CONSCIOUS FORMS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What do I need to get a quote?

To quote on your project accurately, we need the following details.
• Your address, please indicate what floor level worktop to be located on?
• A plan drawing or sketch with dimensions (length, depth and thickness) displaying the layout of the proposed worktop. Any photos of the proposed location, if available?
• Indicative dimensions of the size and shape of all cut-outs required for sinks, hobs / ranges and taps.
• Indicative dimensions of additional details like sloping drainers and in-situ cast sinks and splash-back’s.
• Dimensions for interior features; fire hearth / fire place, mantles seating or shelving.
• Your ideal date for installation.

Q. How much does a polished concrete worktop or surface cost?

Projects are priced according to complexity of the design, for every specified detail, bespoke formwork will need to be fabricated by our craftsmen. Details like; cut-outs for sinks, hobs and other design features like sloping drainers, vertical return end panels, in-situ cast sinks and overhanging breakfast bars all have relative fabrication costs.
We pour concrete in-situ so there’s no fee for delivery or installation.
Expect to pay upwards of £4,000.00 for a bespoke in-situ cast polished concrete worktop.

Q. What is the cast in-situ method?

The cast in-situ method is not commonly used and differs from the machined look of worktops that are pre-cast in a workshop. The advantage of pouring in place is that it allows for a seamless worktop of any shape or size, with no unsightly joins. The versatility of this method allows the concrete to ‘flow’ in and around any recesses or projections that the wall may have while the tactile finish tends to be more ‘organic’ and softer than the machined look of a pre-cast worktop.

Q. How does CF cast an in-situ concrete worktop?

CF build the formwork on top of existing kitchen cabinets, we mix and pour the concrete into the formwork, trowel, leave to cure, then the surface is then diamond polished and sealed to give a tactile and soft finish.

A concrete worktop can incorporate any sink or hob design and the strengthened nature of the material allows for wide spans to be achieved (such as overhangs for breakfast bars stool seating area). The typical thickness of our concrete worktops is 55-80mm, although greater thickness can be achieved when specified. Our worktops can be placed on ‘off the shelf' cabinet units but we recommend that plastic legs be replaced with wooden plinths if opting for a worktop thickness over 55mm.

Q. How long does it take to create a cast in-situ worktop?

A typical traditional concrete worktop requires 5 stages of production. Depending upon the nature of the worktop, the following can be used as a guide (Please note: the length of time required for the completion of the formwork depends on the size and complexity of each individual project).

(day 1-4) Formwork or mould making
(day 5) Pouring
(day 10) Striking formwork
(day 5-33) Curing The process of curing concrete is vital. It is the element that will determine the final strength of the worktop or surface.
(day 33) Polishing and sealing - Recommended 28 days minimum from date of concrete pour)

We can also use an Engineered Cementitious Compound (ECC) concrete mix design, a high-performance glass fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC). The advantage of the ECC GFRC mix design is that it has superior ductile strength, can be cast as thin as 30mm and has a much faster curing time than the traditional mix design, 7 days curing instead of 28 days. Contact us to discuss if the ECC GFRC is right for your project.

Q. Where is Conscious Forms Located?

A. We are an East London based company but we undertake projects all over the UK and internationally.

Q. How do I care for my CF polished concrete worktop?

We recommend that Lithofin Cream Polish and/or Lithofin Easy Care be regularly applied and the worktop. To be cleaned with a damp cloth only or with mild soapy water (no bleach or aggressive chemicals, chlorine based cleaners are fine). Do not cut or place hot pans directly on the surface. The sealant is effective against most dirt and grease but acidic spillages and liquids will have to be wiped up as soon as possible to prevent staining. Stains can be reduced and removed and we can advise on this. We can also apply a topical sealant for commercial spaces with high traffic on request.

Q. Will a CF polished concrete worktop stain?

Concrete benefits from being sealed with products that allow the surface to breathe. Should a sealant be used that prevents the material from breathing, delaminating of the sealant from the surface is likely. For this reason, Conscious Forms seal the finished surface with penetrative sealants that are designed to inhibit staining. Penetrative sealants however do not give a stain proof seal, only one that resists staining. Upon completion of any project, Conscious forms seals the surface with Lithofin MN Stainstop, a penetrative sealant. We use this sealant because it is widely considered to be the most effective and sympathetic sealant available on the UK market. Lithofin MN Stainstop does not alter the natural appearance of concrete or stone and creates a stain resistant barrier that is easy to re-apply. Unlike topical sealants, a penetrative sealant does not leave a plastic, resinous or glossy finish to the surface. Lithofin MN Stainstop is used for protecting concrete countertops, floors and furniture for both interior and exterior use. Although Lithofin MN Stainstop currently provides the highest professional protection against staining from dirt and grease, surfaces remain sensitive to acids such as wine and lemon juice. The sealant is effective against most dirt and grease but acidic spillages and liquids will have to be wiped up as soon as possible to prevent staining.

Do CF offer a polished concrete maintenance and repair service?

CF offers a polished concrete maintenance and repair service should it be required. A degree of maintenance is required with concrete surfaces and one advantage that concrete has is that re-polishing and stain removal/reduction is a simple and effective process. Please contact us to discuss the repair or restoration of your polished concrete.

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