The Evolution of the Concrete Countertop
Concrete counters are the fastest growing type of counter today, but it comes at a premium, and in some cases might be the most expensive type of counter on the market. Unlike all other materials, concrete counters are the only kind which is not currently mass produced (but maybe one day). Consequently, when it comes to concrete countertops, we’re usually talking about a client that doesn’t want the same thing as everyone else, and in most cases wants to make a statement in their home or business, and in many cases want it to be an ‘artsy’ statement. There was a time, not more than 15 years ago, when concrete countertops were viewed as ‘too raw’ and ‘too rugged and masculine’. They were mostly made by the DIY’s who had very little experience in working with concrete, did not have access to the knowledge, and didn’t have the right tools.
Furthermore, the sealers which are designed to protect the counters were very limited and some people just had to learn to appreciate the impending staining and scratching of their counters.
Now thanks to advanced technology, techniques, and materials, the overall quality of concrete countertops has improved greatly and you can find them in every design magazine. Over the past decade they’ve become classier and offer a timeless look and feel. The sealers are also much better, and the techniques, material, and forming tools have all improved. There are quite a few companies now that specialize in casting concrete as counters and furniture.
THE FUTURE OF CONCRETE-STYLE COUNTERTOPS
At Global, we take a slightly different approach to our countertops. Global make 3 different kinds of counters;
- Epoxy Resin Based (over lightweight cores)
- Polymer Modified Cement (PMC) Based (over lightweight cores)
- Glass-Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Counters (typically not more than 3/4″ thick)
The GFRC counters, are usually the best solution for making integral counter vanity sinks, where there is 3-dimensional shape involved, such as a sloped-channeled sink or really any kind of sink basin. These pieces are heavy, but not as heavy as a solid concrete counter that is 2″ thick (obviously).
Where we use the lightweight cores as a solution, is really any flat or waterfall slab for kitchens, vanities and bars. We used to use hollow cores for making integral counter sinks, but it was too difficult to work with and using a 3/4″ GFRC is manageable in weight as long as it is not utterly massive, which it rarely is. Most vanity tops are rarely over 6ft long.
With all that in mind, having the ability to work with raw materials and pigments, Global can offer the designer or client a counter that works with whatever they require us to work with in their design palette.
Our counters are not like other products where you only get to choose what’s available in a product line or catalogue. We thrive on creating unique pieces of art when it comes to your countertop solutions. Furthermore, we can introduce, inlays, glass and aggregates into the counter, and what is truly unique about our Global counters, is they can be very thick, long, and seamless. And furthermore again, Global counters are designed for exterior use, like bbq counters, where other materials would eventually fail when exposed to harsh environments, where there is strong UV exposure and extensive freeze thaw.
If you’re looking for a countertop and want something that looks amazing, unique, and is incredibly versatile, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about the different options and styles.