Do you use the same concrete used in sidewalks or driveways? How strong is it? Can it crack? How thick is it?
We use a GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) mix, which has a tensile strength of over 7,000 psi, almost twice as strong as driveway concrete. Using this high strength fiber mix provides some flexibility to our concrete, so breaking or cracking are unlikely.
Our standard slabs are 1.5” thick but vary depending on your unique design. Foam center cores reduce weight, allowing us to make much larger pieces without extra seams.
Slabs can be made thicker or thinner if your design requires. We typically cast thin, ¾” thick pieces which are ideal for large section wall panels, shelled pieces with drop edges or any piece that fits over sub-structures—like a floating fireplace hearth, or ADA ramp sink hung on wall brackets. This gives the appearance of a thick profile without unnecessary added weight.
Do concrete countertops or sinks have seams?
Our slabs contain a foam center core, making them 40% lighter than solid cast pieces, allowing us to make larger sections with fewer seams. Longer slabs that may need multiple sections will have seams that are typically 1/8” or smaller.
We strive to preserve a clean appearance on our finished work. If seams are necessary we’re skilled at designing solutions to conceal, minimize them, or sometimes accentuate them with decorative elements like embedded metal strips, flush tile inlays, or size changes to draw the eye away from the seam.
How much can a countertop cantilever with no supports?
We can cantilever, or overhang, a total of 12” with no underside support. Anything larger will require thin brackets or other support. We’ve got years of experience designing around challenges and we will ensure your piece has the ideal base and supports that work for your space.
Can you create ADA compliant sinks? How thick are they?
Yes, our free-hang concrete sinks are one of our core products. Being able to free hang our lightweight concrete sinks helps meet the code requirements to comfortably accommodate wheelchairs under the American with Disabilities Act.
Compliance requires 34” to the top of the sink and 27” to the bottom lip, so our ADA sinks are typically made with a 5” drop edge on all finished sides. The typical weight of a 6’ long ramp sink is only 180 pounds, and we can provide hanging brackets and support if needed.
What about colors?
We can create a virtually limitless array of colors and combinations. Starting with white cement as a blank canvas we use a variety of stains, dyes, and liquid and powder pigment processes to achieve the perfect color for your project.
Are there different finish options? Can it look worn?
Yes. We use a variety of finishing tools and time-tested techniques to achieve a host of different finishes and moods. Crisp & modern, industrial warehouse, beloved antique, rustic cabin, and farmhouse chic are all classic options.
Can you create outdoor pieces? Are they all-weather?
Since its genesis in 3rd century Rome, concrete has withstood the wear of the elements. It ages extremely well through all conditions and does not need to be covered. Over the course of its life, outdoor pieces may benefit from sealer to restore vibrance and sheen, but the concrete itself will stand strong.
How big can a sink bowl be?
Most of the concrete sink molds we cast on are custom made. Being able to craft handmade molds gives us the ability to accommodate almost any design. We do suggest a minimum of 3” of flat countertop space on each side of the sink bowl to help with proper hanging and support of the piece.
What is the average cost for a kitchen countertop?
The cost range for a typical residential kitchen is $3800–$6800.
What is the average cost of a custom concrete fire feature?
A large patio fire feature, with top-rated stainless steel burner components, will typically range from $3800–$5500, not including shipping.
Is your concrete heavy, strong, and durable?
Using a GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) mix, which is nearly twice as strong as sidewalk or driveway concrete. Our flat slabs contain a foam center core, making them 40% lighter than a solid cast. This allows us to make much larger pieces without the need for seams.
Do you need a sub-base under the tops?
When the pieces are designed as a flat slab, no. Some projects require a shell design, where drop edges on all finished sides hide the subframe and supporting brackets. This shell approach is most common on floating fireplace hearths, coffee bar high-top counters, and ADA free-hanging ramp sinks for bars and restaurants. The shell design maintains a heavy, thick profile without adding extra weight.
How long does a typical project take to complete?
Every project is unique, but once details are finalized, the time to cast, finish, and ship a piece is typically 3-4 weeks.
Can you paint match colors? Can you customize colors?
We use a variety of processing techniques with powder and liquid pigments to create a virtually limitless palette of colors and combinations.
We’re exceptionally skilled at customizing colors and samples to your design specifications, often matching colors to paint and tile samples.
Color Guide PDF
Will the concrete color fade over time?
No. However, over the course of its life, the concrete may benefit from a sealer to freshen up colors and restore vibrance and sheen.
Can the sealer be glossy?
Yes. We can create a spectrum of sheens, from natural stone matte to a high gloss that emphasizes vibrance and shine.
What is the warranty?
