Care and Maintenance - Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked at Kelham Island Concrete, by our customers, about our concrete products. We hope that they help answer all your questions, and ease any worries or concerns about our products.
However, if they don’t, please feel free to get in touch with us either through the contact form on the website.

All of our concrete is coated with four coats of our high grade sealer from America. *
Although this is stain resistant, it creates a stain resistant barrier and is not stain proof. Like any other kitchen surface, our concrete will uphold most spillages of water, liquids, wine etc, but the harshest of chemicals, acidic, strong coloured or oil based liquids, should be wiped up more quickly.

The sealer is certified to 150 degrees centigrade, so most warm things are fine. However, please use a trivet or pads for hot pans, utensils and kitchenware that has come directly from the oven or any other hot cooking appliance.

Concrete is a relatively hard material as we all know, but it can still be damaged, chipped, scratched and cracked if not handled carefully. At Kelham Island Concrete, we actually think the more imperfections there are, the better. Our concrete worktops will look even better with age and use; perfection is definitely found in imperfection with our concrete. This is in comparison to granite with its machine cut edges where damage definitely stands out, and wood worktops where damage can lead to the wood rotting. As with any surface product knocking edges and corners with heavy items or pots and pans can result in chipping or damage. If this happens please get in touch with us as we may be able to repair the damage without affecting the visual appearance of your product.

Although our concrete surfaces are very robust and tough, if you wish to maintain a perfect finish, we recommend that you avoid cutting or chopping food directly onto the concrete surface. Instead, we strongly advise that any cutting, chopping or any other abrasive action should be done on a chopping board.

All of our concrete is sealed with 4 coats of high quality, food safe concrete worktops sealer from America. *
With normal use you won’t have any problems but nothing is indestructible. The sealer does need to be cared for though so no abrasive sponges or brillo pads, as these will wear away the sealer exposing the concrete.

To clean our concrete, all you need to use is just a clean cloth and warm soapy water or normal domestic household surface cleaner. We recommend that you use either a microfiber cloth (like the ones provided in our care package) or soft sponge. It is advised to avoid any strong solvents and harsh chemicals (e.g. bleach) and to not use any abrasive cloths or creams as this will damage the sealer.

In order to make sure that you maintain your concrete surfaces well, you will need to periodically polish the surfaces. Recently the industry has produced a wax to go over the top of the sealer, which acts as a sacrificial protective layer that can be reapplied quickly and easily by the home-owners. Regular polishing with a wax product, such as Cheng Concrete Countertop Wax provided in our care package ** , will keep your surface looking as new and will further prevent staining. We would be happy to return to re-polish your surfaces if required. Please get in touch if you wish to discuss this further.

Bespoke unique handmade pieces of furniture – all of our concrete is hand made to order and isn’t mass produced, making each custom piece unique and not like any other. Therefore, it is personalised to your space and needs. Each concrete piece will have its own character and therefore will form as a statement in the home and not just a work surface.

Dynamic style – concrete will go with most styles of décor and living space. It can also come in pretty much any colour, size, texture and patina that you wish. Hard wearing – due to the high grade sealer that we use, and through proper care and attention through our care package**, our concrete products are built to last and be hard wearing. With this in mind you should get many years out of your concrete worktops, and appreciate them more as the years go on.

Imperfections - At Kelham Island Concrete, we actually think the more imperfections there are, the better. Our concrete worktops will look even better with age and use; perfection is definitely found in imperfection with our concrete.

Dare to be different – all of our concrete products are different and like no other. As concrete has a range of ingredients and variation, each worktop and piece we create will be different. The sheer exquisiteness that concrete has is that it always has its own character and natural beauty. The texture and patina produced by concrete will provide an appearance like no other.

Lead time: as all of our products are made from scratch, we work towards a lead time of 3-4 weeks, from order to installation stage.

Scratches and marks: while the sealer is very durable it is possible to scratch it. A re-coating service is available, but some degree of maintenance is required to make sure that you look after your worktops. If you maintain the surface well with our care package, you can avoid marking the surface as much. It is important to note that the surfaces will get marked over time and if you don’t want this sort of character in your product, concrete may not be the material for you. Finally, if your worktops do get damaged we do offer a repair and reseal service. Please get in touch for details.

