A Fabulous Fabrication to Fortify Your Counters
All right then, we have already established that the use of concrete countertops, sinks and vanities is an emerging trend in bathroom decor that is quickly picking up momentum as homeowners begin to realize the versatility of the material.
Down at the 10th annual Buildex Calgary Show I was fortunate enough to be able to talk with Mario Falconi, the owner of Concrete Innovations Ltd., a company serving the Calgary market since early 2000.
We had a fairy in-depth talk about the benefits and timeless nature of concrete and where he sees concrete fitting into the home as a viable alternative surface and fabrication material for home improvement and renovation in the years to come.
Concrete is pliable and can be easily moulded and manipulated when wet. It virtually has no boundaries design wise, it is timeless, earthy and can be used to express your unique vision.
Each hand-made piece is a distinct one of a kind masterpiece that only you have in your bathroom.
Yet because this is a relatively new fabrication material to the general public for use inside their homes, we have had numerous questions on the best way to clean and maintain concrete countertops, sinks and vanities in your lavatory to preserve its beauty, integrity and lasting performance.
The good part is that not very much maintenance is needed to sustain and preserve the beauty of the concrete’s finish.
One thing you should be aware of though is just like natural stone; concrete is naturally porous and must be sealed. A good rule of thumb is to wax your bathroom countertop approximately once a week for the first thirty days when you initially get it installed, then you can get away with about two or three times a year after that.
Sealing Your Surface Against Scratches and Stains
While your concrete countertop is normally sealed to resist staining and surface damage, just like marble or granite, exposing the surface to sharp objects could potentially mar the surface by scratching off the sealant, leaving the bare concrete surface beneath vulnerable to stains and discoloration.
With sensible care, your sealed concrete surface will resist staining and typical surface damage from everyday use, however you should consciously be aware that acidic liquids like lemon juice, vinegar, ammonia or even red wine ought to be avoided because they could potentially damage the sealant.
Clean up of these liquids should be done immediately to minimize any adverse affects. The use of a sealant and wax is a good way to minimize staining and buffing regularly helps maintain a look of lustre to your concrete and inadvertently preserves the sealants durability.
Another thing you should avoid is the use of abrasive pads or cleansers to clean up any mess. This is best done using a soft cloth or sponge with mild soap or a mild neutral pH balanced cleaner.
If you are unsure of the affects of a cleaner then you can test it in a not easily seen spot such as underneath your vanity or at a back corner. Avoid placing hot curling irons or anything that generates large amounts of heat on your concrete countertop surface as this may cause discoloration.
Also if there are subsequent fluctuations or variations in temperature, overtime hairline cracks could potentially occur but this does not normally apply in a controlled home or bathroom environment. However, if a hairline crack does occur in the concrete, your countertop should be resealed immediately.
Concrete is one of those materials that evolves over time and due to the nature of the material, integral color variation will naturally occur giving the surface character.
It is a very durable and versatile material and can last a very long time with minimal maintenance; all you have to do is follow the proper care for your concrete countertop, sink or vanity to maintain the materials integral natural beauty.
If you would like to know more about the proactive approach to design and new developments in concrete that Concrete Innovations has to offer contact them at:
Studio & Showroom
#12, 5660 10th St. NE
Calgary, AB T2E 8W7