Wednesday, October 9, 2013

That's One Big Sink

The latest Studio Build project is wrapping up and that included installing a few small, and one very big, concrete items. It seems everything but the kitchen countertops are concrete. The fireplace surround is GFRC polished through 3000 grit and coated with beeswax. The bathroom countertops were lightly ground and sealed. The big piece was an eight and a half foot long integral sink in the master bath. It is also GFRC. This is a perfect example of where GFRC is far superior to conventional mixes. If we did this conventionally it would have weighed about 500 lbs. Since we did GFRC it only weighed 240 lbs. My biceps are still sore from carrying this in, but a 50% weight and material savings makes it manageable. It's charcoal grey and was coated with the Richard James sealer kit.

Recently I performed another sealer roundup using some scrap pieces lying around. It gives me an excuse to break out the beers on a Saturday morning. My standard test materials are vinegar, hot sauce, toothpaste, red wine, mustard, and an icy cold beer for a sweat stain. I was very impressed with the performance of the Richard James silane, epoxy, urethane combination. I normally densify the surface using a lithium silicate, which makes this a four step process. That is a lot more effort and cost than the traditional acrylic, but the results are worth it. None of these liquids had any effect on the surface. 
The very dark section was beeswax applied to a highly polished surface. It looks very cool and is a great color enhancer, however beeswax doesn't provide much protection against acid attack and requires constant recoating.