Frequently Asked Questions
We get asked questions all the time.
People love our works of art and want to know more about our concrete creations.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
- Concrete Countertops
- Working With Us
- About Our Sealer
- Using Your New Countertop
- Care and Maintenance
Can’t find Answers?
We would be happy to answer any other questions you might have.
Is concrete heavier than other slab materials?
Dusty Crete Design concrete is not heavy. We formulate our concrete to be approximately 18 pounds per square foot at our standard 1½ inches in depth, which is comparable to other slab materials.
Will products from Dusty Crete Design stain?
Concrete can stain when certain acidic substances (e.g., wine, citrus and vinegar) are left unattended for long periods of time (more than 8 hours). We use a proprietary two-step process that significantly reduces the effects of staining. First, we use a penetrating sealer that prevents liquids from entering the stone, and then we use a durable modified topical sealer that prevents acid etching caused by these acidic substances. Unglazed ceramics compete for moisture with the concrete, and it is better to add protective felt or rubber pads under such items.
If acid liquids, such as vinegar, lemon juice or wine, are left for too long a time, (over 3 hours), the vapors can penetrate the sealer and leave marks in the stone. It’s best to clean up spills as they occur. Oil bottles can leave dark marks, although the marks disappear over time.
Once delivered and installed our concrete products will take another 2 weeks to complete the initial cure and another 2 months to be fully cured. During the initial cure you will want to wipe up liquid splashes as they occur. If liquids are allowed to stay on the surface for over 30 minutes it could cause the sealer to become cloudy which will need to be buffed out. You may also see dark spots where the liquids were. These should quickly fade as the surface dries out
Will concrete countertops and surfaces crack?
Cracking is probaly the most common misconception concerning cast concrete. People tend to visualize the everyday sidewalk/driveway, thus giving them concerns about cracks. The truth is, it doesn’t have to. SCA combines the most current reinforcement technology along with a proprietory curing process that eliminates structural cracking. Slight, nearly invisible hairlines or surface cracking may develop but is uncommon. This character is not a structural crack and in no way jepardizes the strength or quality of the concrete piece.
Will my concrete patina?
Patina is different than staining. Over a period of time vapors and salts moving through the concrete can bring about beautiful, natural light and dark patterns.
How long does it take to complete a project?
From the time of template and confirmation of design choices, such as under-mount sinks, intergral features, and colors, to completion the process usuall takes 3-6 weeks, but can vary depending on volume and custom work.
What is the sealer made of?
Our sealer is a water-based, non-emitting penetrating sealer.
How is your sealing process different than others?
Chemical reactive technology impregnates and chemically alters concrete to create a hardened crystal-like surface.
What makes our sealer superior to others?
- Our sealer has high resistance to etching from acidic products such as wine or lemons.
- Ultra-low VOC, similar to water.
- Extremely stain-resistant.
Is our sealer approved?
Our sealer is in accordance with the USDA regulations 9 CFR Section 416.4 and the Food Safety Inspection Service’s “Sanitation Performance Compliance Guide.”
Can hot pans be placed upon the countertop?
As with all fine handcrafted materials, care and attention should be given to preserve their beauty. We recommend using a hot pad or trivet when in doubt. However, research and real-life testing has shown that pots and pans coming off the stovetop or out of a hot oven, up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, will not damage the integrity of the sealer or the concrete surface.
Can I cut directly on the countertop?
As with natural stone, it is not recommended. Your knives can be dulled, and some hard metals can scratch through the surface of the sealer and damage the concrete.
What liquids can harm the countertop?
Cooking oils and acidic liquids such as lemon juice, vinegar and wine – if left unattended for an extended period of time – can discolor the concrete. Extensive research has shown that when these substances are removed within 8 hours, no acid etching or staining should occur. We do recommend cleaning spills of any kind as soon as possible.
Are there seams in the countertop?
Dusty Crete Design usually pours concrete in 8ft sections but can cast up to 12ft if required; pieces longer than this are excessively heavy to transport and have an increased possibility of cracking in transit. Joints with very tight seams are incorporated to accommodate the design and can even become part of the design itself.
How do I care for my concrete countertops and/or surfaces?
First 4-6 Weeks
For the first 4-6 weeks do not leave any items on the concrete for a prolonged period of time, including dish or hand towels. Take extra care to wipe up any liquids immediately.
Wipe up any spills as they occur. Use a damp cloth or a natural cleaning solution.
Clean regularly with soap and water or other “Green Cleaners”
Cutting on your new concrete countertop
NEVER use a sealed concrete countertop as a cutting board
Protecting your new concrete countertop
- Use coasters or felt pads below anything with sharp edges.
- Avoid hot cookware directly from stove or oven onto the surface.
- Use non-abrasive cleaners
- No raw ceramics to be placed directly on surface for the first 4-6 weeks.
Maintaining your new concrete countertop
Maintain with coconut oil. Simply apply with a clean cloth and wipe clean with paper towels. Indoor pieces do not need this as often. Outdoor pieces and sinks need when whitening occurs.
Important note about darkening
For SEVERAL weeks after applying the sealer, you may notice the concrete darken in the areas where water or liquids contact the surface. This is normal as the cross-linking of the sealer continues. The darkening of the surface is not an indication that the sealer is not working. In fact, it is a normal reaction as the sealer continues to cure.
With concrete, the creative possibilities are unlimited. Unlike granite or marble, concrete begins in a fluid state, which allows us to create cool, three-dimensional shapes by building custom forms out of many different materials – fabric is just one example. In this way, we can cast our concrete into structurally sound shapes that may be cost-prohibitive or altogether impossible using granite.
Our finished products exude warmth and even softness. There is a comfortable, livable feeling to the pieces that we create, which is entirely distinct from the colder glossiness of stone or the sterility of some petroleum-based countertop materials. The enhanced “visual texture” created by our proprietary techniques and the inherent natural beauty of our products rival all other alternatives on the market.
Best of all, the remarkable versatility of concrete lends itself to truly one-of-a-kind projects. At Dusty Crete Design all of our concrete products are artistically designed and handcrafted to your specifications. Each project is essentially a custom piece, shaped by your creative input to reflect your individuality and personal style.