TouchStone Concrete Designs

Q. Why Concrete?


Concrete has always been fundamental element in building. Yet, people are often surprised what can be done with decorative, finished concrete. Almost anything is possible. It is ideal for countertops, vanities and fireplaces. Colour and shape options are endless. Inlays (embedded objects ) are another exciting option with concrete - one not available with most other products. Concrete is a solid option in a world used to veneers.

Why more people are choosing concrete.



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Q. What are our options for shape, color, inlays and function?


Simply endless. We can design virtually anything that your imagination can conjure. Although we find myself constantly inspired to create new and different pieces, we would never be able to describe the full extent of the possibilities available to me as a concrete artisan. we recommend to all our clients that they Google “concrete countertops” and start exploring the images and ideas that can be found on the internet, get an idea of what they might want in a piece, then start the creative process.

Simply put however, your options are:

  • Any shape – really.
  • 3 main finishes:
    • “Clay” – concrete is integrally colored (most colors under the sun), smooth and creamy finish with subtle mottling effect.
    • “Sand” – concrete has received a light grind and the tops of the aggregate in the mix become subtly visible. The mica found here in this valley gives the piece a slight sparkle.
    • “Pebble” – concrete has received an aggressive grind and the aggregate and mica is accentuated.
  • Acid staining - concrete is stained with acid (unlimited color potential), with wide range of effects and mottling of visual texture.
  • Inlays – brass/copper/stainless steel rails for hotplates, integral drain boards and seams, fossils, rocks, cutting boards, family heirlooms, tiles, works of art, inscriptions/quotes, lights, coins, handprints/footprints, etc.
  • Function – integral sinks, integral drain boards, integral cutting boards, waterways, fountains, etc.

Q. I've seen something I like online. Can you do it?


In most cases, YES. In fact, we want our customers to look around and discover the unique looks and enhancements that are possible. Let us know what you find and we are happy to take a look at it.

Q. Will my concrete crack?


All concrete, even the Ultra High Performance Concrete that we utilize, will develop micro hairline cracks over time. These do not reflect poor workmanship or flaws but rather, add to the character of the product. These hairline cracks do not allow food or particles to infiltrate them. We use special mixes and designs that severely limit cracks.

Our mix design has radically evolved over the past few years. We very rarely have any issues with hairline fractures now but cannot guarantee 100% that they will not occur over time. We guarantee excellence but not perfection. The philosophy behind working with concrete is to relax into the idea that concrete is handmade and imperfect – this is what we love about it.

Q. How strong is concrete?


Concrete countertops are by far the strongest of all hard surface countertops. They can handle 100's of lbs or direct, lateral force prior to failing. Concrete countertops are 3 times stronger than conventional concrete.

Q. Does concrete stain easily?


Not anymore. Our sealer penetrates and bonds at a molecular level with the concrete. The result is a penetrating and topical finish that is more or less 100% stain proof, highly scratch resistant and environmentally friendly (VOC compliant). It has also been granted “Food Safe” status by the American Food and Drug Administration. We are able to provide a high-gloss or matte finish.

A cloth and soapy water is recommended for cleaning as abrasive pads and cleaners tend to dull and degrade the surface of the finish. Superman’s powers were effected by kryptonite; so too is our sealer affected by straight white vinegar and direct heat. Sauces, dressings and mixes that contain vinegar are fine but undiluted white vinegar and a burning hot pot on the surface of a piece weakens our sealer’s super-powers.

Q. How do I care for my new concrete countertops?


We will leave you with a starter package of cleaner and special food grade safe carnuba countertop wax & polish. It is important to use these products weekly to care for your contertop and to protect the urethane coating.

Q. How long will my countertop last?


The concrete that we use will continue to build strength for 75 years - concrete countertops can outlast the length of your home.

Q. How much does it cost?


Concrete is not inexpensive. The process of taking simple ingredients - sand, gravel and cement - and making them into something that is both beautiful and functional is incredibly labor intensive.

The base price for our work is $98 per square foot installed. Any additional exprense depends on where we decide to go with the project: whether or not we’re building an integral sink, using copper rails for seams or inlaying an ancient fossil. Our pricing is usually about 30% more than standard laminate countertops installed. If a standard laminate countertop installed costs about $2000, our price would typically be about $3000. A small premium to pay for a product that is considerably superior.

That said, we ask less than half the price of most granite for similar size and thickness and even less than quartz or composite.

Q. Will we have to reinforce our cabinets?


In most cases, no. If you’re cabinets are reasonably well built with screws and dowels and have vertical support that extends to the floor, we’re likely good to go. However, we do recommend to all our clients that they have a cabinetmaker or carpenter have a look to make the final call. If there is any question as to the structural integrity of your cabinets, reinforcing them is generally a simple and inexpensive process.

Q. How far will you travel?


We have teams in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and Westfield, New Brunswick. However,  we are happy to serve  communities a little farther afield. Give us a call...

Q. What is your turnaround time for a piece?


Due to the heat setting method used in our curing process our turn around time for orders has been greatly reduced. Most orders are complete within 2 weeks.