Kitchens

Concrete kitchen worktops may not be new but they remain largely unknown in the UK. Despite this, they are a great way to make your kitchen space individual, whilst giving you a cool, sophisticated look. Other worktop choices won’t be able to give you 5m long seamless spans with 100mm integrated edges and integrated seamless vertical panels that reach the floor (aka “waterfalls”).

Go to our gallery page to have a look at photos of some of our indoor and outdoor kitchens

colour

Concrete kitchen worktops will give you an unmistakable cool and solid feel.  Concrete is a manmade material, but its constituent parts are naturally occurring rocks. Thus, hues and nuances will not be perfectly homogenous. We have found even different seams of sand in a quarry provide different hues of greys and browns in the final concrete.

The same goes for batches of cement – there are different percentages of iron oxides, silicates, and carbonates within the same production run in cement works – and these manifest themselves in different grey nuances in the final worktops. We can hone in on colours and looks for your worktops with a range of samples, and often recommend using white cement and light sands and controlling pigment quantities to achieve specific greys if a very precise and consistent homogenised colour is required.

a natural look

We can provide different appearances in our concrete surfaces. Granites and marbles have natural veins that you can select in a stone warehouse. We are able to recreate some of that natural randomness. Different mineral components of the cement come through to the surface’s appearance. With pigments, we can offer you almost any colour or tone you are after.

Polishing exposes aggregates of different sizes and colours and shapes to appear on your worktop’s surface. You can have a solid brilliant-white block or a more industrial naturally random grey concrete or any colour and tone between. A beautifully designed concrete worktop will not seek to be a granite worktop – it will unashamedly exhibit the strengths of its craftsman’s art, but that can also include having inspirations from cut rocks and veined textures.

individuality

Shaping a worktop to your kitchen space is a significant upside of GFRC (Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete) sprayed concrete.  We can create vertical waterfall edges seamlessly connecting your kitchen floor with your worktop in a single slab.  We can create backsplashes and overhanging apron edges as a seamless part of the worktop. Worktops can have integrated drainage grooves. You can choose your own pigments or veined concrete patterns. We can also set stainless steel or stones or fibre optic cable-ends into the work surface to create more individuality.  Kitchen drawers and doors can be clad to match the worktop in thin concrete, light enough to hang on a door hinge, solid enough to provide the industrial look you might be after.

Another appeal of our worktops is the ease with which you can choose the thickness of your concrete kitchen worktop. Think of trying to find a 10cm thick granite worktop. We have installed bartops and kitchen worktops with 100mm and 80mm integrated apron edges. Whilst the main slab is only 25mm thick, to save weight, the edges are solid and integrated – giving a massive and bold feel to your very own design.

sealants

We use specialist high-performance cements. This means we can create concrete with far fewer naturally occurring microscopic capillaries than normal concrete and stone. Further, when cast and demoulded we often apply a proprietary type of lithium silicate concrete densifier. This will latch on to non-hydrated calcium molecules and create calcium silicate hydroxides. Further concrete-ifying the remaining unhydrated molecules from the cement. Fewer surface capillaries mean fewer stain traps.

The next stage is the application of a specialist synthetic nano-sealant. The result here is that each layer of sealant is less diluted in water than the one preceding – allowing single sealant molecules to float down to the bottom of any surface capillaries. Subsequent passes of the sealant will then fill these capillaries with multiple bonded sealant molecules to ensure a beautifully sealed worktop surface.

This sealing approach provides your worktop with years of hardwearing and carefree usage. As with natural stone, it is not a great idea to leave stains for more than a couple of hours on your concrete. Vinegar and beetroot can penetrate the sealant if left for more than twenty-four hours. We typically recommend a reseal on outside worktops every two to three years. With inside worktops, in a normally used family kitchen, every five years. At any point, we can carry out topical repairs and re-sealing easily. We can provide you with details of how to carry this out yourself if you are of a hands-on disposition. For a more insider view, try here or here.

procedure

  1. A customer will make initial contact, asking if Seamless-Stone can make a certain type of worktop or piece of furniture, and if so what sort of price for a certain size, and how long to manufacture and install.
  2. Next we will discuss various options: Thicknesses, shapes, edges, drainage, cut-outs, backsplashes, drop-down waterfalls, upstands, etc. There will be a discussion about colours and tones too, and perhaps we will send off indicative samples. We will firm up pricing at this stage.
  3. 10% of the agreed price is payable at this stage.  The price will include tile-size colour match samples, a reference slab (see point 4 below), on-site measuring, computer modelling, fabrication and installation.  We will break these items down, and will happily work with others, should you wish to use your own installers and draughtsmen.  A worktop will require at least three weeks from inception to installation.
  4. We will cast a two-foot square reference slab of the worktop in our workshop. A large sample will show nuances that appear in cement (especially grey cement) not visible in sample tiles. Nuances which appear within batches, even when using identical processes, recipes, humidity and temperature in the controlled workshop environment.
  5. Seamless-Stone will come to visit the property, once the kitchen units are in place, and make precise measurements from which a 3-d computer model, using readily available software (“Sketchup”) will be used.  If a customer wants to see the worktop shape in 3D before fabrication and make modifications, now is the time to get involved.
  6. Fabrication is next, and this is described elsewhere on this site.
  7. The installation will occur after we have sealed the concrete in our workshop

Durability

Seamless-Stone stands behind the quality of its work. Our products come with a lifetime guarantee. We will come and reseal your worktop after five years, and cracks or blemishes that occur will be repaired or replaced by us for free if they weren’t caused by unsuitable use. If there is any damage, that could be attributed to misuse, we will most likely be able to fix the worktop without any great drama. GFRC is a product that will outlast us.

Outside links to articles about concrete as a worktop material: https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/property/1891048-Polished-concrete-kitchen-worktops and http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/countertops/comparison.html