“Green Eggs and …” — Unique kitchen countertop options
People have a lot of choice when it comes to kitchen countertop options but between granite, silestone, corian, laminate, and tile, few offer the sheer versatility that concrete does. This can range from special shapes, varying thicknesses, special features such as integral sinks and drainboards, different finishes ranging from hard trowelled to polished concrete, etc. You have a lot of choices available. In this particular case, our Fort Worth homeowner was looking at color, specifically something to complement the lime green of one of their painted walls.
We have quite an extensive color library available for concrete, 18 colors to be exact. By colors, we are actually referring to pigments, sometimes powdered, sometimes liquid, that are mixed into the concrete when we are getting ready to pour. These are called integral colors as they become an integral part of the finished countertop; i.e., were you to chip or break off a piece, you would see the same color throughout.
Normally, 18 colors would be more than enough for any kitchen countertop options project we would undertake, but the green colors we had weren’t quite the shade they were looking for. No problem, we choose the closest one to what they wanted, a willow green, and “tweaked” it. By that I mean we added another color, white in this case, to the green to more closely match the wall. For these custom colors we normally provide three samples for a small nominal charge so that the client can select what most closely approximates what they are looking for. It’s important to note the word “approximates”, especially when it relates to color in any kitchen countertop options project. We are mixing a pigment into gray cement and though the quality of the pigments themselves is rigidly controlled, that is not the case of the color of “gray” cement. There is no color standard for gray cement and it varies widely from manufacturer and even regionally. We’ve seen gray cement that has green tints, brown tints, lighter, darker, i.e., its color ranges all over the map. Why does this matter?, because we may show you a color sample that was made using a very specific amount of pigment and a gray cement that is a year and a half old and when we pour your countertop today, the final color is lighter or darker simply because their gray cement color had changed. In a nutshell, it will never be the same as the sample, just close to it.
There is one more factor that affects color in any concrete kitchen countertop options project and that is the sealer we use. We normally go with a either a water or solvent based sealer. Water based sealers tend to have a satin finish that slightly darkens the color of the concrete while solvent based sealers tend to dramatically darken the color while leaving it with a more glossy finish. For this particular kitchen countertop options project our homeowners decided to go with the solvent based polyurethane that offers exceptional stain resistance while creating a glossy finish. It was an excellent choice.