Slabshapers take pride in producing locally handcrafted work. It is an extremely environmentally conscious choice – the majority of our products are sourced locally or as close to our Byron Bay workshop as possible. We have dramatically reduced our footprint, and we continue to source & update to better products. As GFRC (Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete) is such a new product in Australia, there are always new products emerging that we are eager to try.
Not only are concrete benchtops a great choice environmentally, they are aesthetically pleasing and becoming a much more popular alternative to timber, stone or granite. We are able to provide a versatile, functional, integrated design with little to (sometimes) no joins, depending on access. Options are endless – if you can think it, we can create it.
Is it Sustainable?
In addition to their versatility and distinctive beauty, concrete benchtops have another virtue that appeals to many people, especially the ecologically aware: They are more environmentally friendly, or "greener," than most other types of benchtops.
"Solid surface materials are made of plastic, engineered quartz materials contain a synthetic resin binder, and granite and marble are nonrenewable mined resources. Concrete contains mostly just good old sand, rock and cement," A good read: http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/countertops/sustainable/ After a little research you will find our product is the best choice for an eco-friendly choice.
Our sealer also meets the Green Building Council of Australia Green Start IEQ-11 and IEQ-12 requirements for Architectural Sealants. More specifically it has a low VOC rating of 25g/L (before dilution), an exceptional eco-friendly product. Contact us for further specifications on chemical testing and data.
You dream it, we create it....
At Slabshapers, we are regularly asked if we can create a wide range of different products; everytime the answer is YES.
Our services include, but are not limited to.. custom benchtops including integrated sinks, inlays, ect, reception counters & bars, wall panels & cladding (internal & external), custom furniture & homewares, street furniture, planter boxes, pool surrounds, custom hanging light surrounds, vessel basins, outdoor kitchens, splash backs, baths, stairs & slides! Depending on the size of your product, we can also deliver Australia wide.
Care & Cleaning
Concrete benchtops are relatively easy to maintain a long lasting finish. We recommend Lithofen Easy-Clean for easy every day
cleaning - contact us to purchase. We always recommend using trivets, coasters, food mats, and wiping any residue from food or drinks immediately to eliminate the possibility to marking. This not only helps to product our benchtop, but also extends the longevity of our products. Depending on the amount of use, you may need a buff & reseal from 6-10 years.
Our speciality sealing product is one of the best on the market, it is completely food-safe, suited to both commercial and residential applications. It is a penetrating water-based polyurethane coating, which is UV stable and has an outstanding balance of strength, flexibility, chemical & scratch resistance. See our care information for further info.
Our concrete is heat resistant to 149 C comparable to a typical Caesarstone at only 100 C. We always recommend using trivets, coasters and foot mats to product the sealer and extend the longevity.
Unlike traditional concrete, there is rarely steel is our benchtops providing a much more lightweight product. At times, our benchtops may even be lighter than your typical stone or granite as we have more flexibility in the way we can design and create them. As a rule of thumb, our 20mm benchtops will weigh 40kg per square metre.
Strength & Structural Guarantee
We guarantee the structural integrity of our concrete benchtops for 5 years (we're not old enough to guarantee any longer!) - providing that they are suitably supported and cared for as recommended.
Our product reaches a minimum of 90MPa in an average of 14 days, with over 12% flexural strength. This is extremely strong comparing to your typical concrete which stands at around 40 MPa. As we do not design our benchtops for unnecessary additional weight, we do not recommend standing or sitting on your benchtops.
Installation & Supports
Generally cabinetry does not need to be reinforced, however they do need sufficient supports underneath. In the initial design stage we will work with your builder or cabinet-maker to ensure it all runs smoothly.
Overhangs & Cantilevers
Overhangs over 300mm will need special design considerations. Zoe, our building designer works closely with architects, designers & engineers in the initial design stage to ensure there are no surprises when it comes to install time.
Design & Integrations
A beneficial factor to our product is the ability to cast in and add different materials into our benches. We can build in sinks, drainers, inset copper or add in colour. The list is endless.
Slabshapers has a wide range of colours available. Drop into our showroom to grab some samples!
Due to the flexibility of design with our product, if you can imagine it, we can create it. We can make our concrete as thin as 14mm (used for feature wall cladding or splashbacks), or drop the edges of the benchtop completely down to create a ‘waterfall’ end or front.
Finishes, Textures, and will my concrete benchtop crack?
Most clients prefer our raw concrete look, but we are also able to produce a very high, gloss finish.
Although we guarantee the structural integrity of our product, over time, concrete can expand & contract and buildings can move, which can produce very small hairline cracks around weak points of the benchtop. We personally love these features and characteristics and although it is rare, we cannot 100% guarantee against it. If you are looking for a perfect product, concrete may not be for you.
Does Slabshapers polish concrete floors?
We often get asked to do our clients polished concrete floors - unfortunately benchtops and floors are quite different. We recommend Brock at www.concretefloorrestorations.com.au who services the Ballina-Byron-Gold coast region.
Location & Delivery
As one of the market leaders in Architectural Concrete; we have the ability to service the East Coast of Australia, from Sunshine Coast to Newcastle, as well as working with a range of kitchen companies that supply our samples. We can personally deliver and install to every location in New South Wales and Queensland including; Northern Rivers, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Port Macquarie, Port Stephens, Nelson Bay & Newcastle NSW. We can also deliver Australia-wide for most of our products, contact us for a quote.
As previously mentioned, Concrete Benchtops are extremely labour intensive & therefore not cheap. Each job varies on a number of different factors, so an initial consult is usually required. It is handy to have plans or rough sizes ready. We also cater to those on a budget, just call us to discuss!
Do you have a showroom?
Our workshop & showroom is currently in the Arts & Industry Estate of Byron Bay. We are located in the same building as Afends & Santos, at the opposite end of the block - Unit 5, 7-17 Brigantine Street, Byron Bay. We love visitors, so please stop by!