After years of saving money, you are finally ready to build your dream home. Because you want to create an industrial design in your house, you've decided to buy concrete countertops for your kitchen. If you can relate to this scenario, completing the following 2 maintenance measures will keep your countertops looking stylish and new.
To protect your investment in beautiful concrete countertops, you will need to safeguard them from harsh elements including:
The best way to protect concrete countertops from properties that disfigure them is through sealing. When shopping for the perfect sealer, you should ensure that it:
- Will not negatively affect the appearance or touch of the counters
- Is heat resistant
- Is stain resistant
- Can be repaired with minimal effort
- Will not peel
- Is scratch resistant
- Can be cleaned with minimal effort and easily accessible products
- Doesn't require you to reseal often
- Is resistant to acidic food items
- Is safe to eat off of
Depending on your personal style preference, you may opt to go with a water-based sealer or a solvent-based one. Interestingly, a water-based sealer will provide your countertops with a dry appearance while a solvent-based one will make your counters look wet. Once you decide on the right sealer for your kitchen counters, you will need to determine the best way to apply it. Some popular tools used to seal countertops include:
- A roller - Rollers, such as those used by painters, can work well when applying either water-based sealers or solvent-based ones. However, if the solvent-based sealer is high in solid properties, it may not go on well with a roller. When using rollers, solvent-based sealers also tend to pool up.
- A synthetic mop - This tool should only be used to apply water-based sealers. Carefully stirring the sealer around on the counters will create a desired dry look.
- A sprayer - For a solvent-based sealer that is low in solid properties, either a low-pressure sprayer or a pump sprayer works great. After finishing sealing your counters, you should always wash your sprayer out with a clean solvent substance to prevent it from clogging up.
- A microfiber pad - This type of applicator is best used in conjunction with water-based sealers. These pads allow you to only apply a thin layer of sealant.
Fixing Cracks in Countertops
In addition to sealing your new concrete countertops, you should be vigilant about repairing noticeable cracks in them quickly. Several things can cause your counters to crack, including:
- Drying after becoming wet
- Heating from items such as crock pots
- Settling of the home
- Tightening a kitchen faucet too much
While spotting a crack in your concrete countertops is troublesome, you can make them look brand new again. To fix a cracked concrete counter, you need to:
Prepare the counters - The first thing you will need to do is prepare your countertops for repair. Accomplish this task by thoroughly cleaning your countertops. Make sure to clean any dirt or particles that have already become embedded in the crack.
Choose the concrete mix carefully - Because you want your repair to match your existing counters, you will need to find out the precise concrete mix that was applied when your countertops were first installed. If you find this task impossible, you may need to mix several different combinations in order to find the perfect color and consistency.
Make the repair - Once you have the perfect concrete mix, fill in the crack with it. With a trowel, smooth the mix until it becomes level. Don't touch the repair for at least 1 day. In humid environments, the concrete shouldn't be tampered with for at least 2 days.
Sand the countertops - Sanding down all of your countertops will ensure that the repair will not be noticeable. Before this important task, put on a mask and goggles to prevent injuries. After sanding down the counters, wipe them down with a clean cloth.
Reseal the counters - To protect the repair from potential damage, you should reseal the countertops.
Concrete countertops can instantly give a kitchen an industrial look. In order for your counters to remain the stylish focal point of your kitchen, you should practice the aforementioned 2 maintenance measures. To learn more about taking care of your concrete countertops, make an appointment with a reputable concrete company, like Claggett & Sons Inc.