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Concrete countertop maintenance – it’s easier than you think

Regular cleaning and upkeep will ensure you have a long lasting countertop. We recommend using a neutral-base cleaner as part of your regular maintenance whenever you wish to clean the countertop. A neutral base cleaner will not harm the sealer and wax that have been applied to your countertop or leave a soapy residue that may dull the finish. These can be found at most big box sores. There are many other brands available, just select one that is a neutral base.

Your countertop has been sealed and waxed to protect it from normal wear and tear. This dual process offers excellent protection against staining from spills and other accidents that happen on a normal basis. However, as with any other similar products it is not your countertop “bulletproof”. Avoid leaving water drying on the surface of the countertop as it will dry and leave a film on the surface that makes it look blotchy. Always wipe and completely dry the surface after spills. This is the simplest and easiest way of maintaining your countertops appearance over time.

We recommend reapplying wax to maintain this protection every three to six months for residential applications and at least once a month for commercial installations. Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule will result in a beautiful, long lasting countertop finish. Please note that it is not unusual for a countertop to develop a “patina” after extensive use. This is normally the result of the countertop absorbing liquids that have been left on it for some time. This is just part of the normal look of a countertop and is not considered to be unusual.
We recommend using a good quality brand of beeswax for the best protection. First clean the countertop surface with a neutral base cleaner to remove any oils, dust, or other contaminants. Lightly rub the hard wax across the entire surface of the countertop making sure you evenly cover it all; you don’t need to push down hard on the surface, just slide it around. Avoid putting too much wax down, any excess will just be removed during the buffing process. Next grab a white, clean cotton rag and rub it in a circular motion over the countertop. You will feel some resistance at first as you remove the excess wax. In just a few moments you should feel less and less resistance as you buff the countertop. Once the rag slides easily over the surface, you are done! One coat should be enough to protect the countertop for another three months or so, depending on your use.

Although your countertop is made from concrete, a very durable and heat resistant material, the sealers and waxes used to protect it from staining cannot handle high temperatures. It is very important to use trivets or hot pads with your cookware. Placing a very hot pan directly on the surface will damage the sealer, requiring repair.
Most nominal damage can be repaired, however it is better to avoid the possibility in the first place. Avoid using strong chemicals such as paint removers, oven cleaners, etc. If some does get on the surface immediately flush it with water to rinse it off.

Do not cut on concrete countertops, it will very quickly dull the knife and most likely scratch the sealer, use a cutting board instead.

If you notice light scratching or other imperfections, these can usually be buffed out with a fresh application of wax. If more extensive damage was done, give us a call and we will see what can be done to repair it.

Concrete countertops are “in” – but they don’t have to break the bank

Since the kitchen is the hub of culinary creativity, more homeowners are moving away from the manufactured look of laminates and choosing materials that are as inimitable and timeless as a treasured family recipe. Countertops made from concrete are the latest trend du jour in kitchen interiors. Discriminating homeowners are discovering that this versatile, moldable medium can be handcrafted into a distinctive surface that expresses their individuality, design preferences and even their cooking style.

Traditionally, concrete countertops are installed by local artisans that either pre-cast the countertops to fit their clients cabinet layout, or cast them in place – right over the top of the cabinets.

While there are advantages to this method, such as having a seamless countertop, it adds significant amounts of time and labor to the process resulting in costs that are oftentimes higher than exotic granite and marble tops.

ultraMix Concrete has developed a method of pre-casting countertop slabs. These slabs are available through a network of dealers and distributors around the country. By having pre-cast slabs available locally, this allows installation contractors to take advantage of the efficiencies created in the manufacturing process and supply chain to fabricate and install the ultraMix slabs much like any other natural stone countertop – and pass the savings on to you.

Installed, ultraMix concrete countertop slabs are typically 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost of traditional concrete countertops.

As far as the level of customization goes, there are many ways to customize the ultraMix slabs to meet your design style, from multiple integral and stain colors, to various edge profiles that can be achieved. When it comes to seams, those can be substantially hidden without loosing the appeal of using concrete as you countertop surface, and in fact they can serve as a control for cracking that most people worry about with cast in place countertops.

If you are looking for concrete countertops, check out our slab products for a great way to take advantage of the growing movement and timeless appeal – without blowing your budget.