Concrete Countertops Standing Out Points

Concrete Countertops Standing Out Points
A kitchen countertop is one of the main elements of kitchen furniture. There is a whole list of requirements towards countertops, no matter if they are stone, laminated or concrete countertops. This list includes issues about working surface:
·         It should have a good look
·         It must be water-resistant
·         It should be resistant to moisture, scratches and heat
Here, in this article we would like to talk about countertops on the whole, and we will mention them separately. So shall we start?

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·         Laminated countertops
Laminated countertops are really in-demand type of countertops. They are produced of wood chipboards and fiberboards (or MDF), covered with plastic layer. Such type of countertops is attractive for the target audience with its low price and quite a good quality.
What should a buyer pay attention to? The first thing is its base – either it is MDF (quite a safe material) or chip boards. As for the last one, the content of it has some resins, and some experts claim that it can produce harmful fumes.
As for the coating choice, it is worth giving preference to matte, but not glossy; on the latter even the smallest scratches will be more noticeable and visible.
It is better to choose surfaces with picture. In course of time some small spots can appear on a countertop surface, and on the monophonic surface they will be too evident.
One more cons of laminate countertop is that they can’t be made without seams. That means if you lack one board to cover the entire kitchen set, at the junctions they will have to be joined with special moldings, usually metal ones. When sealing the countertop seams and ends, especially when installing the sink, it is worth paying special attention to the following:  whatever the base of the laminated countertops, it is not moisture resistant.

·         Artificial stone
Another type of popular material for countertops is artificial stone. Such countertops of artificial stone cost up to six times more expensive than the laminated ones, but they are considered to be stronger and absolutely moisture resistant.
Not all know that countertops are not completely made of artificial stone, but on the basis of chipboard, MDF or plywood: they are simply covered with a layer of mineral chips and resins. The thickness of the covering varies from 3 to 12 mm, and the price depends on it – the thicker it is, the higher the price. But the cover of the artificial stone can be grinned, giving it the original appearance. So, the thicker the coating, the longer you can keep the counter tidy.
Depending on the type of coating, countertops made of artificial stone are divided into two types: acrylic and agglomerate (using natural quartz). Each type has its own cons and pros. Thus, you can’t put hot pans onto acrylic countertops, and you should not clean them with abrasive cleaners or abrasive sponges. But at the same time they are well amenable to restoration.
Agglomerate is not afraid of heat and doesn’t get scratches so easily. But if the surface is damaged, it has to be replaced, as it cannot be repaired.
Another difference between two materials is that acrylic countertops can be produced in any shape and color, and it can be made seamless. As for the agglomerate countertops, they are suitable only for rectangular shapes; and if you want to make it longer than three meters, then you will have to make it with seams.

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·         Natural stone
The mentioned type of countertops is also very in-demand and it is produced of natural stone. Such countertops weigh a lot and are quite expensive, but they look great. Price depends on material: origin of the stone, its color, and way of processing. The more beautiful pattern and color, the more expensive a countertop is.
Natural stone resists high temperatures, but unlike the artificial one, it has microscopic pores, and because of them stains can remain on the countertop surface. In general, granite is the most durable and resistant to any mechanical damage. As for marble and limestone, they are softer, more porous and require more careful usage. If you chose marble or travertine, it’s better to choose darker shades – such countertops require less care.
·         Wood
Many like wooden countertops for the beauty of natural materials and warmth. Such countertop will make atmosphere in the kitchen very cozy, as it is environmentally very friendly and harmless.
Unfortunately, wooden countertops have lot of drawbacks. They are sensitive to water, as they lose their attractive look, get shattered or cracked. To avoid this you have to protect surface, treating it periodically with oil. It is not allowed to put hot pots on wooden countertop, because the stain will immediately appear on the surface. However, if you put your choice on a countertop made of array, and not veneered, then in time it can be polished and varnished again.

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·         Concrete
Concrete table tops are becoming more and more demanded. Mostly, they are preferred for modern interiors: designers use them in brutal men’s apartments to emphasize the character of the room. A big advantage of concrete countertops is that they can be produced of any shape.

Concrete countertops are not necessarily to be grey and boring. You can vary with color of material by adding pigments to it, or still in some filler, like stones, shells or glass. With the latter concrete countertops highlighted will look much interesting.

Working surface of concrete countertops can be polished, ground or painted. You can either have a countertop of matt appearance or polish it to a mirror effect.

Concrete is a very strong, but porous material that needs special impregnation to prevent appearance of stains. Too cold or hot temperatures can lead to deformation of concrete countertops. But if a chip or a crack is formed on the surface, they can be eliminated.

·         Ceramics
Ceramic countertops are a novelty in the market. Their surface is made of a thin ceramic board, which includes quarry clay of granite rocks and ceramic pigments. Due to this, the material can be called environmentally friendly and safe.

Ceramic countertops are resistant to chemicals, their surface is absolutely hygienic, there are no stains on it, since there are no pores in the material. Ceramic countertops are heat resistant  as they do not contain organic materials and resins. And – what is very important for working in the kitchen – such surfaces allow using knives, since such countertops are scratch-resistant and can be damaged only with a diamond.

The only disadvantage of ceramic countertops is the limitation in form: they can only be rectangular. But on the surface you can put a print or a picture that will emphasize your interior.

And one more feature of ceramic countertops is their possibility to “cooperate” with the built-in induction cooker. The contours of the burners are applied directly to the ceramic coating, and only control panel is installed on the surface. This is a very good solution for small kitchens where it is not possible to make a spacious work surface. When the induction cooker is used, only dishes are heated, but not surface of the countertop, so it is absolutely safe.