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Frequently Asked Questions - Concrete

Q. What sort of concrete work do you do?
A. We make very specialized custom pieces in concrete, usually counter-tops for kitchens, bathrooms and bar-tops.  We also do sinks, coffee tables, dining tables, pedestals, hearths, mantles and even shower surrounds.

Q. Why concrete counter-tops?
A. Mostly aesthetic. Concrete is completely customizable. It can be molded, sculpted, textured, troweled, ground, polished, stained and embedded with other materials or objects. You design it, we make it.  Each piece is unique and hand crafted with its own natural look and feel.

Q. Concrete vs. Granite?
A. Concrete is similar to granite in density, weight and cost.  But, concrete can do much that granite cannot.  It can look like nothing you have ever seen.

Q. Can concrete counter-tops chip or crack?
A. Yes, but you have to try really hard.  As with granite or marble, corners and edges can be vulnerable to damage.  We recommend slightly rounded edges. Hairline cracks may develop but they are not structural and are considered character and part of the material. Structural cracks are rare and generally occur only over poorly built cabinets.

Q. Can concrete counter-tops stain?
A. Much like marble, concrete can stain if proper care is not taken. Acids such as red wine, lemon juice and hot sauce can etch the surface if not cleaned up promptly.  We use the best sealer systems available to avoid stains. But, over time, a natural patina can enhance the character of the surface like aged butcher block or stone.  A stain can be more a memory than a disaster.  I am thinking of the evening of the pomegranate martinis.

Q. Can I cut on concrete counter-tops?
A. Cutting on your concrete counter-top may damage the sealer and possibly cut into the concrete surface.  Also, it will really dull your knives.  We recommend a cutting board.

Q. Is concrete heat resistant?
A. Concrete is very heat resistant but subject to thermal shock like any other stone. An extremely hot pot may damage the sealer which can be repaired.

Q. How does the concrete counter-top process work?
A. There are two basic methods of making concrete tops, precast and poured in place. For precast concrete tops, we make templates from your installed cabinets, build forms, pour, flip them over and finish.  Then we install them in your home just like stone tops. There are some size limitations. For poured in place tops, we build forms over your cabinets, pour and finish in place.  We can pour and entire kitchen seamlessly.  Either way we can do integrally colored, acid stained or color overlay to produce color and texture like you have never seen.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Plaster

Q. What sort of plaster do you do?
A. Mostly interior. We have experience in traditional ornament, conventional 3-coat, veneer plaster, tinted veneer, Venetian stucco - including Marmarino, Gresello, Japanese stucco, Moroccan Tadlakt and American Clay.

Q. Can you repair old damaged plaster?
A. Yes.  If the old plaster has not fallen off the wall it can likely be repaired.

Q. Can you repair or reproduce old plaster crown molding?
A. We can replicate just about any plaster molding.  We can run in situ or in our shop and feather in repairs indistinguishable from the original.

Q. Why use conventional or old fashioned 3-coat plaster?
A. First to preserve the historic integrity of your home by using materials as close to the original as possible.  Secondly, plaster can be used to create curves, shapes, domes, arches and vaults that drywall cannot.

Q. Why use veneer plaster?
A. Time, money, dust and durability.
  1. Veneer plaster can be finished in one or two coast whereas typical drywall requires four.
  2. Materials and installation are more than drywall, but money is saved on time and maintenance.
  3. Finish plaster is applied and polished wet.  There is no sanding and little dust unlike drywall.
  4. Durability. Some veneer plasters achieve compression strenghts to rival concrete virtually eliminating stress cracks and nail pops.

Q. What is Venetian Plaster?
A. From its namesake Venice Italy, Stucco Venicianno is a mixture of aged lime, marble dust and pigment.  It can be polished to resemble marble.

Q. Is Venician Plaster just a faux finish?
A. Though quite decorative, Venetian Plaster requires a minimum of three coats applied with special tools.

Q. What about the Venetian Plaster from my local home improvement center?
A. Several paint companies now offer their own synthetic versions of the traditional material many of which we have used with success.

Q. Any other benefits besides beauty?
A. Venetian Plaster is much more durable than paint. It is dent, scratch and stain resistant.  Made of all natural ingredients, it is a ver "Green Material" and is a natural mold deterrent containing no VOC's.

Q. What is tinted veneer?
A. Our specialty. Tinted plaster based modern veneer system using proprietary color and aggregate formulas to achieve any surface imaginable.  We can take your new or existing walls to a unique finish in 2 or 3 steps, eliminating paint or other expensive wall coverings.  All colors are custom.  We work with architects, designers and homeowners.

Q. What about waterproof plaster?
Yes, we can make waterproof plaster.  It is actually a cement based formula much like swimming pool plaster. We have used it to create showers, tub surrounds and entire bathrooms.  It is suited well for both interior and exterior projects.

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