WHY CONCRETE? No other material is as versatile as concrete. Concrete is nearly limitless in color, shape, texture, and overall customizeability. "No other material can look or do what concrete can."--Jeff Girard, The Concrete Countertop Institute. From Country to Modern to Industrial, concrete can match your decor. Concrete is the perfect material choice for expressing your artistic creativity and portraying your personality. The end result: a product that is not only functional, but is truly custom with substance and character.
HOW LONG TIL DONE? Most products take 2-4 weeks from template to installation. Ordering of special tools or materials or performing time-consuming forming techniques can extend the schedule. There are various steps to creating quality cast concrete countertops: design, templating, slab layout, forming, reinforcing, mix design, mixing, casting, curing, stripping, grinding, grouting, honing, sealing, and installing (or crating and shipping). Rushed schedules are sometimes possible and are priced accordingly.
ARE THERE SEAMS? Seams are not highly visible. We can often go seamless for large, odd-shaped, or 3D pieces that is not possible with other materials. Seams are sometimes used as a design element.
HOW HEAVY IS IT? A standard 1 1/2" thick wet cast countertop weighs about 18.75 lb/sq ft., (about the same as other countertop materials). GFRC usually weighs substantially less conventional wet cast concrete.
CAN IT CRACK? Cracks are possible but not common. Structural cracks are covered under the warranty. Hairline cracks are not structural and are often seen as an innate characteristic of concrete, not a manufacturing defect. Handling slabs before installation puts larger stresses on the concrete than you ever could with normal use.
CAN IT STAIN? Concrete can be colored by concrete stain seeping into the pores; likewise, it can be stained by unwanted means. Concrete is by nature porous, so admixtures and sealers are used to increase stain resistance. Sealers also help protect against etching. Not to be discouraged, simply wiping up substances with a wet cloth and rinsing the area promptly will help protect the counter.
WHAT IS TO BE EXPECTED FROM THE SEALER? Hot pans may blister, melt, discolor, and/or damage the sealer; so trivets must be used. Knives should not be used directly on the countertop as they will damage the sealer and compromise the concrete surface; so use a cutting board. Minor scratches to the sealer are to be expected and will blend into the overall finish over time. Sealer only helps protect concrete from stains and etching. There is yet to be "the perfect sealer." Under normal use and regular cleaning, sealer shouldn't need reapplied for years.
IS THERE A WARRANTY? There is a one year warranty on structural cracks with normal use.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Prices are not by the sq. ft. but rather by the project. Every custom product is unique and will yield different pricing. Most projects prices equate to $80-$100/sq. ft. and can easily go higher. Most concrete sinks start at $400. Templating is extra: generally $100 vanity, $200 kitchen. Contact us to discuss your project to get an estimate.
WHAT CAN I DO TO CUSTOMIZE/PERSONALIZE MY COUNTER? Custom edges; custom shape; 3D; size; curves; add color(s); embed objects, glass, stone, minerals; cut grade of exposed aggregate; texture; sinks; drainboard; towel bar; soap dish; fruit dish; make it more environmentally friendly (green); and the list goes on.
WHAT ELSE? Many people that choose concrete countertops appreciate unique, high quality, handcrafted items that you can't get at the big box stores. If you enjoy furnishings that are not mass-produced with "plastic perfection," than concrete may be the right choice for you.
The Information Packet is a detailed collection of FAQ, pricing, warranty, and general information about concrete countertops and other precast concrete elements. To recieve a complementary electronic Information Packet, please use the Contact Page and type "Information Packet." If you would rather have it in print or have other questions just let us know by filling out the Contact Page.