Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a concrete countertop or fireplace surround cost?

Due to the custom nature of the product and the infinite options in color, texture and design, we bid each job according to its own specifications. In general, concrete countertops are competitive with natural stone products.

Do concrete countertops stain?

We use a mix design that is inherently resistant to staining and carefully seal to further protect our countertops. That having been said, nothing is “bomb proof”. Reasonable care should be taken to clean spills in a timely manner, especially foods of an acidic nature, such as vinegar and red wine. Although these will not instantly stain our counters, if left for several hours, they may. The good news is, if you do end up with a stain, it is relatively easy to repair and reseal.

How resistant to heat are my counters?

Although our concrete does withstand exposure to fairly high heat, we recommend including integral trivets next to the stove if you would like the option of resting a hot pan on your countertop. In addition to being practical, they look really cool.

What color options do I have?

We generally work from paint, tile, wood, and fabric samples to formulate a color that will integrate seamlessly with the interior décor. At an additional cost, we can even color match our products to the Benjamin Moore color wheel.

How thick is a concrete countertop?

The thickness of the countertop can range from ¾” to however thick you want the concrete to appear. We often use a turned down edge to create the appearance of a thick slab (over 2”) without being unmanageably heavy. Unlike stone materials, which typically come in slabs of 2cm and 3cm thick, this edge is integrally poured, not requiring a lamination seam.

Do you pour-in-place or do you precast and install like granite?

We almost always precast in our shop. Everything we need for a successful, high-quality casting is available in our shop. In addition, we can use our vibrating casting table and control the environment for proper curing. Theoretically, there could be circumstances that would make cast-in-place a better option, but we haven’t encountered that yet.

How much does concrete weigh?

Concrete weighs approximately 150 lbs per cubic foot, or 23 lbs. per square foot for a 2” thick concrete countertop. Most cabinets do not require any structural modifications to support the weight of concrete countertops.

Will there be seams?

Seams can often be avoided, but at times, the design dictates the need for a seam. We always show where we intend to place seams for approval prior to casting. With a little creativity, the seams can become a design element rather than an inconvenient necessity.

Is concrete a “green” product?

Due to its durability and the fact that the labor and most materials are available locally, concrete has long been viewed as an environmentally sound option. Concrete’s weakness has always been the Portland cement content. We use low carbon cement (calcium silica aluminate) and post-industrial pozzolans (vitreous calcium aluminosilicate) to replace up to 30% of the Portland cement content in our mix designs.

How do I clean my concrete countertops?

We recommend that you use a mild cleaner like Simple Green. Avoid abrasive cleansers that could scratch and dull the surface over time.

How do I maintain my interior and exterior concrete?

Although extremely durable, concrete is not maintenance free (Very few things are. In fact, I can’t think of any). Depending on how carefully our countertops are used and cleaned, they will last many years before requiring maintenance. At that time, it is relatively easy to lightly polish and reseal.
Exterior decorative concrete will require a reseal every 2-3 years to maintain its beauty, more often if a shiny, newly sealed look is desired. It will not hurt your decorative concrete to go longer between reseals, but the sealer will wear off with use and UV exposure over time, eventually leaving your concrete looking dull.

(With a concerned expression, voice sounding a little nervous)…When do you add the rocks? It is exposed aggregate…right?

It can be a little disconcerting to homeowners, unfamiliar with the process, to see us transform the concrete for their exposed patio into a perfectly smooth, garage-floor-like slab. Rest assured, the stones are in there. We typically spray sugar water on the smooth troweled cream to retard the set on the surface and allow the concrete underneath to harden. When the time is right, we will wash the surface cream off, exposing the beautiful aggregate underneath.

When can I step on my concrete?

We recommend staying off the concrete at least 24 hrs before allowing light foot traffic. If the concrete is to be acid washed or sealed, any foot traffic will need to wait until the project is complete. Sealer should cure at least 24 hours before allowing light foot traffic.

When can I drive on my new driveway?

We recommend waiting at least 10 days before allowing residential vehicular traffic and 28 days before allowing heavy commercial trucks.

What companies do you work with?