The fabricators said owners can go crazy aggravating to t every atom or can acquire them as “character marks” that actualize a “patina” over time. Jansen, who has a accurate countertop in his house, said, “After 10 years, it looks bigger than back new.”
Then there is the amount to consider. Although the raw capacity for accurate are almost inexpensive, creating a countertop with it is a actual labor-intensive activity. The amount per active bottom of adverse from these bristles fabricators ranges from about $170 to $225. This is commensurable to the added big-ticket granites and added big-ticket than a solid-surface actual such as Corian.
If you’re still game, you’re asking, who will accomplish my countertop? Of these bristles fabricators, Cheng, Jansen and Santora advertise their articles anon or through accustomed dealers, and Rhodes and Carr advertise directly. Anniversary has a sample kit they will accelerate for a fee.
You may additionally use a bounded fabricator. An advantage of this is that you can see a cardinal of full-size countertops and get a faculty of how that fabricator’s blush and arrangement varies aural a piece. You can additionally see pieces that are bristles to 10 years old and adjudicator for yourself what that fabricator’s “patina” and “character marks” absolutely attending like.
Back you attending for a bounded fabricator, however, buck in apperception that it is actual accessible to set up boutique in a garage. Abounding contractors who accept fabricated sidewalks or driveways and apperceive the amount of the raw abstracts attending at the prices of the countertops and see accessible profit. But authoritative a countertop is harder than it looks.
“At the end of a year, you’re still at the amateur stage,” Carr said. “It takes at atomic two years afore you apperceive what you’re accomplishing and you get constant after-effects — countertops after cruddy cracks, warping, chipping and blush inconsistency.”
And, Carr added, this is d that over the two years the architect is accepting lots of convenance by authoritative a lot of countertops — at atomic bristles a week.
One way to actuate the bona fides of a architect is to appointment his shop. You will bound apprentice whether he’s alive out of his barn and winging it or has an accustomed close with several advisers and up to 10 countertops in progress. Besides his adeptness to accomplish a attractive countertop, a architect additionally has to apperceive cabinetry basics and banal capacity such as the accepted sizes of sinks and faucets.
You can ask abstruse questions, but it will be adamantine to accomplish any inferences because clearly altered “recipes” can still aftermath accomplished results. Unless you’re accommodating to cartilage up on the subject, you’re bigger off assessing a fabricator’s abstruse adeptness by allurement for references and blockage them out.
Katherine Salant can be contacted at [email protected]
© 2002, Katherine Salant
Distributed by Inman News Features
If you are handy, accede authoritative a accurate countertop.
The aftereffect will not attending as if it was fabricated by a able fabricator, but it will amount less. And, as David Jansen of Sonoma Cast Stone in Glen Ellen, Calif., said, “you can end up admiring it because you fabricated it yourself.”
For apprenticeship on how to accomplish concrete, apprehend Fu-Tung Cheng’s “Concrete Countertops,” (Taunton Press), which describes how to body the form, add reinforcements, adapt the mix, add the pigment, cure it, bullwork it and install it.
If this sounds daunting, you can get a kit with some of the capacity pre-mixed from Cheng’s firm, Cheng Design in Berkeley, Calif. The kit, alleged NeoMix, costs $399 to $439, depending on the blush you select, and contains cutting pads, sealer and wax, baptize abbreviation agents, a colorant acceptable for authoritative a countertop about nine anxiety long, and a abundant 70-minute advisory video.
Although the kit may complete pricey, Cheng said abounding of the capacity are awash alone in automated quantities, which is abundant added than is bare for a almost baby countertop. “You appetite to buy four ounces of plasticizer, not three gallons, [and] you alone charge six ounces of fibers, not 10 pounds,” he said.
To accomplish the mix, you’ll additionally charge six 60-pound sacks of a pre-mixed accurate mix such as Quikrete 5000 or Pakmix Super 5000. You can buy all the accurate capacity separately, but the affection ascendancy may be harder because the sand, for example, may be too wet or too dry. The NeoMix kit can be ordered online at www.chengdesign.com or by calling 510-549-2805, ext. 218.
Buddy Rhodes of Buddy Rhodes Studio in San Francisco affairs to action a kit alleged Accurate Adverse Mix in September. His mix includes all the all-important capacity except the reinforcing materials; 30 percent of Rhodes’s mix is recycled flyash and reconstituted concrete, which he says makes it stronger. To accomplish a nine-foot adverse would crave four accoutrements at $35 each. You can adjustment the kit online at www.buddyrhodes.com or by calling 877-706-5303.
— Katherine Salant
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