Concrete Furniture: Hot or Not?
Photo: Bryan Ochalla, Flickr.com
If you wish to replace the furniture in your home or even in a single room, there are lots of options to choose from. Most of us prefer traditional, conventional styles – sofas covered with leather or fabric, kitchen countertops made of plastic or granite or even stainless steel. In recent years, one particular material has started making its way in from the cold. Once associated with large outdoor fixtures such as traffic barriers and bridges, concrete is now used for tabletops, kitchen counters and even sofas and chairs.
Reliable concrete contractors from Denver, with its strong individualistic character, will tell you that as with all matters pertaining to home design, the use of concrete is largely a matter of personal taste and budget. Here are some of the pros and cons of concrete furniture.
Some Pros of Concrete Furniture
It is inexpensive. Concrete, as a material, is quite affordable compared with many of the other options available. For example, a concrete countertop costs a good deal less than one made of tile.
It is custom-made. When you plan concrete furniture, you are limited only by your imagination. You and your concrete contractor can create any mold that you wish, and turn your creations into reality.
You can choose the color. The days when concrete was available only in dull gray are gone. With integral color, staining or both, you can get pretty much any color you wish.
You can choose the texture. Because it can be molded so well, concrete can be textured to simulate wood grain, or just about any texture your imagination can invent. It can also be given a shiny finish to make it less porous.
It’s durable. Concrete can take lots of punishment and stand up to just about anything.
Now for the other side....
Some Cons of Concrete Furniture
It’s tough stuff. You can cushion a concrete chair or sofa all you like, but it will never have the give and spring that a conventional sofa or chair has. Frankly speaking, it may not be as comfortable.
It’s heavy. Really heavy. If your living-room chairs are made of concrete, you won’t be able to move them around when you clean. You’ll have to vacuum or wash around them. (There are lighter versions out there, but they are not true concrete and can be quite expensive.)
It absorbs. Since concrete is porous, a tabletop or countertop made of concrete may absorb spills, resulting in unsightly stains. If you decide to go with a concrete countertop for your kitchen, you will have to have a sealer applied – and then you won’t be able to put hot items directly on it.
It cracks. While concrete is long-lasting, it is also susceptible to cracks if it is dropped or something heavy falls on it.
The weightiness and uniqueness of concrete furniture may appeal to homeowners who are looking to put an unusual touch in their living space. If concrete is what you like, go for it – but just know that you won’t be able to move the sofa and chairs aside so easily for a quick mop underneath.
If you’d prefer to stick with more traditional materials, consider buying your furniture ready-made. If you want home furnishings that are one-of-a-kind, considering hiring a carpenter to craft them for you.
Rahel Jaskow is a home improvement journalist, covering topics from pest control to frugal DIY.