powered by
Discussions
Photos
Products
Ideabooks
Discussions
Professionals
Users
fireplace
designideas4me
December 20, 2012 in Photo Questions
Is the fireplace concrete and if so how can that look be achieved in a more cost effective way?
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
VC Studio Inc.
The least expensive way to get a concrete fireplace surround will be to have concrete panels or tiles fabricated for you.

Panels can be fabricated at 8' x 4' and be only 3/4" thick. Of course, the larger the piece the greater the cost per piece. Smaller pieces are easier to move and process. Tiles can be as thin as 1/2" easily. Some are pushing the envelope at 1/4".

You will have seams, but this can be used as a design element and it will save you a lot of cost compared to a three dimensional cast concrete surround.

Feel free to contact me. We are based in the Seattle area, but I have contacts all over the country if you need a fabricator.

Regards,

Vincent Cathcart
VC Studio Inc.
vince@vcstudioinc.com
0 Likes   December 20, 2012 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
designideas4me
Ok I am between L.A. and San Diego please tell me where I can get this product and the price. The estimate for a true concrete fireplace surround was 3,800. What is your estimate using your product. Its a simple gas/wood fireplace. The ceiling is 9 feet tall. Please tel me know and maybe send a link to what the actual panels look like. Thank you
1 Like   December 20, 2012 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
VC Studio Inc.
Let me know what the dimensions are for your fireplace surround and what size you would want the tiles or panels. I can give you a more accurate estimate with more details.
I've attached a picture of some sample tiles. The little ones are only 4" square. Panels would simply be bigger, per your specification.
The second picture shows a wrap around mantle with a panel / tile below it. That tile directly above the fire box is approximately 36" x 12" x 1/2".

Vincent Cathcart
VC Studio Inc.
vince@vcstudioinc.com
0 Likes   December 20, 2012 at 11:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
designideas4me
Ok I really feel that I made a mistake. I just love concrete and cant see anything else in here unless you show me what else will work. I have 20k to spend for the floor and kitchen. most houses here are traditional or maybe modern but with wood or tile. There does seem to be a new emphasis on Green Building as I have seen from the new model homes. Since I have a solar heated pool why not keep with this theme? That is my thinking. I know I dont have too much money and I want a lot that is modern. I would love the simple vanity that just mounts on the wall. I wish you did work in my area but it also sounds like you charge more. The fireplace is 38 in. across by 33 in.height and 75 in. more height above the 33 in. up to the ceiling. And than on the sides of the 33inches I could go out another 18in. on either side. I mean its just all wall around the actual fireplace now since I took out the tile and took off the mantel. I included 2 pics. one is the den with fireplace and one is a concrete sample. Do you do anything that looks like this?
0 Likes   December 20, 2012 at 11:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects
Hi Vincent,

Thanks for your input on this.

This particular fireplace was cast in a concrete surround.
Your thoughts on how to do it more cost effectively are great.

Another posibilty is to frame the wall and trowel on a a product like Milestone that has a cementious finish.

The finished product will look like concrete but will not hve the solidity of real concrete.

Thanks again for your interest in this.
Dan
1 Like   December 21, 2012 at 9:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
VC Studio Inc.
Dan has a good point about using a coating.

( Dan, Beautiful work as always! Hopefully we'll work together sometime.)

Milestone has been around for a long time and works well. It does have a really high acrylic content so it gets a bit shiny. For a more natural look I would go with an Italian lime based plaster. The kind of sealer, and how many coats are applied has a lot to do with sheen.
Smaller areas do cost more if you are looking at a per sf cost. It takes just as long to set up and wait for product to dry for 50 sf as it does for 500 sf. Your fireplace surround with a coating like these would probably run around $1200.
You also have the option of using a micro topping which is a very thin and fine layer of concrete.
Both of these options mean you would need to frame out the wall, as Dan said, to achieve the desired shape. These coating are applied at only 1/16" to 1/8" thick. If you used the micro topping you should use a cement board base. You could screw hardi board directly to the wall for a minimal build (1/2" board). Any of these coating would work over it.
*Thought of one more. You could use one of the acrylic based plasters from Faux Effects. They can be tinted and troweled on. It could likely be installed in a day for about $900.
None of these options will look or feel just like cast concrete, but it can give you a similar look for less cost.

