Also, if exposing the aggregate, consider using aggregates other than gravel, including broken glass, marble or granite chips, nuts and bolts, etc. Portland cement is the binder that keeps concrete held together. Because traditional Portland cement is grey in color, it can have an effect on the overall look of the concrete countertop. If you are looking for a top that can be easily stained dark colors, or if you are wanting to leave the concrete countertops the natural, grey color, then regular Portland is the right choice for the project. However, if your concrete countertop is going to be white or light colors, or you need it to be easily dyed or stained, you may be better suited to choose a white Portland cement. It has the same binding properties as traditional Portland, only it is white in color when cured.
2. Quartz- and Acrylic-Based: Engineered Stone and "Solid Surface" Countertops made of engineered stone are composed of 93% quartz particles. Engineered stone offers a wider range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. Engineered stone is not as popular as granite and is often confused for granite but the regular consistency of the patterning gives it away as being man-made. In fact, engineered stone has all the benefits of granite but is easier to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone. It is more expensive than granite or stone. Engineered stone brands include Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera and Cambria Quartz.
Quartz Countertops are known to be resistant to permanent stains. Use quartz countertops if you know there would be a lot of juice, wine and sugar related stains. Quartz is the fourth hardest mineral in nature making it fit for use in natural stone countertops. It is a bit expensive though and will cause a dent in your wallet! Marble countertops are the softest version of natural stone countertops. They can be stained or soiled easily. Keep your marble countertops away from any oil or juice stain! Frequent polishing and sealing of the marble countertops though can keep away any permanent staining. It must be noted that marble countertops cannot withstand permanent stains or scratches.
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