October 2015 Job of the Month:
Concrete can be molded into a wide variety of shapes and textures and can conform to almost any given space, which comes in handy when a client is looking for something that is truly one-of-a-kind. The concrete table we created at this office fit the bill. It was especially unique, even compared to the tabletops and countertops we've made in the past. Our client for this project was interested in adding a piece of furniture to the public area of their office. They needed a table that could double as a counter, and they wanted to place it in the break room. The new table needed to be strong, tough and custom-made to wrap around a cabinet that was already installed in the area. Typically, concrete tabletops are placed atop a wood or metal base, two materials that are strong enough to support it. This time, we would make the entire concrete table, base included, out of concrete.
This concrete table was going to be a permanent fixture and the clients did not want any seams so we built it on-site. The real challenge would be building it around the cabinet, a process that required a lot of detailed measurements to ensure the table would conform to the sides of the cabinet exactly.
We built a mold to form the concrete as we poured it. The mold included the top horizontal portion of the concrete table as well as the wrap around legs extending all the way down to the floor. When building the mold it is real important for us to consider the weight of the concrete, because it is so heavy, it can press against a mold and warp it if it is not reinforced properly. In this case we built a supporting frame around the mold using 2" x 4" lumber. Once this was done, we poured the wet concrete into the mold. The reinforcements did their job, strengthening the mold and preventing it from bending or bulging. Once it cured, all the surfaces remained straight and true which is what our client needed.
One thing to keep in mind with this style of concrete table is that the vertical faces of the table are poured into a mold while the horizontal top portion is finished by hand. This can create a different finish between the two areas; usually is not huge but it can be noticeable. The key part is having the finisher apply as smooth and hard troweled a finish as possible to the top so that it has a similar appearance to the sides.
Once the mold was removed, a sturdy concrete table stood in the space with a cabinet perfectly encapsulated underneath it. To wrap it up we applied a water based polyurethane sealer, which created a matte finish on the surface and sides of the new table. The finished concrete table blended in perfectly with the floor around it and most importantly it looked awesome!