All of our pieces include a 1-year structural warranty on manufacturing defects with products that have been handled, fabricated, installed, and maintained in the manner recommended by Living Stone Concrete, which has the sole and final right to determine whether a claim is valid.
What is the average cost of a sink? What is the average cost of ADA complaint sink?
For standard countertop sizes, bowl shapes, and color treatment, the starting price is $2,000 + shipping, if applicable.
What is the average cost for ADA complaint sinks?
The average cost for our ADA free-hanging concrete sinks is $2400.
Is there a required thickness for custom concrete?
Our standard slabs are 1.5” thick, but we design them for the needs of your project. Our slabs contain a foam center core to reduce weight restrictions but still give a thick edge profile. Past projects have been cast as thin as ¾” and as thick as 24”. Our free-hanging ADA concrete sinks are typically ¾” shells with a 5” drop edge on all finished sides.
What kinds of edges do you offer? Can you create edges that look raw or unfinished?
We can design solutions for virtually any aesthetic effect, from straight and smooth to rounded with curves, and the edge finish can be clean and crisp or raw and more worn looking. Straight and square slab edges are typical, as most clients want the heavy look of square slab concrete. But our 2” thick “chiseled edge” is also a popular option which gives a dynamic broken rock appearance.
Can you paint match or customize colors?
We use a variety of processing techniques with powder and liquid pigments to create a virtually limitless palette of colors and combinations. We’re skilled at matching colors to paint samples and/or tile samples, and creating custom colors, often bringing customers and designers into our process to ensure we are achieving exactly the right colors.
Color Guide PDF
How do you create a template?
If your project is in the Minneapolis area, we’ll set up time for one of our team members to visit the jobsite to collect all required measurements and details. If you’re outside the Minneapolis area, we can assist in creating detailed plans or instruction on templates that you or your designer can send to us.
How does measuring and templating work if I’m not in Minneapolis?
For non-local projects, contractors or homeowners can also send us templates or detailed plans to fabricate from. We will provide a measuring and templating guide, and work with you to ensure we have everything we need to complete your project to perfection. We can also assist with shop drawings if need.
What is a build-to-spec?
Build-to-spec is a project that can be built based on plans or specifications you provide.
When are build-to-spec project plans considered final?
Build-to-spec plans require sign-off on all drawings prior to the start of fabrication.
What can delay my project?
We pride ourselves on meeting our deadlines with transparency and honesty. However, we cannot start your custom concrete project until we have all required information, signed contracts and payments in place.
How are your sinks hung? Do you supply brackets and support as needed?
We supply an installation guide and hanging support brackets if requested.
How long does it take to make a concrete sink?
Custom sinks generally take 3-4 weeks to complete, once details are finalized.
What size pieces can you create? Is there a limit to the size?
We can create concrete solutions of virtually any size or shape, within reason. Using the GFRC mix allows foam core slabs, which makes it possible to cast much larger pieces with fewer seams. Another popular method is a ¾” thick shell design, which allows for casting larger section wall panels and shelled pieces to fit over sub-structure. A great example is a floating fireplace hearth, which give the appearance of thick, chunky concrete without adding unnecessary weight.
Can you create solutions to meet my specific design requirements?
If your design is physically possible, our skilled team of craftsmen can bring it to life. Our process capabilities and flexible concrete mix can accommodate virtually any creative design, including edges, colors, and finishes.
What is a template?
A template is a custom mock-up that we create onsite to fit the exact measurements of your project. It seems no walls or floors are ever truly straight or square, so making templates onsite is key to eliminating mistakes.
Do I need to be present for the template process?
Yes. The individual authorized to make all project decisions must be onsite or available by phone during the template process. This ensures questions are answered and delays are avoided. It also helps to avoid extra charges for changes or modifications to templates.
What needs to be in place to create a template?
• All sinks, faucets, and other fixtures associated with the concrete need to be onsite while we capture measurements and details.
• Heavy farm or apron sinks must be attached in the sink base cabinet, not hung from the concrete countertop. They should be preset, before we come, to be flush and level with the top of the cabinets.
• Any appliances that will affect the concrete design are in place.
• Base cabinets are secured in their final position and walls are sheet rocked and mudded. It’s better to set wall tile after our pieces have been installed, to keep all material transitions as tight and crisp as possible.
• All decorative side panels and drawers that affect countertop overhangs are in place
How do I know what information is needed for a build-to-spec?
Contact us and we’ll work with you to gather all the information required for the project. We have easy to use PDF manuals and project templates we can email to assist with your needs and questions.
When will you start my project?
Timelines are based on our current schedule and workload. Once we know the full scope of your project, we’ll provide a detailed timeline so you know when to expect your work to be completed. Typical turnaround time is three weeks from final plan design.