To have tiles cast to fit would be about half of the quote you received for the complete concrete surround. I attached a simple drawing based on your measurements to give you an idea of what you could do. A high quality construction adhesive would hold the tiles on well.
BTW - Their bid was very generous. A complete concrete surround of this size should have been at least $1000 more than you were quoted. Your region should be charging more than ours. I would be very cautious of anyone's costs that are too low. Quality takes time and experience, and therefore costs more.

The concrete sample picture looks a little blurry, but yes, we can do almost any kind of finish.

We can fabricate and ship, but you can likely find someone in your area to do a good job without the shipping cost. I do make it down there from time to time because we have several very close friends in the Laguna area.
We do have four concrete sinks at the shop's showroom that do not meet the specs for the redesigned product line. The size and drain assembly changed. We will be selling them off at wholesale. If you are interested please contact me directly.

Vincent Cathcart
VC Studio Inc.
vince@vcstudioinc.com
0 Likes   December 21, 2012 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
designideas4me
I wrote you an email and forgot to send it. what is your direct email contact. thanks Vince for all these great ideas.
1 Like   December 22, 2012 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects
You can get a hold of me best at info@designsnw.com
Thanks for checking in.
Dan
0 Likes   December 22, 2012 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Los Angeles Remodeling and Construction
Hello- My name is Joe Grimberg. I am the owner and field supervisor with State Wide Construction and Remodeling in Sherman Oaks. I offer complimentary in home consultations and estimates to residents of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura county. Feel free to email me for more info at info@swhomeremodeling.com
0 Likes   December 22, 2012 at 10:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
VC Studio Inc.
You're welcome. I hope the ideas and info help.
I wasn't clear if you were asking for Dan's email or mine. My direct email is in the signature of my posts.

Vincent Cathcart
VC Studio Inc.
vince@vcstudioinc.com
0 Likes   December 22, 2012 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
designideas4me
Joe, I am closer to Temecula. I would love to talk more with either of you. I was hoping to learn more about the faux finish and creative idea aspect. I once had a contractor tell me that I might enjoy this as an art or career to pursue since he saw that I like to create my own work. So to perhaps find out what and where to get the needed products or even take a class really interests me. I want to create a high end look but am willing to put in the time and effort to make what I can. Is it possible without purchasing expensive products and finishes to actually create some by hand and still have it look elegant and classy. If I were to try to make these panels for the fireplace and attach them would it look like a cheep imitation of would it look great. This is an area I may be able to save money if I knew how. I have a budget of only 20k to be honest( not a lot for all I want to do). I can send you some pictures or you are free to look at my prior postings and help with ideas. I am deciding between painting the cabinets and replacing them. I have seen ( even in pretty nice houses out here that are on the market) I see the cabinet transformation paint process used. I struggle with wanting all new cabinets and just settling for painted cabinets. How do you as a remodeling contractor help clients choose where to put the money to create a balanced look of improvement. How do you help them choose to put 4000 into a counter top and repaint builder grade cabinets? Or to put in 15k for cabinets and maybe 8k for laminate? How is that balance achieved so all the elements (fireplace and furniture and flooring and cabinets and architectural changes ) are all at the same level? For the many older homes you have in L.A. that you remodel, do you always do the entire house at once or do people just do one room at a time( which to me seems odd). Lastly do you know of any quality cabinets I can purchase through builders or other contacts you might have to keep my cost down? I met a man out here who said I could get all new cabinets for the house for only $4,500. I was ready to do that but he never came through. It was to be through his company that is putting in new homes out here. There must be a way to get a good deal through these builders if you have the contacts. can you suggest ideas? contacts? My only other option is to have them painted. I can live with it but again its not what I want. Same with the counter top.. I would choose quartz or concrete but any suggestions on modern ( non plastic) counter top ideas would be great.. I prefer anything creative and unique and a green product to anything fake or plastic.thank you in advance.

