GLOSSARY OF CONCRETE COUNTERTOP TERMS
Provided by The Concrete Countertop Institute
The concrete industry covers a broad range of people who design, use, apply, and build with concrete. Whether it is a concrete contractor, a manufacturer, an architect, designer, homeowner, builder, or supplier, it benefits everyone to have a general understanding of terms used within the industry. The Concrete Countertop Institute, located in Raleigh, NC provides this glossary of the most commonly used concrete countertop terms and definitions.
acrylic sealer – A simple, single-component polymer that is either water-based or solvent- based. Provides moderate stain protection and is easily scratched.
beam – A horizontal structural member often supported near the ends and spans an open space. Concrete countertops are beams, even if there is plywood underneath them, because plywood is too weak and flexible to provide enough structural support to the concrete to prevent cracking.
bugholes – Small voids in concrete caused by entrapped air bubbles. Generally there should be no bugholes on the top surface of concrete countertops, especially for kitchen counters.
cantilever – A beam that projects beyond its supports. An area where a countertop overhangs a cabinet or support by more than a few inches.
casting table – A strong, level table designed for casting concrete slabs on top of it
caulk – Used to fill seams between countertop slabs. Usually color-matched. Made of a flexible material such as acrylic, so that they create control joints in the concrete.
compressive strength – The ability of concrete to resist compression forces, or pushing together forces, expressed in pounds per square inch (psi)
concrete countertops – A handcrafted alternative to manufactured countertop surfaces. Can be precast in a shop in molds built to the customer's specifications or cast in place, by setting a form on top of the base kitchen cabinets and then filling with concrete. The use of stains, dyes, pigments, decorative aggregates, and epoxy coatings can give concrete countertops the look, texture, and feel of quarried stone such as marble, granite, and limestone.
control (or contraction) joint – Sawed or tooled groove in a concrete slab used to regulate the location of cracking.
cooktop – A self-rimming assembly of stove burners that fits into the countertop