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Concrete Tops
Last Post 11 May 2009 03:58 PM by Brian Stone. 12 Replies.
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Marci Presser
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02 Dec 2008 03:31 PM

    A couple of weeks ago, I was traveling the country from my living room, popping in and out of fabrication shops via their Web sites to see what's going on and where it's going down. I noticed that poured concrete tops - as opposed to the prefabricated slabs of concrete like vetrazzo - occupy a niche market in the Pacific Northwest. Most of the Web sites that I came accross seemed focused on the art and design behind each project.

    I'm just curious what people think of this. Obviously design is a large part of what fabricator's do, but what about design for art's sake, rather than design for functionality. Is there room for that in the day-to-day projects of a shop? I've seen the precast slabs of concrete hit the market as a new green alternative to other materials in the market, especially when you throw some recycled glass into the mix, but is there really a niche market for poured concrete art in the home? Thoughts?

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    Andy Graves


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    03 Dec 2008 12:57 AM
    I think you are right.  The poured concrete is a niche market and requires a skilled craftsman to do it right.  With that comes a lot of design work but to some degree the craftsman must be the artist or be able to interpret what the customer envisions.

    Researching all the materials the last few months, I get the same feeling about the Pacific Northwest.  Lots of Eco companies are producing materials and they are just starting to take hold.

    My personal opinion is that Pre Cast will do better across the country with small art communities wanting the poured in place.
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    David Gerard
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    03 Dec 2008 05:26 AM
    The Cheng and Rhodes method are very popular.   I personally think the poured in place is way more versatile in terms of finishes and options.   I know many folks around here that have very artsy homes,  and concrete is what they want to compliment their motif.  I have to say ,  it usually is the best looking choice from what I've seen in most of these types of  homes,  I just cant get past the maintenance

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    06 Dec 2008 09:07 PM

    This guy really seems to know concrete and has pictures of inlays.

    Joe

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    06 Dec 2008 10:48 PM
    I don't have access to that website.  The link went to a login page.
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    David Gerard
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    03 Jan 2009 07:05 PM
    I woke up in the wee hours last night and was channel surfing.  I managed to catch  "This old house" .  They were featuring some green construction concepts and will be airing  a segment on the construction of  the concrete counters for thier project next week.  From the preview it looked like a shop fab and installed after it was finished.  PS.   looked like Norm lost a little weight too
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    03 Jan 2009 09:55 PM
    I would love to catch that.  Do you happen to know the time and channel so I record it on my DVR?
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    04 Jan 2009 03:24 AM
    Andy,  log on to www.pbs.org  and punch in your zip code then you can find the listing in your area.  You could probably watch it online too.    I have been waiting to see Jon O. or Tom on a segment of TOH.  I'll bet Jon and Norm A. have the same accent?
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    04 Jan 2009 05:41 AM
    Jon has better teeth than Norm A. At least is seems like that because Jon is always smiling, I'll take whatever Jon is taking
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    04 Jan 2009 05:52 PM
    Posted By Andy on 06 Dec 2008 04:48 PM
    I don't have access to that website.  The link went to a login page.

    Andy:

    I just checked the link and it works fine, but then, I'm logged in there.

    Log in and view the article, it's worth it.

    Joe
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    09 Jan 2009 04:50 PM
    I happen to catch TOH late last night with the concrete fab segment.   Very interesting for sure.   better have a skilled and very strong crew if you want to do concrete.   My friend who fabs concrete here adds styro foam spheres in his mixture to reduce weight  (in the structural layer only)   Sounds like the fab time is very long once templating is done,  due to curing,sealing and polishing.  Also looks looks like if the customer is cute enough they will let her help .    Joe, concrete might be for you. 
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    08 May 2009 12:12 AM

    For the record, concrete (tops or driveway) is never "poured" and is always "placed".

    Excessive hydration weakens concrete, so if it were runny enough to be poured, it is not suitable for countertops. The consistency of concrete is measured by a slump test.

    Stiffer is better,

    Joe

     

    Brian Stone
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    11 May 2009 03:58 PM
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