What you should expect
- A durable soft-polished surface that shows natural colour variation and that stands up to several hours’ exposure to common staining agents such as wine, oils, tomato sauce. Please note that the sealers we use do not protect against yellow mustard or artificial orange colouring in orange soft drinks.
- Surfaces that resist cracking and chipping, but are not indestructible. Narrow strips in front of and behind sinks and cooktops can develop hairline cracks that will not affect the performance of the countertops. Repeated light impacts in the same spot may eventually lead to chipping, as will single impacts with hard metal objects. Settling of supporting structures can cause hairline cracks anywhere on a surface, and again, these cracks will not affect the performance of the elements. All chips are repairable, and hairline cracks can be filled and made nearly invisible.Poured in place countertops and floors are much more likely to develop cracking than precast surfaces. Also, thin backsplashes with cutouts for electrical outlets can develop cracks near the outlets.
- A close fit. Gaps between seams (and on very rare occasions, we must have them) are less than 1 mm wide, and gaps between our elements and adjacent walls or cabinet gables must be less than 3 mm wide for open installations (with one or both sides exposed) and less than 6 mm for alcove installations (with only the front edge exposed). Dimensional tolerances of standalone elements are +/- 1 mm.
- Our mineral composite is a mixture of powder and liquid ingredients, and all such mixtures contain air bubbles. When we make countertops and sinks, we do our best to open up as many air bubbles as possible and fill them prior to delivery, but inevitably, some open up after installation. We include a courtesy post-installation visit, so please call us in about 3 months following installation so that we can fill exposed air bubbles, touch up the sealer, repair small chips and address any other issues you may have. We do not fill air bubbles on vertical surfaces other than sink bowls.
What you should not expect
- Perfect, uniform colour. Even though our material is manufactured, it is still mixed, placed and finished by hand, by very imperfect people. If you must have uniform colour with no variation whatsoever, we will be happy to refer you to our local colleagues who spray a paint-like layer of cement paste onto their mold surfaces prior to placing a reinforcing layer of non-visible fibre-containing concrete. Our material flows into place in the form, and the resulting pattern of solidified ripples gives it a unique character.
- Edge surfaces that look the same as horizontal surfaces. We pour our mix into forms, so horizontal surfaces look very different from vertical surfaces. On a horizontal surface, gravity works in our favour, chasing out air bubbles and concealing the layering effect of multiple pours. A vertically cast surface, however, traps air bubbles and often shows “lift lines”, or boundaries between successive pours. This difference is a natural feature of our product and is in no way a defect. If you do not like this look, please order your countertops and other elements from our paste-spraying colleagues.
- Pristine walls following installation. We take great care to handle our elements as carefully as possible, but sometimes we scratch the drywall when we move our pieces into place. Please do not finish painting the walls prior to installation of our elements, or else be prepared to do some touch-ups.
- Bulletproof stain and scratch resistance. We do not coat our material in a layer of plastic, as such coatings are neither attractive nor durable (eventually, all plastic coatings peel or flake off). Instead, we use a reactive sealer that densifies the material and forms a microscopically thin protective layer on the surface. This layer cannot stand up to continual exposure to harsh acids such as those produced by decomposing fruits and vegetables. A rotting onion or orange at the bottom of a mesh bag left on the countertop for several days will eat through the sealer and damage the countertop surface. Please be mindful of such possibilities, but if something like this happens, we can repair the damage.
- A surface that you can directly cut on. You will ruin your knives and scratch through the sealer, leaving the material vulnerable to staining.
Visit our portfolio to view some of our latest creations.
Need to know more? Call us 416-567-5529. Or send us an email.