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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Concrete? 

A limitless array of finishes inspire many presigeous architects, designers and high-end luxury brands to chose concrete for their creative concepts. 

Stunning feature wall panels, floor panels, external facades, servery counters, reception and cash desks, strair treads, logo and signage panels or 3-dimensional furniture; a wide variety of worldwide aggregates, pigmented recycled glass, granites, marbles, mother of pearl or stone create unique tones and terrazzo-style finishes. Every project is completely unique. 

Why choose Glass Reinforced Concrete Over Traditional wet-cast Concrete? 

Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) is concrete that is reinforced with glass fibres. These fibres, unlike steel reinforcement in traditional concrete, are dispersed throughout the concrete. This improves the mechanical strength of concrete making pieces less likely to crack.
GRC can be made at thicknesses not possible with traditional wet-cast concrete. Because GRC can be made thinner this allows larger pieces with fewer joints to be cast off site and installed in a similar fashion to stone bench tops.
Whilst we do offer both traditional wet-cast concrete and GRC, we highly recommend using GRC for the majority of products due to its superior strength, durability and repeatability in finish. 
All of the concrete we manufacture is individually hand-poured, batched and mixed in-house at MASS HQ which eliminates the risks associated with site poured concrete. 

Is Concrete Indestructable?

Whilst it is considered a robust material, some common sense is required. A simple wipe as you go policy will ensure your GRC pieces remain beautiful for years to come.  A few more do’s and don’ts include:
DO’S
•    Use a soft, damp microfibre cloth when cleaning
•    Only use mild non-abrasive cleaners to remove stubborn stains
•    Use trivets and heat mats when placing hot items, do not directly place onto the surface
•    Use a chopping block when using knives or during practices that may scratch the surface of the concrete
DONT’S
•    Avoid contact with acidic based corrosive or solvent materials
•    Avoid high impact, especially near the edges
•    Avoid placing hot items such as pans, which can cause the concrete to experience thermal shock, and this can compromise the sealer
•    Avoid dragging items across the surface that may scratch the surface, such as items with sharp edges or rough undersides.
•    Avoid using knives directly on the surface of the concrete as this can compromise the sealer. 
•    Do not leave wet trays, Cutting boards, bowls, vases and similar things on the surface. The water under these will evaporate slowly and if left for days or weeks may stain the surface

For more information on our care and maintenance procedures please contact sales@mass-concrete.com.

How do you protect a concrete surface?

There are essentially two types of treatments:

•    Impregnating

•    Topical

In layman’s terms, think of impregnating as similar to oiling timber, whilst topical is like varnishing timber – the first is a soak-in treatment, whilst the second is skin-forming on the surface of the timber.

Both have advantages and disadvantages. MASS will help specify the correct sealant dependent on the project specifics. 

How do you remove stains from concrete?

Like other natural materials, such as stone, concrete is a porous material, which can be susceptible to staining unless it has been sealed. Please speak to one of the MASS team to confirm the correct proceedure to compliment the relevent sealer. 

Can concrete be used outdoors?

Absolutely. The sealers we use are UV resistant and non-yellowing, however, direct sunlight and weather may cause minor colour changes over time. 

What colours are available?

From standard Greys to Purple and Yellow; we have a RAL colour match service and our sampling is free of charge, subject to requirement.  

How heavy is concrete?

GRC is typically 24kg per m2 at 12mm thickness. At 15mm thickness the weight is 30kg per m2. 

Prescast at 30mm thickness will typically weigh 72 kilos per m2. 

Is GRC more expensive than precast?

We believe that on larger projects It works out cheaper when considering installation costs.

Is concrete fire resistant?

'P-GRC', a polymer modified glass fibre reinforced concrete product comprising of sand, cement, water, superplasticiser and alkali resistant glass fibre, in relation to its reaction to fire behavior is classified: A1

Due to the bespoke nature of MASS Concrete, please check before specifying. 

Does concrete have any restrictions?

There is virtually no limit to shape which can be created in a variety of profiled/textural or smooth finishes. The only restriction is your imagination.

How 'Green' is concrete?

Aggregates are the major component of concrete by volume and are inherently a low carbon product. Recycled aggregates can be used; and we have even experimented with recycled plastic as well as Stainless Steel milling swarf. 

How can I get more information?

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact MASS Concrete at sales@mass-concrete.com. Appointments can also be made to view our large manufacturing facility in Bournemouth.

 

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