Finished Concrete….

Architecture & Interiors

            One of the
most interesting generators for design I find are materials.  There’s the process of
recognizing/finding/developing new materials, there’s learning how to work with
them and developing a familiarity and confidence in designing with them- learning
what boundaries can be pushed.   Each
material has different qualities, calls for a different set of tools, even a
different shop, and this is where the design process is fueled. 


Stone Soup, Florence, MA

            One of the
materials that I have found particularly intriguing to have watched change over
the years has been concrete and the evolution of concrete countertops.  Concrete as a finished material was first
explored in 1988 with the use of plasticizers. 
What was once considered only a structural material (foundations,
sidewalks,…) was developed into a finish material for countertops, tile and
other creative pieces.  It was an
evolution of a material.  The process of using
plasticizers to move the material from foundations to countertops- and actually
getting the mix right- and developing a comfort ability in using the material
(some of the early countertops had…ah…some of similarities to sidewalks).  Some of the countertops and tiles today are
amazingly fluid, with sinks and functional pieces molded into them- the
finishes are smoother than glass and a lot more interesting.  They’ve moved a long way from the concrete we
know as a common structural material

Stone Soup, Florence, MA


            The type of
work that’s being done with concrete now includes coloring, inlaid crushed
glass, acid washing, polishing… and the list goes on.  The uses the material finds continues to
expand as the familiarity with the material grows.  Concrete use to be simply an interesting countertop
but has evolved into a surface that can be developed with soft curves and coordinating
colors and textures that anticipate their purpose.   It’s a really remarkable material
considering that for so many years it was passed over as simply a crude


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  1. Andrea

    Oct 8, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Thank you for this post! I love that concrete is continuing to be used with innovation.
    I have always wondered though if it is safe, chemically, do you have any information on this?

  2. David Sears

    Oct 9, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Concrete is a safe material to use around food. …a logical thought as we run up the dirty steps and put our groceries on the counter;) The plasticizers in the concrete are something that I was questioned initially too but , using both U.S and European standards, they appear to be very safe.

  3. tomas

    Oct 29, 2009 at 1:14 am

    to David Sears
    you are 100% right

  4. Glasgow Bathroom Fitters

    Nov 19, 2009 at 8:51 am

    WoW I never never thought that concrete could be so versatile, thanks for the innovative insight!

  5. Pingback: Concrete Molds – The Astonishing Power of Color for Concrete | MoldsCentral blog

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