 15 minutes to apply it before it begins to harden and is unworkable. You do need to let the countertop dry for at least a full 24 hours before use. Once cured you are left with an extremely durable, high gloss concrete countertop.