Kitchen benchtop slabs are an important part of any kitchen, serving as the counter space where household members perform various activities like cooking and preparing food. They must be solid and durable without sacrificing aesthetics. One way to make your house beautiful is having the right kitchen benchtops placed at an appropriate location for it to look stylish and classy, making your cooking area convenient at the same time. If you are planning on having this done and confused about which one to choose, here is a guide on why to opt for concrete slabs.
Why Choose Concrete?
From the varieties available in the market, one option to consider is concrete kitchen benchtop slabs. Concrete has many benefits that make it an ideal choice for kitchen benchtops, including its durability, resistance to stains and resilience to high temperatures.
Concrete may be poured directly onto a plywood or resin support base or an existing countertop. For homeowners who want to complete the project themselves, all that’s needed are forms, sand, rebar ties if required by local building codes, finely graded stone aggregate, water and plastic sheeting. On the other hand, hiring a professional will take care of the concrete mix design, reinforcement, and installation.
As with any DIY project, homeowners must be aware of local building codes. For instance, in some areas, it is illegal to pour slabs without steel mesh for reinforcement. In other areas, a professional permit may be required to install a poured-in-place slab or to use reinforcing steel. Furthermore, in some regions, mixing sand into the mixture is prohibited because it weakens cement clinker, which reduces strength and causes cracking.
If pouring slabs at home isn’t feasible due to code restrictions, a contractor should be hired who will follow the proper procedures outlined by the government.
In general, concrete kitchen benchtops slabs are ideal for busy households because they are resistant to stains, burns and scratches. They can also be personalised with decorative effects like imprinting, embedding and carving. Concrete is also an excellent material for outdoor applications where weather conditions take their toll on other surfaces like wood or tile.
Concrete has good thermal mass — it stores the energy of the sun during the day and releases it slowly at night, keeping kitchen interiors warm in winter and cool in summer (a function known as passive solar heating). Therefore, for homes that lack central heating, concrete slabs are a great way to retain heat.
A well-designed concrete kitchen benchtop slab should have thick walls about 12 inches deep to reduce cracking when weight is applied. Slabs should also have a minimum thickness of 3 inches, depending on the length of stay and local codes or requirements.
Concrete has low or no toxicity and is non-allergenic; hence, making it favourable for kitchen usage. It is resistant to rotting and insect infestation due to its hardness and alkalinity. Concrete kitchen benchtop slabs can be sealed with penetrating sealers for improved appearance and minimal maintenance; they will not stain or show watermarks like natural materials such as wood or granite.
For kitchens that need more than just counter space, concrete might not be suitable because it does not support heavy loads. But when strength isn’t an issue, homeowners can choose from a wide range of hues, textures, and finishes – even marble chips for faux surfaces.
Concrete kitchen benchtop slabs do not need to be polished and sealed; therefore, saving time and money over the long term.
Before installing concrete kitchen benchtop slabs, homeowners should know that the initial labour investment will take longer than natural materials like wood or stone. However, this more than makes up for itself in the long run due to savings on professional installation and sealing. If done correctly, concrete kitchen benchtops can be a wise investment.