Concrete worktop as a DIY project? (and how to select a professional contractor who will do it for you)
Polished concrete worktops bridge the gap between practical longevity and stylish modernity. With the proper care and maintenance, they will last you for decades to come, and will even naturally age into a beautiful patina. Whether you’re a young professional or shopping for a family kitchen, concrete countertops will withstand the test of time, in both aesthetics and durability.
Even if you already know you want polished concrete surfaces in your home, it can be difficult to know where to start. Should you buy them pre-made, attempt a DIY project, or order custom manufactured pieces? What style should you order? Who should you hire to install them? What is the best way to look after them? To help answer these questions, we have compiled a quick guide to help you get to grips with the basics of liquid rock.
Can I get away with a DIY project?
Although it is possible to create your own concrete countertops from scratch, this can be quite the undertaking. Even if you have quite a lot of DIY experience, mixing concrete to the right ratios can be tough, not to mention the required precision of the installation and attachment process. You also would have to make sure that you choose the right sealants for your concrete surfaces, and apply them correctly, to make sure they do not get damaged with regular use.
A project like this could take a very long time, and would definitely take a lot of planning and effort to carry out. It’s not as simple as pouring any old concrete mix into a mould and heaving it up onto your cabinets - at least not if you want your worktops to last! If you’re renovating, you probably don’t have that much time or energy on your hands, so we recommend looking into hiring a professional.
If you have specific requirements such as custom colour mixes, or integrated fittings such as draining boards or sinks, then this is another good reason to hire a contractor. Specialist mixes (such as concrete set with shells, pebbles, glass etc.) require a lot of expertise to handle as they are generally quite difficult to work with, and are best left to the professionals.
Choosing the best contractor for you
If you are at the stage of renovation, your kitchen probably means a lot to you. We understand that you’re pouring money into this space because you want it to look the best it possibly can, and you want to receive a service that is value for money. When choosing a contractor, it’s vital that they understand your vision, and are able to carry it out exactly to your specifications.
Your contractor should ideally have many years of experience, as well as a good portfolio of references from previous happy customers. You should also see if you can find out if the products and services they provide hold up in the long run; do their worktops last? Are they stable?
Our team at Stonemade provides a bespoke, high quality, personal service for the manufacture and installation of polished concrete countertops and other polished concrete products. We’ve been working with concrete for years, taking advantage of its versatility, durability and unique aesthetic properties. Whatever your vision, we can help make it a reality, whether it’s a large, dynamic family kitchen or a streamlined, classy one for an enthusiastic hobbyist.
How do we manufacture and install polished concrete worktops?
Concrete is manufactured using a mixture of natural materials, including stone, sand, fly ash, binders (such as limestone and calcium sulfate) and water.
Since precasting allows for greater flexibility of design, most concrete surfaces are manufactured this way. The customer has a plethora of options when it comes to the sizing, colour, texture, materials, shape and form of the product. Concrete is the perfect building material for those who value personalisation and customizability.
In order to get the job done well, not only does the concrete surface have to be perfectly manufactured, but it also must be perfectly installed. The first stage (after the area has been fully prepared by the customer), is the installation of sink supports, which prevent the sink from collapsing under the weight of the concrete. After this, the surfaces are dry fitted, and then subsequently glued to the supporting fixtures. We use shims to ensure all the slabs fit correctly for a clean finish, and flexible chalk is applied to support the worktops further, without putting excess strain on the alignment.
What is there to choose from?
Concrete is the ultimate material when it comes to freedom of choice. Our worktops come in a wide range of colours, from standard shades of grey to brighter dyed concretes. You can also choose from various polishing grades and textures, from rough matte to high gloss finishes. Whatever look you’re trying to achieve, there will be a concrete countertop to match it, and with their reliable, hard-wearing durability, our worktops will be satisfying your internal interior designer for years to come.
You can choose from a huge array of styles and additional incorporated fittings, and due to their bespoke-made nature, we can weave almost any wish into your order. Be it modern, smart and classy, or cosy, traditional and rustic, our countertops can complement the atmosphere of any home, in the kitchen, utility room, studio or bathroom.
So, what’s the verdict?
Although it might seem like a lot of money now, hiring a contractor is likely to save you cash in the long run. These countertops are built to last, and are an investment into the longevity of your home environment. You have complete creative freedom, and we’ll take care of the tough stuff. Leave it to the professionals, and see your concrete dreams to fruition.
If you’re interested in ordering a custom made polished concrete countertop, contact us via email or by phone, or arrange a free consultation, no strings attached.