One of the most important things to us aside from the quality of our product and making sure our customers are satisfied is setting expectations. Customer satisfaction is a byproduct of setting good expectations. This page outlines our process and what it takes to make high quality pieces and why it takes 3-4 weeks.
- Quote - You may send us drawings, rough sketches and fill out our contact form here on our website. We will put together a preliminary quote based on the information provided. This will give you an idea if our prices fit you or your clients budget.
- Meeting, Color and Finish - It is always best if you or your client can schedule an appointment to come to our showroom to look at color and finish samples as there are a lot of different choices for concrete countertops. If any custom samples need to be made we charge $350 for custom color and finish samples and require 2 weeks to make them. We can match most Sherwin Williams paint samples. Up to 8 samples will be made for you to choose from. We also take this time to set customer expectations on what our product can and cannot do. At this time you may decide to get placed on our schedule. We require a 50% deposit down to be placed on our schedule. We understand that sometimes it is difficult to know exactly when you will need us to begin as you are waiting on other trades to complete their work. But we do like to schedule a date that is within a few weeks of your desired start date if our schedule allows it. Our schedule fills up quite fast so getting our customers scheduled as soon as possible is important.
- Templates - For concrete countertops templates can be made once all cabinets are installed and level. This insures that our product will follow the contour of walls and fit properly on install day. We recommend that any tile being placed on the backsplash be done after we install so that the tile can be installed down to the top of our countertops which gives a nice clean finished appearance.
- Forms - Depending on our schedule we will begin building the forms as soon as possible. Generally an average kitchen of 50-60 square feet will take 1-2 days to complete the forms depending on complexity. We caulk all of the interior of the forms and give the caulk a day to cure.
- Molds - We have some sink molds in stock but sometimes we need to make custom molds for our customers such as sink molds, tub molds, shower pan molds etc. Custom fiberglass molds can add up to a week to the overall timeline of the project. But like any custom work it takes time to make unique one of a kind pieces.
- Fabrication - Pour days are generally done in the morning and take a few hours to complete. Sometimes larger project pours are completed over a couple days depending on size and complexity.
- Curing - At this stage once all the concrete is placed into the forms we allow the concrete time to sit and gain strength. This allows us to handle the concrete when it's strong enough so that we can flip it over without the risk of breaking it. Concrete gains the majority of it's strength in the first 24 -36 hours after casting. For this reason we generally give it a day or two in the forms before we flip it.
- Polishing - Another reason the concrete needs to gain strength is to allow us to begin polishing it with diamond abrasives without tearing too much of the cement off the surface. Soft concrete is not only hard on our abrasives but the concrete won't polish the way we would like to. We do an initial polish and this opens up any tiny holes in the concrete where air bubbles may have been trapped during the pour.
- Grout - We mix up cement and pigment that matches the color you chose and we massage this into the concrete countertops and this presses the grout into any of the pinholes that were exposed during polishing. This step insures that we have a surface that won't trap any bacteria harboring food particles in your kitchen. After we grout we let the countertops sit for a day and allow the grout to harden. The next day we polish and inspect for any holes that may appear. Sometimes we may have to grout one more time and wait a day to polish.
- Inspection - At this point we look over the product to make sure it meets our standards. If everything looks good we move on to the sealing process.
- Schedule Install - At this point we can confidently schedule an install date. Before this we can estimate when we'll be done but each process can add or subtract days to our production time so it's hard to give an exact date that we will be complete. We will call you to schedule a date that we can install your product.
- Sealing - We first rinse the entire piece with an acid/water solution to give a nice toothed surface for our sealer to adhere to. We have several different sealers that we use and different applications and finishes require different kinds of sealer. The sealing process can take 2-4 days depending on the application. Some sealers require the piece to dry out for a couple of days before we can put the sealer on.
- Sealer Cure - It is best to give the sealer a couple of days to cure before we handle and transport your product.
- Installation - Installations for normal size projects up to 60 square feet generally take about 3 hours if the job site is properly prepared for us. After installation we will give you a care sheet for your product and discuss any questions you may have.
- *Summary - As you can see there are a lot of steps involved in making beautiful pieces of concrete. We aren't simply mixing concrete and dumping it into the form. Because this is such a time consuming process it is very important to establish all of the details of the job, sign the contract and make sure that deposit has been paid. We do everything in our power to complete jobs in a timely manner but if all boxes have not been checked this can hold things up significantly especially if it begins to interfere with other projects on our schedule.