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General care Information
                   
                      
                        Frequently asked questions
               

Our approach...

A common concern for concrete countertops is vulnerability to staining. When concrete really started making its way into the countertop world the sealers available for them were often repackaged sealers not originally designed for concrete or designed for concrete not being used as a countertop. Thus started some misconception that all concrete countertops will stain pretty easily. Today this is absolutely not true as the popularity of concrete as a countertop material has driven the industry standards for sealer performance to new heights with great advancements in sealing technology taking place within the last few years. This is not to say that sealing concrete to achieve the highest durability for countertop use is extremely easy or inexpensive. The sealers that tend to work the best and provide the least amount of maintenance and customer responsibility are expensive and generally difficult to use. 
Are there seams?
 
Yes, because we are pre-casting there are seams. Certain physical restrictions require seams, like weight and mass. If the piece will not fit through the doorway or cannot be safely lifted then it certainly cannot be installed. Seams are quite subtle and are always placed with aesthetics and function in mind.
What if my countertop’s sealer is damaged? 

The sealer on your countertop can be repaired if it is damaged. However, damage to the sealer will only occur if it is abused, due to excessive heat exposure, abrasion misuse or severe impact.   

The sealers we use are applied one time by us during fabrication in the shop. You will not need to re-apply sealer several times a year. However, we tend to prefer sealers that can be touched up or re-applied in place if ever need be due to extreme wear or misuse accidents.
 
Being informed and choosing the right sealing process for you is important when deciding on any cement based solid surface or other natural material option.We highly encourage investigating what other producers of this type of material have to say about the care and maintenance associated with their products. There is a wide range of sealing approaches for concrete and a wide range of expectations. 
 
We are more than happy to answer questions and provide more in-depth information. We want our customers to be informed and happy with their choice. We are always trying and testing the latest sealing options so that we can offer the most durable and lowest maintenance options available for concrete countertops. 
 
Where is my counter made and how long does it take?
 
Everything we produce is pre-cast. This means we will come take measurements of your project onsite and then take it back to our shop to manufacture and fabricate it. From measurements to installation a countertop typically takes 3 to 5 weeks. The varying time range depends on size, intricacy and other factors like material availability. We will always provide an estimate of fabrication time at the beginning of each project when all the details are clear. Ultimately, the concrete must be adequately cured for various fabrication stages and safe transportation. Good things take time.
 Is there any wasted material?
          
No, because we are building forms specifically for your project there is never any wasted material. There are no drops from cutting that you pay for but never see. Also, because we are forming and pouring we have the ability to put internal reinforcement in our material, making it very strong, adaptive and supportive.
What should I use to clean my counter? 

We suggest using mild soap and water or a pH neutral cleaner, if possible. Acids are one of concrete's worst enemies. Even though your countertop is sealed to protect against acids it is best to not constantly expose it every time you clean. Always use cloth to clean your countertop and never an abrasive pad or scrubby. When cleaning a tough or sticky residue always use more cleaning agent rather than more abrasion or scrubbing.

Do concrete countertops crack?
 
They can crack. However, cracks in countertops are rare and are usually what are called "hairline" cracks, meaning they are very small and do no structural damage and are so small there is no material separation. Once installed, cracks or crazing on a countertop will generally only occur under severe conditions or misuse.  
Can I cut directly on my countertop?

To avoid damage to the sealer you should not cut directly on your countertop. Using a cutting board is a simple approach to preventive maintenance that is best for concrete countertops too.

What is the difference between pre-cast and poured-in-place concrete counters?
 
Pre-casting is done off-site, in our shop and not in your home. Slabs are produced by casting into forms that replicate your specific project. They begin curing and going through fabrication in our shop, once complete they are installed or "set" in your home. Poured-in-place counters are just that; formed, poured and fabricated where they will be used in your home. Both approaches can produce beautiful and unique looks. However, it is our opinion that poured-in-place is messy and severely design limited in comparison to pre-cast, where environment control and medium manipulation are at their greatest.    

Can I place a hot pan or dish on my counter?

To avoid damage to the sealer you should not be in the habit of placing hot pans or dishes directly on your counter. The sealers we like best will generally withstand up to 450 degrees, but not repeatedly. It's always best to use a hot pad or trivets.

How much do concrete countertops cost?
 
Refined concrete countertops are usually in the same price range as granite and quartz, $75 and up per square foot. The cost can range due to the endless stylings of concrete countertops. However, they are generally not an inexpensive alternative to the usual solid surface options. Be diligent in your research of contractors offering them for much less and be sure to understand the quality of the product and work you will receive. Finely crafted concrete countertops are labor intensive and require practice and patience. It is of my opinion that concrete is the ultimate option for those seeking custom, handcrafted, uniqueness.
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