Marble, steel and wooden counter tops have many different advantages, but getting a custom counter top design with the best materials may be too much money for your budget. If there are parts of your kitchen, bar or kitchen islands that could use a bit more decorative flair, there are a few concrete types that could create a hard, innovative surface to add more visual appeal.
Stencil Concrete With Dye
Dyed concretes lack the strength of structural concrete meant for walking or moving vehicles, but it can be sturdy enough for counter top use. As with any concrete mixture, the more additives not related to strength, the less strong the mixture will be.
By default, the dyed concrete will take the color of the dye with the white or ashen color, creating a more pastel-like color. If you'd like a darker color, mixing in marble or granite may be necessary. Other stone types can be added to give strength and color changes, but need to be reviewed with a concrete professional to understand how the strength may change.
The stenciling process allows you to design unique shapes or other forms of artwork when pouring the concrete. Swirls, squares and even precision artwork such as portraits can be designed with a detailed stencil and color dye set, but the details may cost more if being performed by a professional.
Avoid clay and sand mixtures when working with ready-mix concrete for dye projects. These brittle materials can crumble away more easily, reducing the overall strength of the concrete.
Exposed Aggregate For Colorful Pebbles
The process of creating exposed aggregate involves adding any larger rocks or pebbles to a mixture that would otherwise be crushed or hidden below the surface. Think of cobblestone roads with jasper and granite rocks that are used to allow a better grip on the road.
Rocks used for the aggregate can be chosen to your preference, and the surface pebbling can be designed carefully by placing and spacing out the rocks carefully. Although the core of the exposed aggregate project can be filled with any sturdy mixture, make sure to have an idea of what you want the surface to be. If you'd like a random rock setting, concrete contractors can create the slabs to their preference.
If you're pouring the concrete on your own, make sure to carefully turn the stones on their sides or press the tips down so that some of the stones aren't sticking out too far. A surface that is too uneven can't be worked on easily, and if something heavy drops on it, the exposed rock could create a crack when it breaks.
Contact a ready mix concrete professional, like Robar Enterprises Inc, to explore your counter top creation options.
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