Cement counter tops may not be all they're cracked up to be? Help!

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I thought I'd try something different in my vacation rental property.
I have so much natural stone and wood in & around this house. I am on a tight budget, that needs to stretch, since this market is loosing ground in this area.
My remodeling contractor was eager to try cement countertops. In hindsight, I probably should have gone for natural stone, but I thought we'd let him hone his skills on us.
A year later, they are cracking & his staining finish feels off-color to me. Too motley for my taste...
Last year, feeling uneasy, I told him NOT to put the 2-step epoxy on... just 2 coats of poly that can come off more easily. And I'd be patient -- until we have the right answer. As a consequence, staining is getting worse.
Now I'm second guessing everything. Before I finish staining the cabinets. Maybe much darker would be better on the back -- to disguise the cracks and really make the copper backsplash & faucet, and stainless steel appliances POP. As close to black/expresso stain as he can get -- maybe with the 2-step super shiny he wants to do. Well lit with under-counter lighting. But ONLY on the back counters.
I'd still prefer to stick with light for the front. As smooth and satin and as LIGHT as possible for the el-shaped island. The cracks may still look bad, tho. Maybe he can fill them? Concrete experts HELP!!!
If I truly hate it, we can change it. Hate to spend more $. It's probably worth trying a fix before giving up.
Whatcha think?
q cement counter tops may be not all they re cracked up to be help , concrete masonry, concrete repair, countertops, Here is what we stand Looks better than when we started But the cement countertops are cracking after a year and off color
Here is what we stand. Looks better than when we started. But the cement countertops are cracking after a year and off-color.
q cement counter tops may be not all they re cracked up to be help , concrete masonry, concrete repair, countertops, Here is where I was headed I thought maybe we would darken the cabinets so the counters would pop better Fake photo using real items in place Thought I would darken oak wood with a grey wash keep light cement countertops
Here is where I was headed -- I thought maybe we would darken the cabinets so the counters +would pop better. (Fake photo using real items in place.) Thought I would darken oak wood with a grey wash, & keep light cement countertops.
q cement counter tops may be not all they re cracked up to be help , concrete masonry, concrete repair, countertops, So I started n the island Grey wash over oak Looks better to me but I can tell that we still need to rethink the tops IDEAS
So I started n the island. Grey wash over oak. Looks better to me, but I can tell that we still need to rethink the tops. IDEAS?
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