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  • Two different concrete countertop treatments add drama to this remodeled kitchen. Pine-colored countertops with a traditional steel trowel finish were used for the perimeter surfaces abutting the walls. For the dining peninsula, recycled glass and pieces of the glass-tile backsplash were incorporated into a softer mint-green-colored concrete base.
  • The kitchen before its extreme makeover.
  • The peninsula, which is just over 6 feet in length, was honed and polished to expose the glass and then given a beeswax finish. The edge along the eating area is slightly curved to add decorative interest.

The challenge
To completely redo a small, outdated kitchen and make it a more functional, family-friendly gathering space. The remodel included installing a new glass-tile backsplash and dining peninsula. It was important for the new countertop surfaces to echo the beautiful green color tones in the tile to create a harmonious appearance.

Design goals
"This customer came in with a piece of backsplash and wanted to use concrete that complemented it. She saw our VISION recycled-glass countertops in our showroom and fell in love with them," says operations manager Donna Irwin of Concrete Interiors. "After she found out that we could customize her top, she asked if we could also mix in some of the ½-inch-square glass backsplash pieces to tie it all together."

Concrete Interiors introduced the VISION series about a year ago as a high-end customizable alternative to granite and quartz countertops, says Irwin. The material incorporates recycled glass of varying colors and sizes, combined with a cement binder. Clients can customize their piece by using some of their own glass in the mix.

Secrets to success

  • A base color of pine was used for the perimeter concrete countertops, while the adjoining peninsula made of VISION concrete with the embedded glass tile was given a softer-green background tint. "The client chose a custom variation of our color recipe for the background tint. We even established a new name for this color, and call it 'winter mint.' It has just a hint of green in the background, and with the combination of glass used, it looks spectacular, especially sitting right next to the pine-colored countertop and soft-green painted walls," says Irwin.

  • After curing, the glass in the VISION concrete was exposed through honing and polishing. It was then protected with a no-VOC penetrating sealer and topped with a beeswax polish to add an additional layer of protection and a slight sheen.

  • To fill the seams between the pine-colored countertops and the VISION peninsula, Concrete Interiors used a custom-colored siliconized caulk. "There are very few off-the-shelf caulks that match our large array of custom colors, so we usually end up making our own using the color formula that was developed for the countertop color," says Irwin.

Materials used
Countertop mix: VISION recycled-glass concrete, from Concrete Interiors
Custom pigments: Pine and winter mint, from Concrete Interiors

Offering the personal touch
Irwin says that one of the reasons Concrete Interiors is successful is because of their ability to customize countertops. "I believe most of our clients choose us because we're a smaller family-owned and operated business, and they seem to like that. On top of that, we allow for personalization or customization of the recycled-glass countertops. We currently have 15 standard patterns, but since we make each piece to order, we can work with each client individually, building according to their design, starting with a standard pattern as a base." Prudent use of materials is also important to their customers. "People really like that fact that they're not charged extra for material they're not going to use, as would be the case if they chose a premanufactured slab material. It's a greener product all the way around," says Irwin.

Contractor
Concrete Interiors
Martinez, Calif.
CITeam@concreteinteriors.com

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