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Concrete Countertops vs. Quartz, Granite & Other MaterialsLearn about the pros and cons to various countertop materials and why concrete is an economical and sustainable choice
While concrete isn't the only option for kitchen countertops, it offers a number of advantages that other materials can't match, particularly when it comes to versatility. Here, we compare concrete with some of the most popular alternatives.
CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS VS. QUARTZ
One of the most popular countertop materials is quartz. Quartz can be customized to your project much like concrete. Since quartz is an engineered stone it comes in a wider array of colors and patterns than granite, but not quite as many as concrete. Concrete is noticeably more cost-efficient when compared with quartz.
Quartz offers strength and durability but cannot match concrete’s versatility when adding texture. Concrete can mimic natural materials like wood, or stone. Along with its color, concrete can take on a very realistic appearance, unlike quartz.
CONCRETE VS GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
Granite is also a common material used for countertops. It shares many qualities with concrete countertops including being strong, durable and beautiful.
Absolute ConcreteWorks in Port Townsend, WA.
While you can find many different colors of granite, concrete has a limitless palette. Furthermore, concrete can be made to resemble any surface material including granite. In addition to the colors, concrete can be poured seamlessly, whereas granite may need to be installed in multiple pieces, giving you seams across your counters.
Are concrete countertops cheaper than granite?
Generally, concrete countertops are not cheaper than granite. Concrete starts at around $65 per square foot, while basic granite can be as low as $40 a square foot. Concrete counters are an artisan product that come with higher labor costs.
CHARACTERISTICS TO COMPARE
Here is how concrete stacks up in ten categories compared to other countertop materials like granite and quartz:
- Heat resistance - Concrete is very heat resistant but avoid placing hot pots or pans on sealed surfaces, since the heat can damage or discolor the sealer. (See Placing Hot Pans on Concrete Countertops.)
- Cost - See Concrete Countertop Pricing to learn about factors that influence the final cost.
- Needs sealing - In its natural state, concrete is porous and may stain. Applying a surface sealer will make the concrete water and stain resistant.
- Stain resistant - Spills happen frequently in a kitchen, it is important to have a counter that isn’t susceptible to staining. A good sealer will protect your concrete from wine, mustard, oil and more.
- Color options - Color options with concrete are nearly endless with integral color, staining, or both. This gives you the ability to coordinate or match the countertop with other colors in a room.
- Cast in any shape - Concrete can be cast in any shape and practically any size.
- Visible seams or grout lines - Large concrete countertops will have seams, but the appearance can be minimized with the use of a color-matched filler.
- Endless edge details - Contractors can create custom edge forms to replicate any design using molding products such as extruded styrene or liquid rubber or plastic. (See Concrete Countertop Edge Details.)
- Accepts inserts and inlays - Concrete countertops can be personalized with unique embedded items such as pebbles, recycled glass and seashells. (See Concrete Countertop Inserts and Inlays.)
- Appearance can improve with age - Concrete is not a static material. It will evolve and acquire character over time, developing a warm patina.
COUNTERTOP COMPARISON CHART
|Granite||Synthetic Solid Surface||Tile||Laminate||Engineered Quartz||Concrete|
|Resistant to high heat||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes
(unless treated with a sealer or wax)
|Cost per square foot||$40-$175||$50-$90||$20-$70||$20-$50||$80-$140||$65-$135
(For a standard 1.5-inch-thick countertop.)
|Stain resistant||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, when sealed|
|Cast in any shape||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Visible seams or grout lines||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No
(when seam filler is used)
|Endless edge details||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Accepts inserts and inlays||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Appearance improves with age||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|