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  • This precast kitchen island bartop consists of two pieces weighing a total of 3200 pounds.
  • The concrete fireplace hearth measures 22-feet long and was precast and required some creative engineering for the installation.
  • Two small, circular ledge tables were cast on site to create the look of weightless suspension.
  • The massive island bartop is so heavy because of its 4-inch thickness.
  • A precast scorekeeper's table overlooking the gymnasium has a finished look that appears seamless.

Hard Topix Precast Concrete, a division of Nobel Concrete, recently finished one of the largest projects they have ever constructed. They were contracted by Bruce Heys Builders to work on a custom, sports-themed home in Grand Rapids, MI. Hard Topix was asked to create window ledges, a computer desk, a fireplace surround, a scorekeeping table, an island bar top and circular tables, all from concrete.

Hard Topix worked closely with Tiffany Walters from Via Design. "Tiffany was our contact for all design questions regarding sample colors. Several different color samples were prepared for her approval. Tiffany's ultimate design vision was a warm Twilight gray that would tie in with the finished d├ęcor of the building," explains David Eerdmans of Hard Topix.

Fireplace surround and mantle

The process began with the planning of how to best create and construct each element. David says, "We started with the window ledges and the billiard room desktop. This went very well, because they were small, light and easy to install."

However, the fireplace surround was a different story. Here is what David had to say about the creation and installation of the fireplace: "We constructed a 22' hearth with a 10.5" x 12" x 14' 6" mantle,18" deep on one end, and weighing in at almost 1800 lbs. Some creative engineering needed to be done in order to move and install the surround, due to the weight of these pieces. With the help of a crane truck and a specially designed rigging system each piece was delivered on site. Due to the site's finished floor, a lift truck was out of the question. We found portable hand lifts that would lift 1,000 lbs each and they worked excellent to lift the mantle into place. Once the precast fireplace was installed a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders because there were no problems."

Small circular tables appear to be floating

The next phase of the project was creating two small, circular concrete ledge tables. Each table was to encompass, yet not touch a 10" steel pole giving it the look of weightless suspension. By forming (plastic Form-A-Curve) and pouring on site in addition to placing stainless steel sleeves over the re-rod this midair floating design was accomplished.

Precast scorekeeper's table overlooks the gymnasium

The final stages of this project were the heavy duty, 4" thick, free standing tables. With a top to bottom, seamless desired finished look, each table form needed to be heavily reinforced as well as contain lifting inserts. David describes the tables by saying, "Overlooking the gym, we placed a game clock table (13'8" x 30" x 4") weighing in at approximately 2100 lbs. In the kitchen we created a countertop (8'6" x 36" x 4") and connecting bar ledge (20" x 4" x 12'8"), including electrical boxes. When the two pieces were joined together, it created a large center island in the kitchen with a total weight of 3200 lbs." These tables were delivered and installed in the same manner as the fireplace surround.

The hard work, dedication and problem solving abilities of the Hard Topix team, along with the vital support of Heys Builders and Tiffany from Via Design,helped carry this project out to a successful completion. Hard Topix specializes in precast concrete pieces such as countertops and furniture. They are a division of Nobel Concrete, a Michigan company that has nearly twenty years of experience with decorative concrete.

Hard Topix, Div. of Nobel Concrete
Jenison, MI 49428

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