A Material to Watch: Concrete

It’s versatile, durable, and looks good too

In renovation and design, there’s always a “hot” material or finish that somehow seems to be on everyone’s Instagram—and in everyone’s home. Right now, cement is having its moment, and while it may be trendy, the oft behind-the-scenes material is a timeless choice too. These renovators, who came to Sweeten to find general contractors, all used cement in their kitchen and bathroom projects.

concrete walls in a bathroomA mix of luxury and raw finishes turned Karun’s once-crumbling prewar bathroom into an industrial-chic retreat. He wanted to align his bathroom with the rugged-meets-luxe style found in the rest of his home. The edginess of the unfinished, raw cement walls is balanced out with more polished elements such as bronze hardware and Carrara marble tiles.

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concrete countertops in bathroomIn Laura and Walter’s apartment overhaul, one of their biggest goals was to use natural materials as much as possible. The concrete sink, which they designed and cast themselves, is one such example. In their otherwise traditional white bathroom with walls of subway tile, the concrete and wood sink adds rugged appeal.

white kitchen cabinets with flush pull handles and gray countertop with undermount sink and white square backsplash tiles and wrap around floating wooden corner shelves after renovationThe first step to finding (and honing) the light in this Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, kitchen was knocking down a wall. After that, choosing the right materials that reflect and refract natural light took priority. From the glossy, square subway tiles to the matte concrete countertops and floors, the renovator found the right mix of textures and color.

concrete countertops in kitchenA Japanese-inspired aesthetic drove the vision for Sunghee and Joseph’s minimal 44-square-foot kitchen. To complement their choices of minimal hardware and two-tone wood cabinets, they went with the same material for the backsplash and countertops: concrete.

concrete countertops in bathroomconcrete countertops in kitchenNazli and Larry’s brownstone renovation revealed a style that’s really a blend of modern and traditional design. Their home aesthetic especially comes through in their kitchen and master bathroom where more classic elements mingle with contemporary fixtures. In both spaces, they opted for concrete countertops that work well with the warm wood tones and mixed metals.

Curious about costs? Our guide breaks down the cost per square foot to remodel in New York City.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

Originally Published April 1, 2019
Updated on November 18, 2023

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