- Rust conversion over heavy oxidation
- The plentyful bounty of hand picked ammonites and orthoceras
At the Eden Hall campus of Chatham University we fabricated a counter and two integral sinks made from the Sustainable, VCAS pozzolan loaded, Environmentally Friendly GFRC. Which qualifies for up to 22 LEED points in various applications. -Nicole Santella
When an encounter with asbestos occurs on the job site, proper care should be taken in order to ensure that the health of contractors, workers, and anyone who may be in the affected area is not at risk. Asbestos abatement, or removal, should be performed by a contractor certified to perform abatement, and involves several days of keeping the area sealed off, closing it to any residents, employees, or individuals who may occupy the space, and the use of special techniques and procedures by the certified contractor to rid the area of any harmful contaminates.
The other option is to leave the asbestos alone entirely, since asbestos becomes hazardous only when it is disturbed from demolition. You can, however, cover old asbestos materials such as floor tile. In Concrete Zen's recent renovation of the workshop, asbestos floor tile was found in a few areas. An affective solution to these unsightly and harmful tiles was a concrete floor overlay that was poured over the entire shop floor, including the asbestos tile, to create one cohesive, flat surface. The concrete overlay was performed using the same procedures as in any overlay, however, a stronger sealant was used over the asbestos tile to ensure a proper seal and installation. As you can see in the pictures below, the overlay went over the existing tiles just as it would in any non-asbestos tile. If you aren't interested in spending what may be several thousands of dollars and lost time spent on the closure of a space during asbestos abatement, concrete overlay may be a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing way to go.
This weekend Concrete Zen will be a part of the annual tradition of the Blossom Tour in Lawrenceville. The Blossom Tour is a celebration of spring, and an appreciation of local shops, craftsmen, artisans, bakers, and businesses. The tour has a dedication to supporting sustainability, as participating businesses hand out free seed packets at each tour stop. There are a variety of businesses in Lawrenceville participating in the festivities this year, including Artemis Environmental, where Concrete Zen's products are carried. Concrete Zen will also have a table set up outside of Artemis, with some cash and carry items, along with special pricing for the event. The Blossom Tour is not just shopping and supporting local businesses, but a series of several events, starting with a happy hour to kick off the tour on Thursday, May 5th at Eclipse Lounge, to benefit Grow Pittsburgh, an organization that supports urban gardening. To learn more about the Blossom Tour, click here. Come out and support Artemis Environmental and Concrete Zen this Saturday, May 7th from 10 am - 5 pm.
Cheng Concrete have announced the winners of the 2011 Circle of Distinction Design Challenge at the Concrete Decor Show & spring training in Nashville, TN. Concrete Zen is pleased to announce that we have placed in two categories! We took Best in Category: Integral Sink and Honorable Mention: Decorative Finish. Cheng Concrete Exchange started The Circle of Distinction Awards in 2005 to award members for extraordinary craftsmanship, creativity, and innovation. Ninety-seven entries were evaluated by three judges, Cheng, Dan Gregory, editor-in-chief of Houseplans.com, and designer Robert Brunner, former Director of Industrial Design at Apple Computer. Concrete Zen's projects that won top accolades were an incline sink installation in Shadyside, and a custom countertop staining. We are extremely honored and excited to be recognized at one of the industry's premier events! Check out photos of the winning projects!
Concrete Zen recently completed a unique project in the Upper Saint Clair area. A concrete overlay was laid over a 900 square foot area of glazed ceramic tile that included the foyer, hallway, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry areas. The floor had to be prepared by profiling and applying specialty primers before the leveler could be installed. The floor was stained with a semi-transparent water stain that transitioned organically from a deep brown the foyer area into a golden brown hue in the kitchen. Nicole and Toni then completed the stenciling of the Modello carpet shown above in the foyer area, and the Fleur de Lis in the kitchen. Check out the Fleur de Lis and a few other photos from the project below!
Concrete Zen created this one-of-a-kind concrete sink for a client in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh, PA as a part of a complete renovation in the summer of 2010. The sink's faucet is placed on the right wall shown above, allowing water to cascade down the sloped surface to the drain shown to the left at the base of the sink for a truly exceptional design. This custom incline sink is paired with a stunning glass faucet designed by a small company specializing in custom faucets. The combination of this custom sink and faucet create the complete unique and luxurious statement that the client was looking for. These striking photographs were taken by Barry Simpson of Simpson Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.
Concrete Zen was commissioned to work on an historical project in Pittsburgh, PA. The project involved some bathroom remodeling which included matching the home's Cherokee red floors. These red floors are a signature style of Frank Lloyd Wright, and those who have designed under the same school of architecture. The house we had worked in was the Lipkind House, recognized in 1989 by Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. The house was designed by Peter Berndtson, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. The floor was finished in 1954 by using a color hardener troweled in by concrete finishers. The control joints we cut had to match the pattern of the house, which was designed in segments of a circle - no square edges, and enlarging gradually from the epicenter of the house. These joints were cut in by using special tools designed by Engrave a Crete. The texture was completed with an overlay modified by polymers, and a mix of integral reds using steel trowels my great Uncle Dan may have used. The finish was a combination of water based concrete stain and pigmented sealers to match the worn appearance of years of wax maintenance. This step was completed by Nicole Santella, as she tuned out the distractions, myself included, and tuned into her iPod. The clients were happy, and so were we!
Concrete Zen recently collaborated with Take Pride Construction and Design LLC of Pittsburgh, PA to customize this Fireplace area for a client in Squirrel Hill. The right and left flanking cabinets, in addition to the firebox, were fabricated and set by a custom cabinet maker working on the project. The clients were looking for an old world feel in a modern environment. Nicole Santella of Concrete Zen took their vision and created sample boards with an erratic texture, but still smooth to the touch, similar to a Venetian plaster finish. The concrete stains used were made from a soy base from Eco Procote - SoyCrete selections, and were purchased at Artemis Environmental in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh,PA). The hearth was made from 3/4" GFRC Concrete to sit 3/16" above the hardwood floor. The graining pattern on the concrete hearth was also created from soycrete stains. This vertical treatment demonstrates yet another unique application of decorative concrete created by Concrete Zen.
Concrete Zen collaborated with Take Pride Construction and Design LLC to create a multi-functional recreation space for a residence in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh, PA. The area shown above was previously an enclosed green house, but transformed to fit the client's needs of a recreation area for reading and gaming, as well as an open transitional area between kitchen, living, and dining rooms. Concrete Zen created custom finishes on a variety of surfaces for the renovation, including countertops and floors extending from the recreation area into the kitchen. The floor is a concrete overlay with custom staining by Nicole Santella, and countertops are a concrete "custom color blend" by Concrete Zen. In addition, the cabinetry was fabricated at the Concrete Zen workshop and the glass table was by Emerald Art.
Concrete Zen is excited and honored to announce their presence on the cover of Concrete Cartel Magazine. Concrete Cartel is Brandon Gore's new magazine in the concrete trade world that discusses techniques, innovation, and emerging trends in decorative concrete. Nicole is featured sitting in one of our planters, and Buddy Rhodes, one of the pioneers in the concrete industry, mentioned us in his "thanks". We are ecstatic to be recognized by Concrete Cartel, and look forward to further issues of the exciting new magazine!
Not only can concrete be formed into furniture or countertops, but it can be used as an overlay on floors and walls. Overlays can give a space a completely different look by coating an extremely thin layer of concrete over virtually any existing surface. We have gone over top of ceramic tile and brick with ease. Concrete Zen continues to look for new and innovative ways to use concrete in every project we complete. Looking forward to exciting projects ahead!