Cast Concrete Counter Tops
Many homeowners are taking advantage of concrete's flexibility and its ability to incorporate other functional features such as integral sinks, draining boards and butcher blocks. Counter-tops are made of cement, lightweight aggregates, special reinforcement and a combination of additives. As they are a custom crafted product for high end use, they are often specified by designers or architects when drawing up house plans.
Concrete counter-tops are handcrafted and are typically priced at a premium to ceasarstone, granite, marble and other natural stones. The true cost of the counter-top is not in the concrete itself, but rather in the artisan's creativity and time and labour spent on for creating the wooden formwork, the placing of reinforcing, any special details, unique designs, transportation, installation and labor.
Countertops are cast on site where a formwork is built according to the client’s particular needs and anchored to the wall using specialist mortars. The countertops are then left to cure/dry and once this has been reached the countertops have to be ground to remove the surface "skin" with progressively finer diamond polishing stones. This achieves three important objectives; - a smooth glass-like finish, durability and exposing the aggregate which truly reflects its beauty. Due to the high risk of the countertops bending, cracking and chipping, Afristone does not cast countertops offsite and then transport the finished product to the site of installation.
Countertops are always sealed although the type of sealer, method and number of coats of sealer is unique to each installation. Industrial epoxy and urethane sealers are relatively expensive and it may require two coats. While this adds to the cost, the quality is superior and the only maintenance that will be required is to apply a good water-based liquid wax or beeswax every six months to a year.
Stuccoed Counter Tops
An alternative option exists whereby the complete structure is built from scratch with bricks and mortar and “plastered” with a specialist “Countertop Concrete Mixture” available from Afristone Decorative Concrete.