FAQ about conrete

Exposed concrete has a great future, because concrete has an excellent potential for artful design. If finished with craftsmanship, it will radiate the same vitality as natural stone. Today, however, we use the creative potential of that material to design a range of unique, imaginative products.
Why should I choose a countertop made of exposed concrete?
Exposed concrete offers unsurpassable creative possibilities. Each piece is manufactured individually for you, and is therefore unique. If used for countertops and other surfaces, exposed concrete can be adapted to any purpose like no other material. Just experiment playfully with colours to create a certain mood or style that you have in mind. Make your choice between various kinds of stone chips to be added to the concrete in order to create a visible texture. Add chips of glass to make the colours look sparkling and more intense. Add seashells to give the countertop an attractive maritime flair, or cuttings of steel for an atmosphere of mystery and surprise.
Are exposed-concrete surfaces rough?
No, because after they have hardened, all surfaces undergo a diamond-polishing process until they are smooth and show a soft shine ranging from semi gloss to high polish. Our exposed concrete has nothing in common with the conventional concretes used in the construction of buildings. Neither do its surfaces remind of the concrete furniture made in the 1980s.
Can countertops made of exposed concrete become stained?
Yes. Like all natural materials, exposed concrete ages with dignity, and it will develop a patina over time. The stone is not as delicate as marble, though. The gross density of exposed concrete is similar to that of granite, but compared to some granite stones, exposed concrete is less resistant to acids. The colour of surfaces made of concrete is hardly ever homogenous. This is also one of the most characteristic features of the material. Thus, various shades of colour are an intrinsic part of the product, and they enhance its very individual value. The sealing materials and waxes we use are food safe, and they protect the surfaces from staining. The best way to deal with stains and corrosions is to clean them up as soon as they show. There are various treatments that will protect the surfaces from becoming stained. The treatment chosen will in each case depend on the intended use of the countertop. A hydrophobization of the surface will in any case will make it more difficult for dirt to stick to the surface.
What kind of care do the surfaces need?
They need only very little care. The shine that you see on any exposed-concrete surface manufactured by material raum form is a result of both the mixture formula we use and the casting process that the pieces undergo. It is not achieved by polishing the surface or by applying any substances to it. When our counterplates are removed from their mould, they need very little further finishing. Thus, if you clean the surface with some suitable natural-stone cleaner every two or three months, not even fingerprints will be visible on the surface, and it will be shiny again. Daily care and cleansing are just as easy. All you need is a moist cloth and a water-soluble cleansing agent, like green soap, dishwashing liquid, or soft soap. However, you should avoid using scouring agents, because they will make the polished surfaces look dull. Unlike most other sealings, the sealing we use does not need to be renewed from time to time. It only has to be renewed if the surface has been damaged by improper use.
Can exposed concrete be used for a countertop to cut on?
Knives tend to become blunt very fast if used on a surface made of exposed concrete, and the concrete may show carving marks despite its enhanced hardness. However, we can easily integrate a wooden carving-board element into a kitchen countertop made of exposed concrete.
Can exposed concrete flake off, fall apart, or break?
All edges are bevelled (i.e., provided with a chamfer). Therefore, exposed concrete can safely be used for staircases, just like any commercial natural-stone materials. And as in every natural stone, the edges of exposed concrete can flake off if hit by a hard object, unless they have been expertly bevelled. However, if a piece of exposed concrete should crack off, the damage can easily be repaired with natural-stone cement – in a colour, made by material raum form, that perfectly matches the colour of the exposed concrete.
Can I put a hot cooking pot directly on a countertop made of exposed concrete?
Yes, you can. On a surface of exposed concrete, the tension differs from that of pottery ceramics. If you take pottery ceramics out of the oven and immediately put cold water in them, they crack. This does not happen with exposed concrete. One should keep in mind that temperature shocks may damage any material. However, we have never heard of any damages occurring in the normal, everyday use of kitchen countertops made of exposed concrete.
What is the price of material raum form exposed concrete as compared to granite?
This would not be a fair comparison. The price of a countertop made by material raum form does not depend chiefly on its size. Rather, it is determined by the time and effort involved in manufacturing it – building up its form, making an individual mould, and giving it the finish that is desired. At material raum form, we do not view our countertops as utility goods that are sold by the meter or square meter. Each of them is a uniquely sculpted object. Thus, a counterplate that is three meters long is not just half the price as one that measures six meters. Compared to countertops made of granite, the prices for our kitchen worktops lie in the middle range. The prices for sinks and other pieces of furniture are calculated individually, according to the time and work involved.
Can I get a countertop made of exposed concrete in a colour especially designed for me?
