Sunday, April 3, 2011

Designing with Concrete

Concrete can be a wonderful choice of material to design sinks, countertops, and bathtubs. One of the wonderful aspects of using conrete is the flexibility; the design can be as custom as you want therefore no one else will have the same thing as you. Any kind of shape can be formed, and changing the color is as easy as adding a die to the mix.After designing the sink you begin with making the formwork that will create the mold, wood is usually used to create the basic mold.

Custom sink designed by a friend and fellow students in the Architecture Design Build Program at the University of Arkansas. -This picture shows the placement of rebar after some concrete has been poured into the mold.

You also have to reinforce the structure with rebar and somesort of wiring, such as galvanized wire mesh. The use of these materials helps hold the structure in place, because movement can cause cracking. Also to avoid cracking you have to consider where to place expansion joints.  If the distance between joints is to great there is a higher chance for cracking. The mixture for concrete to build sinks, countertops, and bathtubs uses only about 20% cement and the rest is sand, aggregate, and water.

This picture shows the sink in complete form, yet before any sealers were put on.

Also the curing process is very important; the least amount of moisture the sturucture retains the strongeer it is. This is the drying out process but in order the keep the exterior from drying to fast and chipping or crumbling, you have to keep it moist. The curing process usually takes about 3-14 days depending on size and thickness. Finishing the structure is also very important for sanitation and longevity purposes. An apoxy and food sealer should be on structures for the kitchen or where food will be present. This will protect from particals and bacteria soaking into the concrete. Sealers also help keep the surfaces from being scrathced and chipped.

Here is the sink complete with sealers and installed in the bathroom of the house.

Concrete when built and constructed correctly can be the perfect solution to personal and design a sleek modern space.

No comments:

Post a Comment