Many experts in stone business has predicted that one of the hottest new trends in the home building and decorating industry today is the creative use of polished concrete,
which can become an great alternative to granite in the near future. Is that
going to be true? Let's first look at how concrete building elements such as
countertops are constructed and what the modernized concrete can do in home
Concrete became popular among many designers and home owners alike due to its limitless design potential.
The best example would be, concrete can be used to build beautiful and distinctive kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities.
Certainly concrete countertops have their uniqueness. As they are always custom-built,
concrete countertops can truly reflect personal taste. There are countless options for
color, pattern, shape, size and finish. Custom concrete products can also be crafted to coordinate with other design elements in the home. Decorative accents, such as glass, metals
and even small objects like seashells or coins, can be embedded to create a one-of-a-kind look. The patina that can be polished into concrete is remarkable and can portray a plethora of characters and moods, from antique-like to funky to pure art.
With great versatility, concrete countertops can be constructed either directly onsite or in the factory. In the
factory, precast countertops are molded using specifically crafted custom molds.
After the cement mix is set, the concrete is grinded, polished and the sealed to
make a beautiful countertop. When the concrete countertops are constructed onsite,
the concrete is cast-in-situ to build custom forms directly over the tops of
Polished concrete products can be stylish. They are eco-friendly as well.
Comparing to many other building materials, concrete bears many positive environmental benefits.
First, certain industrial waste materials can be utilized in the concrete mix; use of
the recycled material reduces land fill and CO2 emissions. Second, as concrete
is rather resistant to wearing, rotting and flames, concrete products are durable and will last for many decades.
Third, concrete is a great insulator, capable of retaining and radiating heat.
In addition to distinctive artistic countertops, the polished concrete can also be fabricated
or carved into many other decorative home improvement items such as door, window
or fireplace surrounds, bathtubs, columns, tables, planters and garden ornaments.
All polished concrete products can be used in indoor or outdoor settings.
In comparison, the stylish worktops can be created with polished concrete
techniques, which is hard to achieve in natural stones like marble and granite.
It's reasonable to see the concrete building products are favored by certain
designers and homeowners. However, as the concrete belongs to the man-made
artificial materials, its true value for long run is still by far lower than the
natural stones. In addition, the uniqueness of the polished concrete products
are incomparable to naturally quarried marble or granite. Therefore, it is
rather difficult for the concrete to shake natural stone's classy status in home
building and other architectural domains. It's too early to predict the concrete
will become an alternative to marble granite any time soon.