Why must you slaughter these sacred cows with your "knowledge" and "experience"? Have you no decency, sir?
Cool furniture, design objects and desiderata - Page 180
I had concrete counters in an apartment once and I liked them well enough. You can't really sit hot things on it because it melts the sealant, at least the kind I had. It also took a long time for any kind of liquid to dry on them which didn't bother me but might bother some people. Also, this is probably not a problem everywhere, but mine weren't sealed on the bottom and I was cleaning up concrete dust the entire year I spent in the apartment.
within a month, stains from drops of oil and vinegar from general cooking stained the countertops severely. every drop is small, so we considered them a patina and sign of our frequent and joyful cooking.
however, there are many other stains, many which have an unknown origin. there is a banana outline on the counter (though e have left bananas on the counter before without a problem), ring marks from various containers, and where the water from the sink drips, a crackled patina.
the problems ar enot just unsightly. every where there is a new stain or drop of something, the surface of the concrete changes, where something acidic has spattered, it's very rough to the touch.
we have tried buffing, sanding, resealing, talking to the concrete manufacturer (now out of business) and nothing has worked.
we have had these for less than a year now and have vowed to never get concrete countertops again. they are extremely heavy and were custom built, so replacing them is going to be an expensive and time-consuming upheaval.
i know this is a popular theory, but in my experience, not so much. we have granite in our test kitchen (with a marble inset slab), and my work counter at home is butcher block. i really don't see that much difference. butcherblock that's adequately floured works just fine. and I really don't like the cold hard look of granite (probably the only thing I'll ever be a 1%er on, I know). my home kitchen is half vintage tile (late 20s) and half butcherblock.
I think people like it, because it's a cold and smooth surface.
I was being serious, just look how people treat leased cars and if you want it on the cheap, you get something someone else has "used".
I would rather get a real one and sand the top.
From what I've seen lately the polished concrete is the big trend - not sure if polished concrete is any different than what you are referring to above, but perhaps it's a better sealant? Or maybe it's just the cosmetic aspect I dunno. Either way, I think quartz is the way to go for durability and visual appeal as well.
Porcelain looks good and it seems like there's a lot of options in terms of look and color, wouldn't do tiles though, but that's just me, as I find them ugly looking.
I know people don't like them, but I have been looking at lava stone tops.
Who said anything about tile? FG has an existing tile counter but that's what he's talking about replacing.
And "lava stone"? I suspect we've got a language barrier here - most "lava rock" that I've seen is ridiculously porous and brittle. Not good features in a countertop material. Granite is an igneous rock, maybe that's what you are thinking of.