What Physical Characteristics Make Concrete Special?
Q1. What is the real difference with Concrete countertops?
In short, concrete’s inherent physical characteristics set it apart, beginning with its simple, natural elegance in appearance. Concrete creations have character (wabi-sabi). “Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional…” “Wabi” is the kind of perfect beauty that is seemingly-paradoxically caused by just the right kind of imperfection, such as an asymmetry in a ceramic bowl which reflects the handmade craftsmanship, as opposed to another bowl which is perfect, but soul-less and machine-made.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi
Q2. Are concrete countertops sanitary?
If properly finished and sealed, concrete countertops are as sanitary for kitchen or bath use as any surface can be. We finish our concrete to a smooth surface. Any minute pinholes in the surface will be filled when our concrete sealer is applied. We also apply our sealer to reduce porosity that prevents liquids from seeping into the under layer of the concrete.
Q3. What about surface patterns?
The patterns you see in concrete countertops are created using specific fabrication “techniques”. While there are only a few techniques, for example pressed, terrazzo, veined, the variety is endless because of color choices and the fact that each piece is hand crafted. See the DESIGN GALLERY.
Q4. What about edges?
There are many edge detail styles, both standard and custom designed and created. See the DESIGN GALLERY on this website.
Q5. What colors are available?
We have approximately 30 standard colors and the same number of standard stains. However, we have the capability to create almost unlimited custom dye colors to match your room or even other furnishings. Custom colors incur an additional cost because of custom dye formulation. See the DESIGN GALLERY.
Q6. Can I see samples of custom colors? Are there charges for samples?
We will be happy to create small tile samples of colors for your consideration. There will be a small charge per color sample which will be credited toward the purchase of your countertop.
Q7. How accurate are colors from job to job?
While there may be slight color variations due to factors such as different color dye lots, surface techniques, and the very nature of handcrafted work, for the most part this variability is considered an advantage to the finished appearance.
Q8. What is the thickness of concrete countertops?
Because we use only Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC), the countertop can be as little as 3/4” to 1” thickness with edge height return of choice. However, we generally cast standard tops to 1” thickness and may include an edge return to give the appearance of a thicker slab without the extra weight.
Q9. What is meant by edge profile (also called face)?
Often a top is cast so that the top has a “visual” thickness of more than 1” (perhaps several inches), as you might see on a bar top. In this case the top is cast with an “edge ” profile that makes it appear thicker than the actual top. This profile adds to the style and beauty and provides additional support to the countertop.
Q10. What is the thickness of backsplashes?
Backsplashes are generally cast to be ¾” to 1” thick and generally 4” high. You can have custom backsplashes at whatever height you prefer.
Q11. How much do concrete countertops weigh?
Standard countertops weigh between 8 and 10 lbs. per sq. ft. at 1” thick.