Can you ship my complete product?
Yes, we can ship anywhere in the United States. We pack our pieces in a foam-lined crate and use top rated shipping companies. We also provide an installation guide with the shipment.
How is the plumbing connected on sink bowls with slots / hidden drains?
The plumbing down-tube is cast and sealed into the concrete sink bottom. The plumber simply hooks up the elbow trap to the down-tube. This is an easy process for the plumber and is described in our installation manual.
Will my concrete sink need to be resealed?
As long as no major accident or rough scratching damages the surface, the sealer should last the lifetime of your sink.
What styles of finish are available?
Our primary top coat is a water based, polyurethane/acrylic matte finish sealer, which gives the concrete a natural stone appearance. From there, we offer a range of higher sheen, higher gloss sealers to achieve different affects and emphasize shine and color. We use a variety of finishing tools and techniques create a variety of options. Crisp, clean & modern, industrial warehouse, beloved antique, rustic cabin, and farmhouse chic are all classic choices.
How much care or maintenance is required?
Our concrete products are sealed with an environmentally friendly, water-based chemical hardener that bonds with the concrete. The sealer on your piece should last many years, though heavier use could age it faster. We coach our clients on a commonsense approach to caring for your new concrete. The 2 big tips are: 1). Avoid sliding heavy or sharp objects across the sealed surface, and 2). clean up spills as they happen—don’t let them saturate for extended periods of time. Both of those tips will protect your finish against damage and dramatically lengthen the life of your concrete. Also, applying beeswax once monthly can extend longevity and keep surfaces looking fresh. Touch up kits and repair sealer are available in the event of an accident or significant wear.
What is the most popular finish used?
Our signature finish is a matte polyurethane/acrylic sealer, which gives concrete a dramatic, organic stone appearance, though we often use a higher sheen sealer to increase shine. We are often tasked with creating worn-in or industrial finishes, which we are achieve through a variety of applications and techniques depending on the needs of each individual project.
Will the concrete chip easily?
Typically, No. In very rare cases, edges or corners can fracture if struck forcefully by a hard object. However, we’ll provide a color-matched putty kit to fix and patch any damaged areas, should a wild party night accident ever arise.
Will water or other liquids (orange juice, red wine, etc.) stain or degrade the surface?
Our countertops are treated with 5 coats of a highly protective, water-based polyurethane/acrylic, food-grade sealer. We do recommend cleaning up spills soon after they happen to decrease the chances of staining. We have done extensive testing using a variety of foodstuffs, with three-day-old yellow mustard being the only thing able to affect the sealer. Nothing a light sand and a fresh coat of sealer couldn’t restore.
Can I cut directly on my custom concrete solution?
No, do not cut directly on the countertops. Knives will pierce the sealer, rendering counters more susceptible to staining. Additionally, the concrete will severely dull your knife's cutting edge. Scratches in the sealer can occur if heavy, rough or sharp objects are dragged across the countertop surface.
How durable is the sealer you use?
Our concrete products are sealed with an environmentally friendly, water-based chemical hardener that bonds with the concrete. This polyurethane/acrylic sealer should last many years, though heavier use can age it faster. Avoid sliding large or sharp objects across the surface and leaving spills for extended periods, to protect against damaged sealer. Applying beeswax once monthly can extend longevity and keep surfaces looking fresh. Touch up kits and repair sealer are available in the event of an accident or significant wear.
Can I store my custom concrete outside? Can custom concrete solutions be used for outdoor kitchens, firepits, etc.? Is your concrete all-weather?
Concrete is a great solution for outdoor kitchens, tables, firepits and other fixtures, due to its profound durability and resistance to extreme weather conditions. Since its genesis in 3rd century Rome, concrete has withstood the wear of the elements. It ages extremely well through all conditions and should not be covered. Over the course of its life, an outdoor piece may benefit from sealer to restore vibrancy and sheen, but the concrete itself will stand strong.
How do I clean and care for my concrete?
Use a damp cloth with mild soap or other soft water-based cleanser with a neutral pH. Soap and water is best, but if something stronger is needed, some favorites include Windex, diluted Simple Green, and 409. Avoid cleaners or soaps with citrus in them.
*Do not use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers (such as Comet, Brillo pads, 3M scrubbing pads) as they have potential to scratch. Do not use cleaners or soaps with Citrus in them as that can wear the sealer finish
Can hot pots and pans be placed directly on the concrete?
No. As with virtually all countertop surfaces, trivets or hot pads should be used. Our sealer is rated up to 400 degrees, but concrete can develop micro-cracks, and the sealer may not be elastic enough to absorb them. In these cases, damaged surfaces may appear “crazed” with crack patterns when wet.