Anything you want. This is one of the best and worst things about concrete. Concrete is so versatile, such a moldable product, choosing the perfect look for you can be very overwhelming. I can make anything you want. Any color, any texture, any edge…..pretty much the sky is the limit. The best thing to do is have an idea in mind, then let the artisan take control of the project. A good artisan will hand make you something that surpasses anything you ever expected.
Concrete is most often chosen by my clients because of the infinite possibilities. They want something with the durability of other things on the market, but they can’t find the color they want, the warm feel they want, or the seamless design that other products just can’t give them. We are so often used to picking the best tile or stone out of the very few samples we see on the wall of the stone shop. Concrete has no boundaries for design.
Name it. A good starting point is what I call the background color. That color is easily based on a Benjamin Moore paint sample color. Beyond that, a good artisan can work with the homeowner, designer, or architect and make good suggestions based on his experience.
I can make samples for a price. But the sample does not mean that is what your countertops will end up like. I refer to the sample as, “this is the ballpark we are playing in, not the seat we will end up sitting in”. Concrete Countertops literally develop as the project goes on. Concrete is not like choosing a tile from a tile shop, it is handcrafted. As the project develops, the Countertops begin to develop character. With each phase of coloring, grinding, and staining…..the finished product will be unfolded.
Choose a good craftsman. Be involved in the project. A good craftsman will make you a product that mirrors your inner beauty as well as the beauty of the environment it is in. Each project is personal and one of a kind. Whatever is done at your house or project will never be seen anywhere else.
It really depends on what you want. I can make them crack, or they won’t have any cracks. Quite simply I have to educate my clients on cracks. “Crack” is one of the most generalized terms used when referring to concrete. “Crack” conjures up images of the crack that is in their patio or driveway. If done correctly very small, nearly invisible, micro-cracks can develop…..or even be made to develop. They are not structural or a failed countertop, they will not be big enough for food to fall into. They most often add to the warmth and earthen nature of the countertops themselves.
There are many ways of sealing Concrete Countertops. Jon Schuler has been working with a company, helping develop a sealing technology that is revolutionary. So, to answer the question easily,….. not anymore. If done correctly a concrete countertop will handle just as much abuse as any other product choice.
I develop my countertops to handle normal abuse of normal families. They can handle hot things being set on them, although I do not advise this practice.
I do not advise using your countertops as a cutting board. Just as I do not advise putting hot pans on the countertops, I do not advise cutting things on the countertops. You will damage your knives and damage the sealers. I advise clients to treat there countertops with respect. You are installing the Ferrari of Countertops, why would you abuse them to the point they do not retain their pristine nature? I do make countertops that handle normal wear and tear of normal family use. But you always want to treat them well so that they last a lifetime.
Once everything is cured there are no real special instructions. I just try to let my clients know, if it is wet wipe it up. This is just a normal rule that applies to any family caring for any countertop. You can’t expect any natural surface to last forever if you abuse it and don’t treat it with respect.