Interior Design Blog

Stories and tips on how by using sustainable, healthy resources, you can acheive designs that inspire you to live...and live WELL.

Is Concrete Right For Your Home?

Is Concrete Right For Your Home?

polished concrete countertop
This modern kitchen features a polished concrete countertop in natural grey.

Stained and polished concrete is a gorgeous material that can be used in so many ways and create a unique look for your home- but it isn't the right choice for everyone. You may be intrigued by what you've seen on television or in design magazines and even on this blog, and you might be thinking it could fit somewhere in your home.  But how do you know if it's the right material for you?

Should I use concrete in my home?

Here is a quick test courtesy of CS Concrete Interiors to help you decide. Give yourself a point for each "True" answer.

  1. I want something different, something completely unique.
  2. I want an "Industrial," or "Old World," or "Natural" look.
  3. I find granite too shiny or common.
  4. I think solid surfacing is plastic with no character.
  5. I like natural limestone, but realize it's not suitable for most counters.
  6. I like soapstone but want something more stain resistant.
  7. I like variation in color.
  8. I need a particular shape or form.
  9. I would like an integral feature such as a sink or trivet.
  10. I need a custom size sink or counter.
  11. I highly value artisan, hand-made work.
  12. I am attracted by it's unpredictable element.
  13. I want a 'wow' feature, a talking point, in my home.
  14. I want something that evolves or develops a patina.
  15. I do not want to use precious and irreplaceable resources.

Total up your points, one for each "True" answer.  How did you score?

0-4 points

Concrete may not be suitable for you - keep looking. Your interior designer will be able to suggest other options you will enjoy more.

5-9 points

Get in touch with a qualified fabricator or your interior designer and ask more questions. Consider purchasing a sample (most companies will provide them at a reasonable cost).

10-15 points

Concrete could be for you!  Work with your designer to develop a concept, create a sketch and get samples.

Some quick facts about concrete:

polished and stained concrete floor
Concrete floors can be stained using several colors to create a unique pattern.

Concrete is stain resistant - if fabricated properly  

Conditioners in the mix will help to create a slab that is resistant to liquid absorption. After curing, the concrete slab should be also treated with food-safe waterborne polyurethane top coat sealer.

Concrete is easy maintenance  

If properly sealed as described above, no special maintenance is required. Do not use abrasive cleaners like soft scrub or comet. Simple Green stone cleaner, 409, Windex and similar products work great!

Concrete is very green  

In fact, it is one of the greenest products you can put in your home. Portland cement is easily obtained without destroying mountains (unlike granite and marble), and is non-toxic after water is added and it is cured. It is mined in the USA and does not employ low-wage or slave labor (again unlike most granite). It does not need to be shipped around the world on large cargo ships that emit greenhouse gases. It can also be recycled and can incorporate recycled fly ash in its fabrication.

stained concrete countertop powder room sesshu design
This custom Zen powder room countertop and integral sink was created out of stained concrete by CS Concrete Interiors for one of our projects.

Pre-cast concrete offers many advantages over cast in place for countertops

With pre-cast, it is possible to achieve surfaces that are extremely smooth. The weeks needed for curing happen off-site, not in your home. The mess is also kept off-site and out of your living environment.

Personally, we love to use stained concrete for floors, countertops and even walls. There are many diverse possibilities that concrete allows which other materials just can't duplicate, and the look can range anywhere from Old World to modern- and anything in between.

You can have the beautiful and luxurious eco-friendly interior you deserve.

Schedule your Design Discovery Conversation today!