Concrete is not as heavy as some may think and will therefore fit on to most standard kitchen worktop units easily, without any reinforcements. We only reinforce in certain situations where we have extremely large pieces. We can also cleverly make a worktop look thicker, if that is the look you wish to go for, by allowing for a thick concrete strip around the side of any piece of concrete, to give the allusion that it is thicker than it is, without making it heavier. The beauty of concrete is that we can make it light or heavy depending on the requirements of the job, in the production stage.

At Kelham Island Concrete we offer a full one year guarantee of our concrete products for a period of 12 months, so long as they have been installed and treated, in line with our recommendations in our care package and our care and maintenance instructions. We do offer a polished concrete maintenance and repair service, should it be required on top of this. A degree of maintenance is required with concrete surfaces and one advantage that concrete has is that re-polishing and stain removal/reduction is a simple and effective process. If you require this service, please contact us to discuss this.

In order for us to quote you for your project, you will need to send the following to help us quote accurately for the job:

1) Your location – address for delivery and installation prices.

2) Any detailed plans, drawings, sketches or photos – with the dimensions of the pieces of concrete and clearly indicating where there are appliances or storage/cabinet units which are not part of the worktops.

3) Any cut outs - sinks, hobs, drain grooves.

4) Details of any upstands, splashbacks, waterfalls and their measurements.

5) Details of any sinks.

6) Installation date you are aiming for.

You can send over these details in a contact form on our website contact form on the website.

Quotes are often priced according to customer dimensions, your location and the complexity of the project. However, if the area has been miscalculated the price may change when the templating stage occurs.

Our normal lead time is between 3-4 weeks, from confirmation of the job via deposit to installation and delivery of our concrete products. We try to be as flexible as we can for all of our customers and will try our best to work within customer deadlines wherever possible.

Our payment terms are that we ask for a 50% deposit when we start work on your project. The final 50% balance is due after delivery and installation. We expect payment of both invoices, within 3 days of the invoice being sent.

We accept payment through debit, credit cards, BACS, bank transfer and PayPal. All forms of payment can be done through our business invoices. Our business bank account details can be found on all of our invoices.

We only get started on your project once the initial 50% deposit has been received, so cancellation up to this point would occur no charge. If cancellation occurs after the deposit has been taken and work has commenced on the project, we will try to return as much of the deposit as possible, depending on how much of the work has been carried out and to cover expenses and materials.

Delivery and installation ranges from £150 to £450, depending on distance and quantity. It may take up to a full day. We usually deliver ourselves, especially when there is an installation process involved. If there is no installation required, we may arrange for our concrete to be delivered through a delivery service. This charge will always be added on to the quote and invoice.

Our care package provides all our customers with the best way to maintain their worktops, keeping the natural and beautiful finish, whilst protecting it for life. After some research, we found that the best wax product available on the market to maintain concrete is Cheng Concrete Countertop Wax.

Our care package comes free with all of our kitchen worktops and is available for £50 if you buy our other concrete items. The package contains some Cheng wax, two special Kelham Island Concrete gifted microfiber cloths to apply the wax to your concrete surface, and finally a little gift from us!

One of the unique things about Kelham Island Concrete is the service we offer to all of our customers, and the fact that we challenge ourselves every single day and don’t limit our horizons in what we can achieve with our concrete products. We don’t just make concrete worktops, sinks or tables, but our ethos is to break the barriers faced surrounding concrete, be pioneers in developing almost any product from the material, and develop our customers' visions into a concrete reality.

Every project that we take on is different and special to us in every way. We therefore aim to make each piece of concrete bespoke and personal to the client’s needs and specifications. We take on pretty much any concrete challenge, whether it be different shapes, style, colour or patina. With so many pigments, textures and finishes now available to us, we can help you create stunning spaces that make a lasting statement. Our concrete offers a robust, durable solution for living and working spaces of all kinds. From our workshop in Sheffield’s oldest industrial district, we’ve built a portfolio of outstanding work. Whether in a private or commercial setting, Kelham Island Concrete will serve all of your concrete desires. If you are passionate about innovative design and have a love of concrete, then Kelham Island Concrete is the place for you!

* PDF sealer -

** care package - our care package costs £50 and is added automatically to your invoice – it contains a microfiber cloth, one pot of Cheng’s Concrete Countertop Wax, application instructions and a little gift!

PDF logo Click to download PDF version FAQ's