Finishing Well

In 2015, we cast this table for PWI Construction in Dripping Springs.

PWI is a nationwide builder of high-end hotels, restaurants, and retail stores - they know what they are doing when they specify something. We have installed 1000's of high-end decorative concrete projects, so us making a table for them seemed like a piece of cake in every way (metaphorically easy & delightful). Neither the builder nor us anticipated how much havoc the steel substrate would wreak on the casting in a controlled space.   

Within 8 months there were massive cracks in the table.

Cracks in concrete flooring are inherent. Cracks in a conference table like this were unacceptable to us (they were actually pretty cool about it). Re-casting was not an option (it is a  mess!). So, we cast a GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) cap at our shop to just go over it. It was our first casting using a mix that allowed us to go so thin/light (0.7” = 7.7lbs./sf), and my friend Troy Lemon from Cornerstone Decorative concrete in Michigan came down to help. It turned out great, and I was frankly surprised it did not break in the 50 mile drive from our shop to their office as the piece was only 4 days old. Just as we were walking through the door, though it broke apart in our hands. 

We tested the fit of the broken piece and found we needed another 1/2” in the part of the edge covering the existing top. So, we took the hit, went back to the shop, and made another - this time without Troy’s help but with better dimensions. We also had less confidence in 4-day old concrete and more patience.

The new piece turned out awesome, and years later, it still gets compliments every week for PWI. It embodies their ethos of getting hard things done through skilled partners that never just walk away. They are successful because they choose element7concrete, the team most known for finishing well.