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  • A precast fire pit and seat wall surround made of GFRC concrete make this patio the perfect gathering spot.
  • The patio floor and seat walls are covered with natural slate tile, with a band of mosaic glass accenting the walls.
  • The adjoining poured-in-place concrete patio and walkway feature a light broom finish and ribbon of accent tile.
  • A design rendering of the fire pit area.

It’s hard to believe that the stunning patio area you see here in Irvine, Calif., used to be a backyard full of dilapidated concrete, aggravated by a defective drainage system. Up for the challenge, miracle worker Mike Davidson and his talented team of installers at Opus Stone completely renovated the yard using his company’s handmade glass-fiber-reinforced concrete to produce a one-of-kind fire-pit area.

“Outside of fixing the drainage and installing new concrete throughout, the client’s main request was for a ‘showcase’ quality fire-pit area with three features: a streamlined look, a gray and black color scheme, and an area large enough for a number of people to sit and gather,” says Davidson.

The seat wall surround and fire pit are all handmade of GFRC. The seat wall cap is comprised of three slab portions, the largest measuring 15 feet, and the fire pit is 7 feet in length. The vertical seat wall surfaces and flooring are 18x18-inch slate tile enhanced by a 1-inch iridescent glass mosaic band. In addition to the fire pit area, Davidson installed a new drainage system and a poured-in-place concrete walkway and patio with a light broom finish and ribbon of accent tile.

Opus Stone has been performing general construction, remodeling and hardscape renovation since the mid-‘90s. About 10 years ago, they began producing precast concrete countertops and other elements as an additional service, eventually deciding to make GFRC precast products and custom work their core offering. “We developed engineering, mix designs and mold-making capacity to have the ability to produce exceptional precast products that offer a signature look and premium quality throughout. Outside of our custom GFRC work and installation services, we also offer unique products like concrete planters, handmade tile, furniture and integral sinks,” says Davidson.

Manufactured GFRC products offer numerous advantages over other types of hard surfaces, such as marble or granite, according to Davidson. “GFRC work can be made seamless to almost any size, shape or dimension imaginable, it is half the weight of traditional slab surfaces, it can accept detail as ornate as desired, and the strength properties are astronomical. There is no other hard surface option for residential or commercial use with the versatility GFRC offers,” he says.

Contractor Opus Stone, Tustin, Calif.

Materials used Tile: Montauk Black Slate, Arizona Tile
Concrete sealer and densifier: Consolideck LS Guard, from Prosoco
Topical sealer: Richard James Specialty Chemicals
Finishing wax: Pure carnauba wax, from H.F. Staples

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