What can be done with concrete in the home?
Exclusive Concrete makes kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities with and without integral sinks, concrete sinks, fireplace surrounds, back splashes, tables, desks and more.
Countertops can be almost any shape and size. Unlike granite and quartz which would drastically increase cost to fabricate curved shapes , concrete requires only a little more complexity in the forming process to accomplish this.
Concrete can be used both indoors and outdoors. Have an outdoor bar? What a better way to show it off than with an exclusive and one of a kind concrete bar top.
What edges are available?
For concrete, edging is formed and cast rather than cut like granite or solid surface. Therefore, edge choices depend on the availability of appropriate trim moulding. Below is a chart with some of the more common edge options. Exclusive Concrete can also custom profile an edge according to your requirements. Edging may be placed on top or bottom of the counter top. Bull nose edging is available for 2” thick counter top edges.
What kind of sinks can be used with concrete countertops?
Exclusive Concrete countertops can accommodate all types of sinks including drop-in, under mount and apron front. The minimum lip of concrete around all sides of sinks is 3”. Concrete can also accommodate drop-in cook tops. The minimum lip of concrete in the front of a cook top is 3”; we recommend 3” for the back also, but 2” will suffice.
Exclusive Concrete can make integral concrete sinks of almost any shape. Bathroom vanities are an excellent application of integral concrete sinks. Integral kitchen sinks are also available upon request. However an integral kitchen sink generally dictates a very thick concrete bottom that would be a problem with standard plumbing and cabinetry.
What colours are available?
Any colour! Exclusive Concrete has the ability to customize your countertop to virtually any colour you can imagine. These colours can be produced in a solid, speckled or variegated pattern. And, you can specify embedded stone, glass, or other objects. You can specify the colour, size and density of embedments. Coupled with the many colour choices, you have a myriad of design options.
Exclusive Concrete specializes in custom colour development. We can customize existing colours or match the colour of an item such as a paint chip or fabric. The process takes about 3 weeks. We produce two or more samples and submit them for your approval.
How much colour variation can occur?
Concrete is a natural, handmade material. Many factors such as humidity, sand lot and cement lot can affect the final appearance of the concrete. All of our colour formulas record the type of sand, type of cement, and exact measurements of pigments to1/10th of a gram, and we use specially employ software to calculate mix design. However, colours can still vary because of the aforementioned factors.
Another factor that contributes to perceived variation is simply the size of samples. A 3” x3” sample, or even a 6” x 6” sample, will look different than a whole countertop simply because the small sample does not capture all of the natural, random variations that will occur over a large surface. The colour in a 3” x 3”sample may appear completely uniform, but a whole countertop in that exact same colour will not appear as uniform. The same situation occurs with other natural materials such as granite. If you are looking for perfect uniformity, solid surface might be a better countertop option for you.
What about back splashes?
Back splashes are cast and finished separately and deck mounted after the countertops are installed. Back splashes are nominally 1 inch thick and can be from 3 inches high to full height. Outlet openings are cast in, not cut on site.
How much do they cost?
Concrete being a completely custom material is directly in line with most standard countertop materials. We would be happy to work with you or your designer to get you an estimate as soon as possible and help with options that will fit your budget.
What kind of sinks can be used with concrete countertops?
Concrete sink holes are cast into the material rather than cut out like with granite or solid surface. Due to this process we can accommodate all different types of sinks from drop in, under mount or apron front. Exclusive concrete also offers integral sinks in a large array of shapes. Bathroom vanities or bar top integral sinks are great examples of this.
We do not recommend integral sink for kitchen concrete countertops for engineering reasons. Kitchen sinks are deep and have angles that would put large stresses on the concrete and have a high potential for cracking. Also the size of kitchen sinks dictates a very thick bottom which would cause interference with most standard plumbing.
How durable are concrete countertops?
Bare concrete, just like granite, is porous and will easily stain. Virtually all kitchen countertops are sealed to prevent staining. Exclusive Concrete's sealer is a high performance sealer that is exceptionally durable provides excellent resistance to contact with staining agents such as red wine, lemon juice and olive oil.
While the sealer is durable, it can scratch if cut with a knife or if a heavy sharp object is dragged across its surface. Cutting on the concrete countertop directly may compromise the sealers integrity and allow stains to permeate the concretes matrix. This will also ruin and dull your knives.
As with most countertop surfaces, it is best to use trivets for hot pots and pans. Micro cracks can form in the concrete matrix if exposed to high heat. The sealer surface is not elastic enough to absorb these micro cracks.
Exclusive Concrete can help to minimize the appearance of any of these issues by using a repair kit on your concrete countertops if need be.
Are there any seems?
Often times concrete countertops can be designed without seams. However, if necessary, we my have to locate seems around sinks , cook tops or wherever required for structural reasons. Seems may be required in large pieces to facilitate entry into the place of installation. Exclusive Concrete will work with you to engineer seem placement that allows structural integrity and pleasing aesthetics.
Seems that are required and generally 1/16"-1/8" wide and are filled with a colour matched acrylic caulk.
Due to the fact that concrete countertops are hand made and hand processed, the tolerances for seems are more generous than with quartz or granite.
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes. Exclusive Concrete warranties the structural integrity of our concrete products for one year after installation against structural defects. Concrete will of course last longer, but if any problems were to occur, it would be in the first year. Exclusive Concrete subjects its concrete to much larger stresses while moving it and processing it than it would ever see after installation.