What are some features and benefits of Concrete Countertops?
When most people hear the word concrete, they immediately think of a grey city sidewalk. It couldn't be further from the truth! In fact, almost everyone who has seen or touched our concrete says the same thing "This Is Concrete?"
Concrete Countertops are beautiful, warm, hand crafted pieces of art. Concrete Countertops and other concrete products for your home are comparable in strength to most other solid surfaces available.
Our Concrete Countertops are extremely stain resistant, easy to use and easy to clean.
Concrete is unique and able to be personalized. It can be customized to fit your style and can really tie together your design with color, custom inlays, and hand sculpted design.
Because it is hand crafted and personalized to your unique liking, you will feel an intimate and emotional connection with your new concrete surfaces.
How much do your Concrete Products cost?
Wall panels, tub surrounds and back splashes can range from 30$-50$ per square foot. New basic Counters can range in pricing from 65$-95$ per square foot, however, every job will differ in cost, and each job is bid as a complete project. The cost for an average size kitchen to be upgraded to concrete can range between 3000$ and 6500$. Other considerations in pricing can include overall square footage, type of sink, backsplashes, edging profile, style of concrete, drop ledges, complex shapes, thickness, length of the piece(s), color, or overhangs. Logistics can influence pricing as well.
Most of our concrete products are comparable in cost to a medium/high grade granite, marble, quartz or other solid surfaces. We are artisans, and with that in mind, your product is hand crafted. The time it takes to build a particular piece or countertop is reflected in our pricing.
Concrete is not a low cost alternative to other countertop surfaces. Building each piece by hand from scratch, is very labor intensive. But because they are made from scratch and custom personalized for you, they should be considered a luxury item and are in reality the pinnacle of countertop quality and craftsmanship.
If you feel that concrete is the right surface for you, please contact us for a free, no obligation estimate for your project.
How does concrete compare to granite?
Concrete is very similar to granite in terms of physical properties. It's hard, durable countertop surface, and its weight is about the same as granite. It is templated and installed similar to granite. It's very practical in the kitchen. The main difference is it's look. Concrete has a more natural, matte look, and is completely customizable. It really fills the void in countertop looks.
Don't let concrete's weight scare you, in most cases it's lighter than a standard square foot of 1-1/4" granite, and in most cases your cabinets will be able to support the concrete with no issues.
Here are some figures to think about.
1 square foot of granite at 1-1/4" thick weighs approximately 18.2 lbs.
1 square foot of granite at 3/4" thick weighs approximately 13.3 lbs.
Our Standard Concrete mix, 1 square foot 2" thick weighs approximately 13.5 lbs.
Our High Performance mix, 1square foot 1" thick weighs approximately 11.2 lbs.
Store bought standard concrete mix, 1 square foot 2" thick weighs approximately 24.4 lbs.
Is concrete a green product?
Absolutely, we strive to create beautiful, functional art that creates as little environmental impact as possible.
Concrete has been around for centuries. It was used in the construction of the Roman Aqueducts and Coliseum. Our cement is made in Oregon and transported to us. Fly ash is used and is a byproduct of burning coal and the sand and gravel we use is locally quarried and sourced. This minimizes transportation and fuel costs. Integral polished glass is procured as remnants or discarded waste from our many local residential and commercial glass suppliers. Coloring is derived from simply oxidizing metals, and ordered locally from any of our concrete suppliers. All of our standard sealers are water based and have no, or ultra-low VOC's.
I've heard that concrete countertops and concrete products stain and require a lot of maintenance.
To clean your countertop we recommend using a green non-abrasive cleaner or soap and water combined with a soft cloth rag. All of our concrete products are sealed with what we feel to be the best available products on the market. Concrete countertops actually behave similar to granite in regard to staining and maintenance. Granite is porous and has to be sealed and maintained. Most people don't realize this because granite is usually too dark and patterned to show stains. You should look at re-sealing your countertops once every 5-10 years depending upon use or abuse. As for outdoor concrete products, they should be looked at for re-seal every year. If you follow a few simple maintenance steps, and use some common sense kitchen cleanup, your countertops will stay in tip top shape for possibly a lifetime.
Will my new countertops crack or chip?
Your countertop is not likely to chip unless you take a hammer or a big cast iron pan to it. It is possible to get little chips on edges or corners if you drop something heavy right on the edge of the countertop. Chips in the concrete can be repaired, but most likely won't exactly match the original concrete color or texture. Properly made countertops will not develop structural cracks. In fact, Lizard Effects products are warranted against this. Concrete is an interesting material, because the stresses inside the material actually result in tiny micro cracks, but we use special steel fibers within our concrete matrix that almost always prevents these micro cracks from reaching the surface. It's possible that a hairline crack can still develop, usually around any holes in the concrete surface such as, faucet holes or sink knockouts. However, this is purely cosmetic and just part of the natural handmade character of concrete countertops.
Outdoor concrete, especially in our area, experiences major temperature changes throughout the year which puts outdoor concrete at a much higher risk category of micro cracking. We recommend ensuring that your outdoor countertops have adequate sealer every year, also purchasing insulated waterproof covers for your outdoor concrete surfaces thus keeping them dry and allowing more time to change temperature during the freezing months. With outdoor concrete you can usually expect some form of micro cracking to appear over time.
Can I cut on concrete?
In order to avoid any unnecessary issues, we recommend that you always use some sort of a cutting board during activities that involve knives or other sharp tools. If this precaution is not heeded, not only can it damage the concrete sealant, but it could be detrimental to your knife's cutting edge. Although concrete surfaces are impervious to heat, in some cases the coatings are not. This is why we always recommend trivets or hot pads for hot pans regardless of your particular concrete mix design.
How far can I overhang, Will there be seams?
Depending upon the size and shape of your project there will most likely be seams. The seams can be subtle or even disguised and blended into the surface patterns. We try to keep our pieces 7'6" in length or shorter in order to cut down on logistical and installations issues, although custom sizes are avalable. A two inch thick slab of concrete can overhang up to 12" with no additional supports or reinforcement needed. Larger overhangs are made possible by using additional supports coupled with steel reinforcements embedded within your concrete matrix.
How long will it take to get my new countertops?
Generally we give ourselves 5 to 8 weeks from the receipt of the template to delivery. Standard concrete usually takes about 30 days to dry out and cure, we have the ability to speed along this process as needed, but properly hydrated and cured concrete is always the strongest. Another factor on how long it will take to receive your countertops is where your project is in our queue, or how many projects are ahead of your project.