Handcrafted concrete countertops for the modern home
A. Concrete is an incredible medium for architectural, visual and artistic expression. The question of why can best be summed up in one word: POSSIBILITY. Almost anything is possible.
“…Combining versatility, durability and clean, contemporary simplicity with earthen rusticity,
this utilitarian material is experiencing a resurgence with a counter culture whose longevity
could rival that of the Great Pyramids and the Pantheon.”
– Cottage Magazine article (July/Aug issue) on Earth Stone Concrete Works.
Although not inexpensive, concrete is more affordable than slate or granite. All my pieces are hand crafted in the Bulkley Valley and come with little or no shipping costs or headaches. I see this as a huge benefit when considering the carbon footprint of the product, with 80% of the materials acquired locally and relatively short distances to travel for delivery.
A. Simply endless. We can design virtually anything that your imagination can conjure. The only real limiting factor is weight. Although I find myself constantly inspired to create new and different pieces, I could never describe the full extent of the possibilities available to me as a concrete artisan. I recommend to all my clients that they Google “concrete countertops” and start exploring the images and ideas that can be found on the internet, get an idea of what they might want in a piece, then start the creative process.
Simply put however, your options are:
A. Yes. A 2-inch thick slab weighs approximately 25 lbs per square foot. A typical bathroom vanity measuring 2 feet x 3 feet will weigh in somewhere around 150 pounds.
A. In most cases, no. If you’re cabinets are reasonably well built with screws and dowels and have vertical support that extends to the floor, we’re likely good to go. However, I do recommend to all my clients that they have a cabinet maker or carpenter have a look to make the final call. If there is any question as to the structural integrity of your cabinets, reinforcing them is generally a simple and inexpensive process.
A. Yes and no. It is important to differentiate between structural and hairline cracks. I absolutely guarantee my work against structural cracks, where the slab actually separates into two. However, concrete shrinks during the curing process and occasionally hairline fractures occur. Although I do everything that I can in the mixing, pouring and curing stages to prevent hairline fractures, I cannot guarantee that they won’t happen. Hairline cracks tend to occur where there is less mass – usually around faucet knockouts or at the front lip of the slab over under-mounted sinks.
There are a number of ways to approach the issue:
A. Not anymore. We use a sealer that penetrates and bonds at a molecular level with the concrete. The result is a penetrating and topical finish that is more or less 100% stain proof, highly scratch resistant and environmentally friendly (VOC compliant). It has also been granted “Food Safe” status by the American Food and Drug Administration. I am able to provide a high-gloss or matte finish.
A cloth and soapy water is recommended for cleaning as abrasive pads and cleaners tend to dull and degrade the surface of the finish. Sauces, dressings and mixes that contain vinegar are fine but undiluted white vinegar weakens my sealer’s super-powers.
I am offering a 12-month 100% guarantee of my sealer from the date of install but suspect that it will last for many, many years; the manufacturer is offering 15-year warrantees and the product is commonly used on outdoor pools and boat hulls.
A. Touching up or totally re-sealing a piece is simple. I simply charge a reasonable hourly rate and visit your home to patch or repair any damage, hand-sand and reseal the piece.
A. Our shop is in Smithers, so much of my work happens in the Bulkley Valley. However, I am happy to serve the communities from Prince George to the Queen Charlottes Islands.
A. A simple vanity or fireplace pad might take me a week. A relatively small and simple kitchen usually takes about 2 weeks. More complicated designs or larger slabs may take slightly longer.