Architectural concrete – in the kitchen, living room, bathroom
Architectural concrete in modern architecture – questions and answers
Nowadays, almost all of us meet in finishing walls, floors, stairs, fireplaces, fences, elevations, terraces with the concept of architectural concrete. What exactly is this architectural concrete? How and where can it be used, where can it be bought, whether to follow Internet opinions, what to pay attention to. Very often even professionals are not able to specify what architectural concrete is. And what are the characteristics of this type of product. What determines the quality of this famous product? Is it safe? Maybe it is too heavy? Can anyone cope with the installation? What is the price of architectural concrete and what influences it? I decide on architectural concrete because I like it. But what to choose and why?
These are the most frequently asked questions. Not only by those who want it, but also by architects, designers, interior designers and executive teams. We are happy to answer these questions using the many years of knowledge gained by the Luxum team of specialists. Starting from the laboratory, many years spent on production, through the experience gathered directly on hundreds of construction sites and investments. Each time they shaped awareness, inspired, excited, sometimes experienced, taught humility, but brought joy and recognition.
Passion for concrete and new, innovative production methods, in accordance with nature and ecology, as well as care for the highest quality and safety, allow us to enjoy the reputation of the leader of the architectural concrete market. It is a challenge and a great responsibility. Today we share these experiences with you. After all, a house, a workplace or a living space is arranged for many years. So it is worth making a conscious, or good choice.
Why architectural concrete? – interiors and facades
Concrete is a unique material. Present in the architecture of the whole world, known already in ancient times. Today, thanks to modern technology, as a natural product can delight. It perfectly fits the needs of the users, satisfying the needs within the living space and broadly understood architecture. It shapes aesthetic sensitivity as a universal material that has always accompanied our lives. Concrete material deeply rooted in tradition, and discovered anew, sets us in the future. Giving a sense of continuity makes every place in which it will be used, will be close to us.
High-quality architectural concrete can be used in virtually any arrangement. It will be a perfect choice both in interiors and on elevations where concrete comes into contact with difficult weather conditions. Architectural concrete should be taken into account when planning both new and restoration of old investments in private construction, public utility and small architecture.
Concrete was rediscovered as a decorative material when modernism, minimalism and especially industrial style became a permanent part of the canons of architecture. Rarely any material so perfectly combines and complements both natural and highly processed products. Structural (architectural) concrete looks great in the company of paints in contrasting colors, universal white, composites, carbon fiber – Carbon, glass, stainless steel, brass and of course wood, and even brick and natural stone or textiles. Architectural concrete will be perfect for majestic arrangements of large houses or apartments, as well as flats of small size. Most often it creates decoration of walls in the living room. It is an excellent choice also for corridors, offices, bedrooms, workspaces and even such difficult rooms as kitchen, bathroom or SPA.
A great idea is also to use architectural concrete for fireplace, floor, stairs, elevation, fence. It will work well on underfloor heating and hidden in the wall, and at the same time it will soundproof and improve the acoustics of rooms. Good decorative concrete will be successfully used as one of the most durable materials, both indoors and outdoors.
Fashion for decorative concrete. Momentary or permanent trend?
The current fashion for decorative concrete surfaces in the Western world is a result of evolution. It results from the maturation of tastes and the formation of a post-industrial ecological consciousness, not a momentary whim. An experienced architect or decorator will notice that architectural concrete is widely spoken about. It is still an exquisite commodity and not available to everyone. One can’t help but notice how many offers of various kinds of imitations, imitations and materials suggesting in the trade name that this something is “architectural concrete”. However, real architectural concrete cannot be found in the offers of DIY stores, and its supply is sporadic even in large building depots. It is available almost exclusively from specialist companies, and there are still few actual manufacturers in Poland.
Why is that?
Real architectural concrete with high quality parameters, meeting high aesthetic expectations is difficult to obtain. In fact, it is impossible to produce in the conditions of a small plant without engineering, laboratory and technical facilities, as well as large prefabrication plants of building materials and concrete plants. The production of natural architectural concrete, in order for the final product to bring satisfaction to the conscious consumer, takes place on technological lines, which, due to the high cost of acquisition, are not available for small businesses. But they are also not in the equipment of large plants, where the prefabrication of aesthetic architectural concrete is adapted to the technology of prefabricated goods. Their aesthetics is not crucial and does not constitute a special care.
The exception is the architectural formwork concrete described below, whose liquid output can be produced on a good concrete mixer without any problems. And the factors determining the aesthetics are formed only when it is poured on the construction site. The production of prefabricated elements from architectural concrete, especially slabs and panels, resembles more the production of hand-made clinker or brick tiles. However, they use more advanced techniques and do not include the firing process than common commercial concrete prefabricates (kerbstones, rings, paving stones, paving stones, etc.).
Genuine decorative concrete requires proper handling during storage and transport. And these warehouses, nor large chains of DIY stores can provide, especially for prefabricated products in the form of slabs with an area of more than 0.4 m². Therefore, even if real decorative concrete slabs are offered by some well-known DIY chains, they do not exceed the limit size of 90x45cm (0.4m²). And even in this size, the panels from retail chains are the subject of lively discussion as to their usefulness in successful wall decoration.