GFRC Admixture System Creates Beautiful Marbleized Countertops
Over the past 10 years, Glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) has become a staple in the countertop industry because of its excellent crack resistance and ability to be cast thinly, thus reducing countertop weights. The Ashby System GFRC Admix, introduced last year by Countertop Solutions, takes the guesswork out of GFRC mixes because it requires no measuring or weighing. With the addition of integral color and Countertop Solution’s Marbleizer additive, it also produces countertops with stunningly realistic marbling and veining effects.
“Mixing our 14-pound pail of GFRC Admix with prebagged concrete mixes is a strong, proven and reliable combination,” says Gerry Sadlier of Countertops Solutions. “Countertops or shower panels can be as thin as 1 inch or less. No other reinforcing methods are required in most instances. Combine this ease of use with the simplicity of the Ashby System, and you will amaze people with your ability to create one-of-a-kind art.”
The Ashby System is a proprietary technique used with the GFRC Admix to create a natural stone look, with distinctive mottling and veining. Various color blends can be created using integral powders. “Many people believe that the look is a faux finish, but they could not be more wrong. The colors go throughout the entire concrete and create an amazing, natural look,” says Sadlier.
The most popular applications for the Ashby System GFRC Admix are indoor and outdoor kitchen countertops, fireplace surrounds, concrete floor tiles, shower wall panels, and vanities.
No spraying requiredUnlike some GFRC concrete mixes, which are designed to be sprayed into forms or molds, the Ashby GFRC Admix is mixed with a bagged concrete mix, water and pigment and then poured into the form. (For the best results, Sadlier recommends using Sakrete’s Maximizer lightweight, high-strength concrete mix.) The Marbelizer additive is added to the mixture to achieve the desired veining effects, and then the concrete is vibrated. “The look is very controllable, from the veining to the basic color, so cast pieces are not hard to duplicate,” says Sadlier.
The Ashby System is not difficult to learn and perfect. However, Sadlier recommends that contractors attend Countertop Solutions’ 3-day training course, taught by the developer of the system, Ben Ashby. During the hands-on course, attendees will actually make countertops for a small kitchen, from templating and design to pouring, sealing and installation. Learn more about Ashby’s concrete countertop training workshop.
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