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Concrete Countertop Makes a StatementProject submitted by Drew Bleeker, Hard Topix Precast Concrete, Jenison, Mich.
The first thing clients see when visiting the Deksia office in Grand Rapids, Mich., is this impressive concrete countertop that also functions as a communal gathering space where people can meet, work, and socialize.
Because the concrete countertop had to be completely seamless, Hard Topix used a proprietary GFRC mix to keep the weight to around 1,200 pounds. To complement the industrial look of the office space, the concrete was integrally colored twilight gray and given a natural diamond-grind finish.
After casting, the countertop was strapped on its side to a low-profile cart and transported to the building site in a moving van. Ten men were needed to lift the piece into place and attach it to the base.
The countertop is 4 inches thick and roughly 17 feet long by 5 feet wide. Concrete was the only material that could accommodate these dimensions without seams.
A sandblast stencil was used to lightly etch the Hard Topix logo into the side of the countertop.
If you want to impress clients the minute they walk into your office space, you can’t go wrong by making a bold statement with a concrete countertop. The owner of Deksia, an ad agency and marketing firm in Grand Rapids, Mich., did just that, installing a large concrete countertop in the center of their foyer that also functions as a communal gathering space where people can meet, work, and socialize.
“The client wanted to install a large countertop that would be a conversation piece once clients entered the space,” says Drew Bleeker of Hard Topix Precast Concrete. “The space is an old building in an up and coming part of town that has been completely restored. A natural material like concrete seemed like the perfect fit.”
Concrete was also chosen because it was the only material that would meet the owner’s challenging design requirements. “The countertop is 4 inches thick and the dimensions are roughly 17 feet long by 5 feet wide. His design goal was to have the piece be seamless, so we set out to make him a precast piece with no seams,” says Bleeker, who specializes in making seamless concrete countertops for custom projects such as this one.
Because of the size of the piece, Hard Topix used a proprietary GFRC mix to reduce the weight, keeping it to around 1,200 pounds. To complement the industrial look of the office space, the concrete was integrally colored twilight gray and given a natural diamond-grind finish, sealed with a water-based urethane sealer.
“It was important that the mold be perfect so that the seams did not transpose onto the concrete during the casting process,” Bleeker says. “We cast the concrete on Melamine seamed together in multiple pieces to achieve a mold that would be large enough.”
After the piece was unmolded, the next challenge was moving it to the building site without damage. “We strapped it on its side to a low-profile cart and transported it in a moving van. We were able to roll the piece down a ramp off the back of the truck right into the space where the base was. Fortunately, 11-foot double doors allowed easy entry into the building. The client is thrilled that our team was able to pull it off and said almost everyone is impressed by how big the countertop is,” says Bleeker.
Concrete mix: Propriety GFRC mix made by Hard Topix
Integral pigment: Blue Concrete/Buddy Rhodes, in twilight gray
Concrete countertop fabricator:
Hard Topix Precast Concrete, Jenison, Mich.
See other projects completed by Hard Topix:
Concrete Countertops and Vanities Enhance a Custom Home
Historic Distillery Puts Its Name in Concrete
Seamless Kitchen Island Is Fabricated in One Piece
Custom Precast Pieces Used as Integral Design Elements
Concrete Island In White
See more oversized concrete counters