Concrete countertops have been around for a couple of decades now, but they've only recently started to gain widespread popularity. You may have seen one before but didn't know it -- a concrete countertop doesn't look like what most of us think of as "concrete." What does it look like, then?
Pretty much anything you want. The biggest draw of concrete is that it's almost indefinitely malleable. The concrete starts like the stuff used in sidewalks, but that's where the similarity ends. A concrete countertop can look like stone -- polished or unpolished. Depending on the additives in the slurry, the look can be rustic, modern or extremely artistic. You can add a huge range of material to the concrete base, anything from bits of metal to brightly colored pigments to pebbles to seashells.
In fact, one of the coolest things about the material is the customization available. Because you're starting with a slurry and not a block of stone, you can really personalize it according to your needs. Some people have cutting boards, knife slots, drain boards or even a meandering stream built right into the countertop.
In most ways, the finished product acts a lot like marble or granite. The only issue you might need to deal with is stains from things like red wine. The countertop is sealed, but concrete sealers aren't totally stain-resistant.
Next up, another best-of-both-worlds trend, this one to pump up your culinary style.