If you have watched HGTV lately you will realize that concrete countertops are trending. Not only do they look amazing when installed but they are so economical in comparison to your typical granite and marble options. What is also trending is feather finish countertops, which is essentially using Ardex or Henry’s Feather Finish concrete mixes and applying them right on top of existing laminate countertops. You can even add pigments to the concrete mixes to make the countertops a color other than gray; we’ve seen white versions, and black versions that look awesome!
Since concrete countertops are extremely porous it is very important to seal them 28 days after the countertops have been cured to prevent staining, scratches and heat damage.
StoneLok E3 2K complete countertop kit includes everything you need to seal 40 sq. ft of concrete countertops. The sealer is applied via a multi-step process, you first apply a surface conditioner, than an epoxy primer and finally a super heat resistant and abrasion resistant polyurethane top coat. One of the most durable products available for use on a concrete countertop if applied correctly. Available in an extra low gloss, low gloss or gloss finish. Does require precise, skilled application and is recommend for use only by trained professionals. The end result is an extremely durable sealer that can resist coffee, wine, citrus, vinegar and Clorox.
If you are looking for a product that doesn’t require such skilled application but will also give excellent abrasion and chemical resistance we recommend the Polyaspartic 745 kit for concrete countertops. Although it has a short pot life (once part A and part B are mixed you must apply it within 20 minutes) it has an extremely fast cure time (24 hours) in comparison to typical epoxy products that need up to a week of cure time. Sold as a countertop kit, you mix part A with part B (already pre-measured) and roll right onto the countertops. Once cured the surface will leave a high gloss finish, acceptable for use on Ardex or Henrys feather finish countertops or regular poured concrete countertops.
Concrete countertops are one of the most versatile counter fixings that are fast outpacing granite as the countertop of choice. In order to protect the countertops from oils, water, acids and heat you need to seal them with a countertop sealer. We prefer a penetrating countertop sealer over an epoxy/urethane/polyaspartic countertop sealer since they are easier to apply, less toxic and keep a natural, scratch free finish.
Most Important Features When Purchasing a Countertop Sealer:
- Resistance to acids, oils, wine and water, non-porous
- Resistance to heat, abrasions and etching, scratch proof
- Food safe formulation, non-toxic
Most Popular Countertop Sealer Brand Reviews:
Cheng : By far the most popular countertop sealer but we found the application process to be very labor intensive. Provides adequate protection yet we found liquids started to seep through after a few months thus forcing us to apply another coat.
V-Seal : Stonelok is an epoxy system originally used to seal floors was not originally designed for use on countertops. Claim you can use their penetrating sealers on countertops but they will not provide heat, acid and oil resistance.
enCounter : Offer either an epoxy or polyaspartic system, long dry time, concrete needs to have a rough surface porosity in order to be applied
CounterForm : Slightly glossier than expected since product claimed it would leave a natural finish. Sealed out stains yet we had to apply two additional coats in order for liquids to be sealed out.
Countertop Sealer 660 : We like that it is a sealer designed for use on countertops, formulated to specifically combat acids, oils, water and heat. It is non-toxic, completely food safe and meets the three most important features listed above while being very easy to apply. Product is sold as a concentrate so you are able to control the dilution ratios; left the natural looking finish we desired.
Every house has a kitchen and every kitchen usually has countertops. Granite and Formica are commonly used countertop compositions. Concrete countertops on the other hand are newer, making a rise being cost effective and aesthetically pleasing. Since concrete is so porous and since concrete countertops need to be protected from water, and household acidic substances, sealing them should be a priority.
The best type of countertop sealer is a topical yet penetrating solution. You want to protect the full thickness of the counter and especially the top of the counter from wear and use. You want to make sure you use a sealer that is specifically designed for use on countertops. I would try to stay away from a company who is claiming their floor or wall sealer will be effective on countertops. Look for a manufacturer who specialized in concrete countertop sealers.
Epoxies and urethanes can be used on a countertop in conjunction with metallic sand or decorative paint chips, yet we have found this process to be time consuming. However if this is the type of finish you are looking for epoxy and urethanes especially designed for countertops are the way to go.
If you are looking for a natural finish, the penetrating topical solution will be your best bet. Used in conjunction with a concrete wax, applied regularly, a shine rivaling granite countertops is achieved.