Everything from even to cloudy – concrete surfaces, which are becoming increasingly popular in kitchens, come in a variety of looks on furniture, accessories and worktops. Concrete is very much on the up as a building material in kitchen planning, even though it presents certain challenges.
Concrete gets its unique charm from its special patina, which develops over time and makes timeless precision pieces more and more individual.
Colour versions of concrete objects
The natural colours of concrete range from white to anthracite: you get a slightly off-white by using white cement, sometimes with the addition of titanium dioxide. Anthracite shades are created by adding iron oxide.
Concrete has well and truly proven that grey doesn’t have to mean boring. Mixing materials is popular. In South America, concrete buildings have featured in prestigious and much-discussed projects by well-known architects such as Mathias Klotz or the Swiss architect duo Valerio and Tamara Olgiati.
Unusual materials are sought-after both in architecture and in interior design. At the same time, there’s the possibility of colour variations according to the customer’s taste.
Myth number 1: concrete is not suitable for use in the kitchen
Concrete is used in all sorts of elements, including worktops, flooring or kitchen blocks. This creates a symbiosis between skilled factory production and kitchen craftsmanship!
Despite all the fascination with this versatile construction material, you have to be mindful of the fact that, unlike metal, ceramic, plastic or varnished surfaces, concrete is porous.
If such surfaces are not treated they tend to become soiled, especially by liquids like acids or oils, which are able to penetrate the surface a little. Concrete means that such soiling is able to seep in easily (which means that marks also recede slightly over the course of a few months).
As such, it is recommended that concrete inside homes and properties is permanently protected with concrete sealing. Sealing concrete makes it suitable for kitchen use. However, you should ensure that you do not damage the coating when cleaning.
Concrete benchtop in action
Myth number 2: concrete kitchens are too heavy
Now that we’ve cleared up the myth of concrete’s suitability in the kitchen by explaining how the porous material can be sealed, we still need to clarify the issue of its weight.
At a length of up to 2.4 m, a solid cast concrete plate can weigh in at a good 100 kg. However, some kitchen furniture manufacturers are now producing cabinet fronts with a concrete coating. These consist of MDF carrier plates filled with polyester. They have a satin matt covering. This is followed by a thin concrete layer of just 0.5 to 1 millimetre thick – a thickness that was long considered impossible for this material.
The ADON XL 6 S allows you to complete the concrete look in the kitchen
Cleaning and caring for this modern material
Manufacturers of concrete products like betoniu recommend thoroughly waterproofing and sealing concrete before use. To refresh the protection of concrete surfaces against dirt, oil or wax-polish your concrete furniture or kitchen panels regularly. Oiling lightly seals the concrete surface in a natural way, making it repellent to dirt and water.
Concrete kitchen panels should be treated with plenty of oil every couple of weeks for the first couple of months. To do this, simply drench the surface with oil using a rag, then soak up any excess. After that, you’ll only need to repeat the oil treatment twice a year.
When it comes to cleaning concrete, use stone soap or curd soap and clean water.
- Avoid contact with acidic liquids, which can attack your concrete surfaces. These include coffee, tea, wine, champagne, fruit juices, ketchup, mustard, vinegar and citrus-based cleaning products.
- Always use a protective board when chopping fruit and vegetables on concrete kitchen surfaces.
- Never clean your concrete surfaces with vinegar- or citrus-based cleaning products. These won’t get rid of marks, but will cause new ones. Please do not use commercial descalers to remove limescale marks.
- Concrete also reacts to hot and cold pots, leaving unsightly lines. The same applies here: use a trivet.