These are the questions we are most often asked, but please feel free to contact us here with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.
Q. What are our options for shape, colour, finish, inlays and functions?
A. Simply endless. We can design virtually anything that your imagination can conjure. We recommend all of our clients check out our Project gallery as well as Pinterest and other references. Once you have a dream piece in mind, we start the creative process. We offer a wide range of colour options and have samples available at our workshop. We offer four finishes for our polished concrete:
+ Cream Finish – This is our most popular finish. The concrete is integrally coloured, smooth and creamy finish with subtle mottling effect.
+ Exposed Stone – Concrete has received an aggressive grind and the aggregate is highly visible.
+ Mottled – Concrete has been hand packed so each piece is full of character and variation. Every piece will be different and unique, reflecting the hand of the maker.
+ Inlays – Integral drain boards and sinks, inscriptions/quotes and logos.
+ Function – integral sinks, integral drain boards, integral cutting boards, waterways and fountains.
Q. I’ve heard that concrete stains easily. Is this true?
A. Not anymore. We use a sealer that penetrates and bonds at a molecular level with the concrete. The result is a penetrating and topical finish that is more or less stain proof, highly scratch resistant and environmentally friendly (VOC compliant). It has also been granted “Food Safe” status by the Food and Drug Administration. We are able to provide a high-gloss or matte finish.
Q. How do you clean your Concrete Nation creation?
A. A cloth and soapy water is recommended for cleaning as abrasive pads and cleaners tend to dull and degrade the surface of the finish. Superman’s powers were affected by kryptonite; our sealer is affected by straight white vinegar and direct heat. Sauces, dressings and mixes that contain vinegar are fine but undiluted white vinegar and a burning hot pot on the surface of a piece weakens our sealer’s super-powers. Our sealing product is the best on the market and protects against red wine, olive oil, lemon juice and coffee spills.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Concrete is not the least expensive option on the market, but you will find it is priced competitively with most benchtop options. The process of taking simple ingredients - sand, gravel and cement - and making them into something that is both beautiful and functional is incredibly labour intensive. As every piece is unique and handcrafted, please call us for pricing.
Q. Is concrete heavy?
A. It can be but we use Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC), which is stronger and lighter than traditional concrete. GFRC can be as much as 50 per cent lighter than traditional wet-cast concrete, which requires other reinforcing. Due to its strength, GFRC can also be cast in thinner sections
Q. Will we have to reinforce our cabinets?
A. In most cases, no. If your cabinets are reasonably well built with screws and dowels and have vertical support that extends to the floor, we’re most likely good to go. However, we do recommend that all of our clients have a cabinetmaker or carpenter to make the final call. If there is any question as to the structural integrity of your cabinets, reinforcing them is generally a simple and inexpensive process.
Q. Isn’t concrete prone to cracking?
A. Yes and no. It is important to differentiate between structural and hairline cracks. We absolutely guarantee our work against structural cracks, where the slab actually separates into two. However, concrete shrinks during the curing process and occasionally, hairline fractures occur where there is less mass – usually around faucet knockouts or at the front lip of the slab over under-mounted sinks.
Our mix design has radically evolved over the past few years so we very rarely have issues with hairline fractures but cannot guarantee 100 per cent that they will not occur over time. We guarantee excellence but not perfection. When working with concrete it is important to remember it handmade and imperfect and this is what we love about it.
Q. What is your turnaround time for a piece?
A. It can depend on the size of the project but we generally say between six to eight weeks. Check with our office as times may vary depending on how busy we are.
Q. How far will you travel?
A. Concrete Nation is based in the Gold Coast, Australia, but we travel north to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, and south to Northern New South Wales. We can also ship our products nationwide.