Love it or hate it, concrete is everywhere. From ancient Roman monuments to modern dwellings and even entire cities , cement has been used as a building material for ages, taking almost every possible form and shape. Today it’s still a favorite among many modern architects and interior designers alike who take this weighty substance to another level – turning it into graceful furniture.
Concrete Furniture for Today’s Modern Homes
The use of concrete for making furniture and decorations is relatively a new concept. It all started in the early 1900s when Thomas Edison (who we know for his development of the modern-day light bulb) came up with the idea of shaping concrete into furniture because of its remarkable strength, durability, and affordability.
Today it’s not uncommon for modern contemporary homes to feature stylish and sleek concrete dining tables, chairs and even sofas. It’s actually a piece of very fashionable and sought-after furniture, mostly preferred by those after a bolder and striking aesthetics whose homes lean towards modern, contemporary, industrial and mid-century look. Although a concrete sofa doesn’t really sound like the perfect spot to curl up and relax after a long day, if you really like to introduce concrete furniture into your space, a dining table is a great piece to start with.
What to Expect from a Concrete Dining Table
Although with the improvement in mixtures and today’s modern molding technology concrete dining tables are getting smoother and sleeker than ever before, do not expect perfection. Each piece is unique and may not look exactly like you saw it online, which is part of the beauty of concrete.
Concrete as a material is famous for its raw, textured look and feel. So, if you’re a fan of clean, perfectly smooth surfaces, you might not adore the look and feel of raw concrete. However there are polished dining tables that feature a glossy, mirror-like surface.
Despite the fact that concrete is an extremely heavy material, modern concrete dining tables can be nearly as light as any other building material. This makes dining room tables easy to move around the house.
Concrete tables for dining are very functional and heavy-duty. You don’t need to worry about scratches ruining your table as is often the case with wooden tables. Although it may develop very thin hairline cracks with time, these are almost invisible and non-structural and can only enhance the natural beauty of the table. Also, concrete can hold heavy weight pretty well, but it doesn’t fare too well against concentrated, sharp forces. That is why you want to keep very sharp objects away from your concrete table.
Unlike wooden or plastic tabletops, concrete is weather and UV resistant, and it stays cool so you don’t need to cover your table, nor worry that it could be blown away in the wind. Apart from practicality, there is also the style factor. A concrete table can bring a dose of urban breath into your yard and because of its neutral finish, it will contrast well with the greenery and the vibrant colors of your garden.
Concrete tables for dining room often feature sleek lines and straight edges. So if you’re used to curvy furniture, don’t expect the same feel with concrete furniture and you’d be better off with other materials.
If you are switching from a regular wooden dining table to a concrete one, you may want to take things slowly. With its rough and raw look, concrete goes well with the warmth of wood. That being said, a dining table made from a concrete top supported by a solid wooden frame is a match made in heaven and potentially your new dining table love.
How to Care for Concrete Table
Although concrete is not as needy as some other materials that tend to rust, it still needs some love and care. Since it’s a porous and therefore moisture-prone material, with that comes the risk of stains and other discolorations. Therefore, when buying one, check if a water-resistant surface finish has already been applied.
Acids are concrete’s biggest foes so be careful not to spill vinegar or chop lemons directly over your table. In case of any mishap, wipe the surface ASAP. Also, avoid acid-based cleaning products to prevent staining.
Hot items put directly on the surface can also cause staining so it’s better if you can place heat-protective mats, placements, and coasters.
Finally, when it comes to cleaning concrete surfaces, avoid using high-pressure washes too often. The good old scrub with soap and water would work just fine to keep your table in tip-top condition.