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Countertop FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Cast Concrete Countertops

 1. Do concrete countertops stain?
 2. What sort of routine maintenance is required to keep the finish?
 3. Can concrete be used as a cutting surface?
 4. Can concrete chip, flake or crack?
 5. Can I put a hot pot directly onto a cast concrete countertop?
 6. How do cast concrete countertops compare with granite in price?
 7. Can I order a countertop in a custom color?
 8. How do I make up for gaps between the countertop and the wall?
 9. How are the joints between modules in my countertop sealed?
10. Do you install the countertops?
11. Which sinks and faucet fixtures may I use with concrete counters?
12. What is the maximum length for a countertop?
13. Do I need to reinforce the supporting cabinetry in order to accommodate the weight of a concrete countertop?
14. Can I choose the inlays that are cast into the countertops?

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Q: Do concrete countertops stain?
Answer: Yes. Concrete has approximately the same porosity as marble. Acids can etch the surface -- red wine, lemon juice, and vinegar especially. However, like aged butcher block or marble, a patina on a cast concrete product can actually enhance the character of the surface. The nontoxic penetrating sealer and wax we use will help to resist stains, but are not acid proof. Cleaning up soon after spills is the best way to minimize staining and etching.

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Q: What sort of routine maintenance is required to keep the finish?
Answer: A light buff with a bit of carnauba paste wax will put a kick back into the luster.

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Q: Can concrete be used as a cutting surface?
Answer: No. Cast concrete is not a substitute for a cutting board. If you are interested in introducing a cutting surface into the kitchen design we recommend a removable Poplar cutting board molded into the counter.

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Q: Can concrete chip, flake or crack?
Answer: Yes. Corners and edges can chip if struck by a hard object. My countertops have a curved edge to minimize chipping. Hairline cracks can also develop. These are not structural failures, they are inherent to the property of the material. They can be easily filled if necessary with an epoxy filler mixed with same pigment as the countertop.

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Q: Can I put a hot pot directly onto a cast concrete countertop?
Answer: Well yes, but-- Concrete is heat resistant but can be subject to thermal shock if a red hot object is placed directly upon it. Like granite, the exposed area may flake or chip away if too much heat is applied. We recommend using trivets for hot cookware.

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Q: How do cast concrete countertops compare with granite in price?
Answer: The cost of producing a cast concrete countertop has very little to do with the size of the piece and everything to do with the complexity of the form, the mold making process, and the desired finish. Our countertops are priced for the individual, unique sculptural forms that they are, not as a commodity product that is priced by the lineal or square foot.

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Q: Can I order a countertop in a custom color?
Answer: Yes. When you decide on a color, a sample will be made.

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Q: How do I make up for gaps between the countertop and the wall?
Answer: Backsplashes. Just like a granite installation, rather than scribing the countertop to the wall, use the depth of a backsplash to make up for gaps caused by irregularities in the wall. Backsplashes of any material may rest directly on cast concrete countertops and can be sealed with clear silicone.

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Q: How are the joints between modules in my countertop sealed?
Answer: Clear silicone.

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Q: Do you install the countertops?
Answer: Yes. After the countertops have cured for at least 14 days, we will deliver and install them.

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Q: Which sinks and faucet fixtures may I use with concrete counters?
Answer: Under-mounted stainless steel sinks go well with concrete rather than porcelain. We will need the sink and faucet fixtures at the start of the project.

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Q: What is the maximum length for a countertop?
Answer: The longest span that can be made without a control joint is about eight feet. The joints for longer spans will be precisely located and then sealed with silicon.

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Q: Do I need to reinforce the supporting cabinetry in order to accommodate the weight of a concrete countertop?
Answer: Generally speaking, no. If the supporting cabinets are single-wall or particle board, vertical reinforcements may be necessary.

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Q: Can I choose the inlays that are cast into the countertops?
Answer: Sure, if you provide them. Some people leave it up to us to cast shells, rocks or other objects into the countertop while others want to be more involved; it is entirely up to you.

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