It’s easy to understand why a lot of people see concrete as a cheap low value material, this is true if a basic mix is used with very little labour involved. Concrete mixes can be designed in many different ways, we use a proven proprietory GFRC mix which uses unique admixtures. This is a very important factor when a high quality durable finish is required but equally important is the fabricators skill level.
When creating concrete surfaces for kitchens or dining tables it’s vital to have a quality moulding process, mix design, casting process, polishing process and sealing process to create a beautiful, durable and stain resistant surface.
It takes a great deal of skill along with the best tools and hardware to get there.
There will always be a need for low labour, less refined concrete surfaces that will cost a lot less as long as the client is aware of its limitations.
How are concrete worktops/slabs made?
All of our GFRC slabs are precast in our shop and fully finished and sealed prior to installation/delivery.
There are 2 methods of precasting: wet cast and glass fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC). Wet cast uses a more traditional concrete mix of sand, aggregate and cement poured into forms.
GFRC uses a superior mix design and requires a different set of tools and skills. We are able to maximise the strength & integrity of our concrete using GFRC to reach the highest standards.
GFRC is concrete that is structurally reinforced with a large loading of alkali-resistant glass fibres instead of with steel. It is built up in 2 stages: a thin “mist coat” that is sprayed into the forms followed by layers of a very fibrous “backer coat”. GFRC is extremely strong, flexible and light compared to wet cast concrete and we use this from our high-end worktops to simple shelves.
Will concrete worktops stain?
Bare concrete is very porous and will readily stain. Virtually all concrete worktops are sealed to prevent staining; however the degree to which they work varies significantly and will be reflected in the price. Commonly used sealers include wax, penetrating acrylic sealers and impregnators. All of these are inexpensive and easy to apply. However, neither offer significant stain or heat resistance, and most require frequent re-application to prevent the formation of a "patina".
Woven Stone's sealer is different and requires skill to apply. We use the latest high-performance 2 part reactive polyurethane sealer developed in the U.S. and is applied at least 5 times over the course of 2 days. It is exceptionally durable and provides excellent resistance to incidental contact with staining agents such as red wine, lemon juice and olive oil and still retains concrete's appealing texture. Complete care instructions are included in the Owner's Guide available on request.
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