When my contractor, Ian Hurst, first suggested a concrete countertop, I was intrigued, then excited. Concrete is extremely durable and can be sourced locally before being poured into a Plexiglas mold and transformed into a countertop. However, it requires a lot of energy to make and transport. Although I love the surprisingly warm look of the material, I would not use it again.
The water-based sealant MexeSeal was generously passed on to me by Asa Collier, the owner of the eco-friendly building store Blue Sky, whom I had called in a panic when I learned the finish Ian was planning to use was not green enough. MexeSeal—from AFM Safecoat, a company that has become my primary source for all finishes—was designed to repel oil and water. However, it can't really do the job because concrete is just too porous. Even though I love cleaning my bathroom, the care I have to take to keep makeup, soap, toothpaste and more off this counter is not fun. Next time I'll explore recycled glass or a more stain-resistant cement/recycled paper composite.