A few weeks ago we had the chance to be a guest at a one day concrete countertop workshop at Cheng Concrete located in Berkeley. We took the workshop mostly out of curiosity and desire to learn more about concrete. After one day we gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about concrete as a building material, design considerations, mold making, decorative elements, and polishing... Concrete countertops are relatively rare. Granite and other materials still dominate the market when it comes to countertops. The question comes to mind - why choose concrete? One of its biggest advantages over other material is sculpt-ability, strength, and timeless quality. Most kitchens feel outdated after just a few years and the average life span of a new kitchen is about 7 years. It is a fashion industry as one of the instructors at the workshop described it. One of the attributes that makes things last is good design. The concrete kitchen countertop in the top photo is over 20 years old. Its custom design, attention to details, and graceful aging make it timeless.
We attended the 1-Day Concrete Countertop Essentials Workshop, which is designed to guide you through every step of making a concrete countertop. From the basics of mold making, design considerations, strengthening methods, mixing concrete, decorative aggregates to polishing and sealing. The classes are small and very hands-on. Regardless of your previous experience, you will learn a lot about the material, its advantages and limitations.
We were introduced to many of the products that Cheng Concrete has to offer. Their pro-formulas are specifically designed to remove the guesswork out of concrete mixing and to help you make your projects successful. They also sell many of the tools and materials that make the process simple and accessible to everyone.
Cheng Concrete offers other workshops as well. There is a 1/2-Day Outdoor Living Essential Workshop that will introduce you to building planters, tables, and benches. For more advanced techniques in mold making you can check out the 3-Day Concrete Countertop Training. For the complete list visit the Cheng Concrete website.
(Images: Cheng Concrete and Monika G.)