Behind the Scenes: Concrete Nation
It’s not often that you get to go behind the scenes at an amazing manufacturers factory. We were thrilled to get the opportunity at Concrete Nation's Burleigh Heads showroom and factory to see them hard at work crafting some of our bench tops for The Barefoot Bay Villa. Concrete Nation is truly an amazing place to discover first hand- a space filled with impeccably crafted concrete basins, baths and bench tops in a range of colours but all texturally exquisite.
We were lucky to have our visit co-inside with the team beginning the process of crafting the bench tops for the laundry. The process begins with the team colouring the concrete, for this bench top we choose mint. Once the mould has been crafted they spray a thick layer of concrete onto the frame which is then backed with a thicker pour which builds up the bench. There is so much care taken to ensure the concrete is built up in a way so that it doesn’t crack or cure too quickly- it’s quite an art!
We we're also lucky enough to be able to ask the team at Concrete Nation our burning questions about what they do, the design process and their insight into bringing colour into a home. Check out their answers below:
What type of polished concrete pieces do you specialise in?
We specialise in creating polished concrete benchtops, vanities, basins, and baths for both residential and commercial properties. We create one-off custom pieces as well as our product range.
What represents quality craftsmanship to you?
We pride ourselves on our meticulous attention to detail. Every piece is handmade in our factory in Burleigh Heads and is worked on for weeks prior to completion. To us, quality craftsmanship is understanding the overall aesthetic that a client is after and achieving that by using the correct finish. Concrete can be really raw and natural but it can also be made to be more clean and polished.
How does Concrete Nation offer a unique approach to concrete pieces?
We love pushing boundaries and testing the limits. This has allowed us to create some truly unique, original pieces. Our Column Collection was something completely unique that we developed because we felt there was a void in the marketplace.
Tell us about the manufacturing process behind your coloured concrete pieces – what and who is involved?
The first step in the manufacturing process is forming the benchtops. All benchtops are formed on sheets of ply with the edges made to the desired benchtop height. If there is an integral sink or drainer grooves, the mould gets mounted to the sheet of ply. Once the form is ready, the mix is created using ingredients such as cement, sand, fibreglass (for strength) and oxide if the benchtop will be coloured.
A small layer of the mix is then sprayed onto the sheet of ply to create the face coat. This coat is what gives concrete benchtops the nice, smooth finish. Then, the remaining mix is used to fill in the backside of the bench-top. Once the concrete is fully cured, the benchtop gets flipped out of the mould, washed, lightly sanded and sealed. Then it ready for installation.
How do your pieces help to extend on the colour scheme in a home in order to create a cohesive design?
-In the past, it’s been hard for people to carry colours through to the bathroom because there just weren’t options out there. Now, with our basins and baths, you can really create a statement in your bathrooms & powder rooms. Some clients are even doing coloured benchtops, which is really exciting to see!
What is your approach to bringing colour to the home?
Colour is a great way to add personality to any space. It really helps set the mood. We love adding a pop of colour using our products, whether it is a basin, bath, or bench-top.
What are your current favourite pieces from the Concrete Nation range?
My favourite pieces are actually the ones we are in the process of developing. We are so excited to share them with everyone in the coming months! I do love our current Column Collection, as they can really create a statement in powder rooms, which is often an overlooked space.