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 Countertops
Contractor awareness is crucial to the success of a professional concrete countertop. Below is a guide to aid contractors/builders and homeowners in the completion of beautiful concrete countertops.
 
Before we begin the job, we need the following (for cast in place countertops/sinks):
  1. Templates, actual sinks, faucets, ranges, or any other penetration through the concrete piece we pour.
  2. We need a ?" plywood deck on top, flush with the cabinet fronts & edges and secured with screws.
  3. Cabinets should be painted/stained and sealed before we begin.
  4. We need to meet with the clients before we start to finalize details such as finish, edging, drainboard, inlays, colors, and other specifics.
  5. We need 110v power and a clean water source.
Countertops will need to cure for up to two weeks before staining/sealing depending on site conditions. The character of each concrete countertop is unique. No two jobs are exactly the same. Your project acquires its own unique patina, swirls, character, and personality. Occasionally (rarely, but more on pier & beam homes than slabs) a hairline crack can develop over time in front of sinks or other narrow areas. These unique characteristics of your countertop are developed in part by: concrete mix, weather conditions, finishing techniques, retarders/accelerators/superplasticizers, trowel marks, burn marks, variance of texture, grinding, sanding, sandblasting, porosity, fractures, cracks, voids, acid stains, blemishes, scoring, grids, patterns/designs, edgings, backsplashes, inlays, integral drain boards/soap dishes, colors, and finishes. We need complete access to the areas we will be working on and will need to keep people out of the area while performing the stages of our work. It is very messy, possibly dusty, and fast paced and we need to ensure others don't track concrete around the job. Unsealed concrete is a porous, similar to wood, and is susceptible to staining. Subs/others may not set anything on the countertop and need to be careful not to chip edges while concrete is "fresh". Some substances can penetrate the bare concrete and stain it: i.e. red chalk, permanent marker, crayon, adhesives, paint, flux, caulk, PVC primer/cleaner, PVC adhesive, food, grease, beverages (coffee, soda, etc.), metal nails/rust, dirty extension cords, dirty air hoses, dirty handprints, sawdust, wood, insulation board, and plastic. Make painters understand they need to be careful around freshly poured or finished countertops, we are not responsible for their spills! We will use integral dye or apply acid stains in various manners to achieve various tones, using single or multiple colors either individual or layered, or intricate multi colored patterns and artistic staining, scoring and grouting. We then will seal the countertops with of one or more coats of sealer, depending on porosity of the concrete or sealer used. Newly sealed countertops must be untouched for 48 hours (NO DUST/SAWDUST in area until after 4 hours of sealing). In a pour on site countertop, some screw penetrations may need to be filled or touched-up by painter. These holes will be about every 10" directly under the bullnose edge. Electrical plates, trim, and backsplash (unless we install concrete tiles), will need to be installed by other subs. Plumber will need to set sinks, connect plumbing, etc. All bids are done on a "turnkey" basis. All bids are firm if work is scheduled to the above specifications. Some considerations that affect the bid are square footage, grinding, scoring, samples, colors, finish, custom work, job location, job conditions, accessibility, etc.

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