Yes, any colour is available, including white, black, as well as various shades of grey. We also offer different shades of red, brown, orange, yellow, blue, and violet. There is no standardized range of colours. Every colour is mixed individually. Only in rare cases, your choice of colours is limited by the specific properties of exposed concrete. In addition to those recipes of colours that we already have developed, please ask us for new colours or for an exact matching of already existing colours and surface structures. material raum form offers surface patterns in eight colours. You can order a set of samples of these patterns for € 45,00. This amount will be credited to your first order.
How can I include a countertop in my design plans for a room?
We carry various types of countertops. Just pick one of them; you have the choice between different colours, surfaces, widths and lengths. If, in addition, you are toying with the idea of having a room design that looks like a sculpture to live in, material raum form is the right address to help you make your ideas come true. We will build a block around the countertop that may encompass entire kitchen islands or sinks. A wooden island in the area used for cutting, or a sink made of high-grade steel, can become attractive eye catchers within the terrazzo kitchen design as a whole.
How do I deal with the joints between the countertop and the wall?
Shims can be helpful. Just like in fitted pieces made of granite, you use the depth of the shims to level out unevennesses in the wall. Shims of any material can be put directly onto the counterplate, and sealed up with clear silicone.
How can I fill up joints between modules of my countertop?
You can fill these up by using stone glue developed for natural stone.
Who will build in the countertop I bought from material raum form?
Any skilled, professional craftsman. Countertops made by material raum form are delivered throughout Germany. Professional skill is needed to build them in, but fitting them is not complicated. Handling countertops made of exposed concrete requires the same consideration and the same amount of work as building in a top made of granite. If you bring us together with the team of craftsmen who will build in the countertop, we will be happy to discuss the installation in detail. In and around Hamburg, we to carry out the installation upon request.
What washbasins and fittings can I use with material raum form countertops?
This depends on the type of countertop you choose. material raum form has equipped countertops with various washbasins/sinks made by Bulthaup, Gaggenau and other suppliers. Just look at the description of the worktop that you would like to buy. The description contains possible brands and type numbers of washbasins/sinks and fittings. The customer decides how many standard drains, fittings, soap dispensers, ventilation slits or water filters will be built in with the countertop.
What is the maximal length I can order?
The maximal length of a single module is 410 cm. If you would like a countertop that is larger, the costs for both manufacture and transportation will increase. If the entire construction is overlength, it will consist of two or three modules, resembling the size of commercial stone slabs. That way, it is easier to handle and install them. The exact position of the joints between the modules then depends on the individual design of each countertop.
Do I have to reinforce the load-bearing pieces of furniture to make sure they can carry the weight of the countertop?
Usually not, because the weight is evenly distributed, and the pressure put on a given part of the furniture is not very high. However, in the case of pieces of furniture that stand isolated, or shelves, some kind of reinforcement may be useful.
How thick are the countertops? Are they heavy?
The thickness of a standard countertop is 40 mm. Like granite, exposed concrete has a medium gross density. The minimal thickness of kitchen and bathroom countertops is 30 mm. Borders can be cast separately. These measure between 12 and 20 mm in thickness. It is possible to manufacture thicker tops. Their size is only limited by the weight-bearing capacity of the furniture and the floor. To achieve high stability in thin tops, we provide the material with a reinforcing, supporting steel construction.
Can I determine what inlays the countertop will have?
Of course! Feel free to provide us with the kind of objects you would like to have integrated into your countertop. All inlays for standard countertops – like fossils, interesting stones, and other items found in nature – are hand selected by Mr Maybohm. And our supplies are increasing, since we are collecting more and more natural pieces of decoration whenever we visit the banks of the river Elbe or dig for mineral treasures in gravel pits. Usually, our clients leave it to us to make a choice when it comes to inlays. But of course, your own ideas and suggestions are always welcome. Please let us know which side of the object you want to be visible on the surface. Just send your objects together with your order, and we’ll do the rest.
Why should I choose to work hand in hand with material raum form?
The magical word is “service”. Whatever size, colour, and design you have in mind for your new countertop – we’ll fashion it for you. We discuss every detail with you in order to help you get exactly what you want. We take time to find out what you are looking for, and we will always find ways to realize your ideas. We manufacture samples that help you decide what colour, shape, and texture your worktop will have. In short: we offer you the quality of service you expect. If you want to find out more about material raum form, just give us a call at +49 (0)40-48 57 02 or send an e-mail to info@material-raum-form.com.

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Contact 

Office

Wielandstr. 3
D-22089 Hamburg
Germany

Phone: +49 (0) - 40 48 57 02
Mobile: +49 (0) - 175 52 32 209

info@material-raum-form.com

Planning

Jacobsenweg 13
D-22525 Hamburg
Germany

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