Our review of Caesarstone’s Rugged Concrete tests staining, cleaning and the overall durability of this fabulous concrete-look engineered stone.
Caesarstone’s beautiful Rugged Concrete is inspired by the tactile surface of poured concrete, creating a luxuriously textured stone surface. It features an incredible variation of colour and a surprisingly durable matte surface with a speckled variation of both texture and sheen.
I used blue food dye and a handy little screwdriver to test on my sample piece of the stone and these were my results:
To test the staining potential of Caesarstone’s Rugged Concrete, I used blue food dye. Dropping some fairly decent sized blobs of dye on the surface, I let it sit for about 30 minutes before cleaning it off and was very impressed with the results. I didn’t actually need to use any sort of cleaning agent – I only used hot water and a sponge to wipe the dye off with no visible staining whatsoever!
Considering the surface finish is not Caesarstone’s trademark semi sheen but instead, more of a matte, textured surface I was expecting a little bit of discoloration at least to be quite honest with you! I was pleasantly surprised that there was no trace of blue left behind at all; My timber butcher’s block on the other hand, didn’t fair so well as you can see in the image below (neither did my fingers for that matter – I had blue stained fingers for 2 days! Should’ve worn those gloves…)
As noted above, the blue food dye easily came off with just a little bit of hot water and a sponge – No cleaners needed! The surface does have a slightly rough texture – It’s not finished with Caesarstone’s usual semi-sheen but rather a more grainy look. Thanks to this variation in colour and texture, I found that the stone was very forgiving with fingerprints as well as food crumbs making it a very “Busy Kitchen” friendly surface to work with. Having a different surface finish, this is a question that has come up a fair bit in my discussions with clients, so you can rest assured, the finish of Rugged Concrete is actually EASIER to maintain than a polished stone!
For general every day cleaning, a simple wipe down with warm soapy water is always recommended with all of Caesarstone products. For a deeper clean though, Caesarstone sells their own cream cleanser: you can find more information about Caesarstone’s recommended daily cleaning routine as well as their cream cleanser here.
Natural stone benchtops as well as concrete benchtops, are more prone to staining, marking and scratching so do need a professional to maintain them every so often. A key benefit of any engineered stone benchtop such as Caesarstone is that unlike natural stone, the surface will never require sealing!
Durability & Strength
In general, you’ll find all Caesarstone benchtops to be highly durable: Rugged Concrete is no different! Some frequently asked questions we’ve received in the past in relation to Caesarstone benchtops include:
- Why has my Caesarstone benchtop chipped?
When installed and used correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, a Caesarstone benchtop should not chip. Chips are usually caused by excessive force on the stone, most common along the edges. To help minimise this risk, use a top mounted sink rather than an undermounted sink as this will leave the stone’s edges protected and of course, take care when moving heavier objects around in the kitchen! If your benchtop has chipped, contact Caesarstone directly; They can advise you if the damage can be repaired and put you in touch with the best people to help.
- Why has my Caesarstone benchtop cracked?
Cracking in the stone can occur due to temperature shock, contact with constant sources of heat or inadequate support beneath the slab itself. Avoid placing hot pots directly on the surface; this also includes small appliances such as slow cookers for example, that release constant heat. Always place a trivet or chopping board on your kitchen benchtop to absorb these changes in temperature. If you do suspect any cracks have occurred due to incorrect installation however, get in touch with your cabinet maker and stonemason (or Kitchen Builder) as well as your local Caesarstone office to discuss your options.
I tested out the surface’s durability by hacking at it with a SCREWDRIVER! Just a quick note here guys: I do not recommend attacking your benchtop with a screwdriver (or anything else for that matter!) but by all means, feel free to test out the sample swatches at least – After all, that’s what they’re there for!
See that little white dot I’ve circled? That was it! I was genuinely shocked – I scratched and stabbed at the sample with a screwdriver and the only damage was this little white dot that actually blended in with the stone’s colour variation rather than standing out. As with every benchtop material, we always recommend using a chopping board rather than chopping directly on the surface; If you are however, looking for a benchtop that is able to hold up against temperature shock and chopping directly on the surface, you may want to consider Dekton’s benchtop products – read more about them here.
Considering the fact that we don’t normally attack our kitchen benchtops with tools, this test shows that Rugged Concrete is a highly durable surface finish. If it can hold up against being scratched and stabbed at with a screwdriver then of course, it can handle all of the usual activities of any home kitchen!
The End Result…
Overall, I was extremely pleased (and honestly a little surprised!) that Caesarstone’s Rugged Concrete was so very durable and easy to maintain. The textured surface and variation in colour promises a stone benchtop that is not only easy to keep clean but is also very forgiving when it comes to disguising fingerprints and marks.
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