If you think kitchen counter tops are just for chopping vegetables, you're mistaken. Today's countertops are not only a critical design element of any new kitchen, but also a status symbol. If you're in the market for new countertops, take our quiz to see which countertop material is right for your image: concrete or granite.
Granite countertops have long been considered a status symbol to homeowners in the know. Granite is favored for its sleek and elegant appearance.
Concrete has been gaining popularity in the last decade as a luxurious and versatile material for kitchen countertops. Concrete is basically a mix of cement and an aggregate; materials such as sand or crushed limestone can be added to the cement to give it specific qualities like an interesting color or texture.
If you choose granite for your kitchen countertops, you will get the depth and beauty of natural stone. A piece of granite has tremendous color and pattern variations and a wonderful variety of colors and patterns are mined from quarries all over the world.
Concrete is poured into a countertop mold as a liquid and can take on any shape. A concrete countertop can have curves and can accommodate all sorts of built-in objects, like sinks and trivets.
Specially developed sealers are used for both concrete and granite countertops to keep harmful substances like acid from permanently damaging their surface. The sealers developed for the relatively new concrete countertops are not yet as effective as those used on granite countertops, so concrete will probably need to be resealed more often than granite.
A highly-polished black countertop of either concrete or granite is more likely to show scratches than either a light colored or a multicolored surface.
Though there are rumors to the contrary, both concrete and granite countertops weigh about 20 pounds (9.07 kilograms) per square foot for a slab that is 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters) thick.
There are myriad options to choose from when shopping for a new kitchen countertop to complete your kitchen's look. Stainless steel, quartz-composite engineered stone, wood, Corian, marble and laminate all work well and offer a broad range of looks and textures.
Both granite and concrete raise environmental issues, as both have the potential to pollute. If you are concerned about the environment, your best choices are countertops made from bamboo or recycled aluminum.
Both granite and concrete are going to cost you between $50 to $100 per square foot installed. That price will go up if you choose custom concrete built-ins or single-slab granite.