Vince ( I dont see the email.. Is it at gmail or yahoo). Must I frame the wall or can I maybe just put it directly on the wall as is to create a tiled look without losing space in the room by framing and adding more cost to the project? I am interested in the product you mentioned. Is that available at local home improvement stores or best to order online? You have me thinking about doing the hardi board with a microtopping (if only I knew what that was) . Perhaps its what they put my sample of concrete on that I like so much. Where do I get this? What does the microtopping achieve if on a board that is already flat? Is it needed to absorb the the product? Is faux effects a place that sells a venitian plaster? I obviously have a lot to research but I have used an acrylic gel medium on canvas board before to create thickness and texture and than paint over it. I am assuming its this type of technique your referring to. I am excited by the idea of making something and saving money. Do you have a picture of exactly the technique your referring to that is the least expensive and will give that wall a modern finished look. I was thinking of putting in a gas metal burner and the fireglass that glows. Is it necessary to even have a screen on the fireplace?


Dan thank you for your suggestions and if I could ask a favor. Its not often I get to talk to an architect so I was wondering if you could help me help my son. He is 15 and very smart. Very good at math and science and spacial thought. He can put together ikea products in a flash from the pictures. Anyway he is taking an architecture class in High school and wants to be an architect. What can I do as a parent to help him learn more besides what is offered in school, which Is very limited? Also is it necessary to go to college or through specific testing and licences that can only be prepared for in college? Please help me understand more about the process from your perspective and how I can help him.
0 Likes   December 22, 2012 at 10:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects
Hi designideas4me.,
It is great that your son is interested in architecture. It is a very rewarding profession.

However it does take a tremendous commitment to become an architect.

One must earn an architecture degree first and then work for an architect as an intern for two years before being able to a take the exams to become a registered architect.

It is useful that your son loves math and science, these areas contribute to a strong educational foundation.

I would really encourage your son to draw as much as possible to develop his visual eye.

I still carry sketch books with me when I travel. I draw and do watercolors of the places I visit. If you look at my Houzz site, I have posted sketches from a trip to Spain I took with my family several years ago.

I would also encourage your son to take History classes. Architecture is the reflection of the time and culture we live in. Having a sense of architectural history has bee a big help to me.

It would also be useful for your son to take public speaking. Many times it is necessary to describe our projects to groups of people and it is helpful to know how to give dynamic thoughtful presentations.

I hope this helps. If your son would like to e mail with more questions or thoughts about architecture please have him e mail me at Dan@designsnw,com

Take Care,
Dan
0 Likes   December 23, 2012 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
VC Studio Inc.
Hello again designideas4me,

You can apply directly to the wall with tiles, plasters, faux finishes, and some micro toppings. Most of these will need a primer first. Framing the area out was simply a suggestion to create the look of dimension and mass.

These are all specialty products. If a big box hardware store has a knock-off or similar product it will be very low quality. Often they are sold only to the trade. At the very least, many suppliers will require that a certification class be completed so that the installer is qualified (or at least has a basic understanding).

You could use Hardi panels to create your own tiles. Cut them to size. Clean up the edges. Coat with the finish of your choice.

I don't want to promote White Cap (high prices) but I know they are all over the country. They carry Ardex products and probably Mapei as well. They both make micro topping and resurfacing products that would work on your Hardi panels. These are products that should be available to the public through a supply house (there should be others in your area besides White Cap).

Other companies like Color Maker, Duraamen, Elite Crete, etc., will want you to take a class in order to purchase their products. Elite Crete is the least expensive at only $250 for a two day class. Color Maker and Duraamen have a wider variety of products, but their classes are more expensive($600+ or -) and get more technical.

Faux Effects is a national company based in Florida. They have distributors across the country that sell products and provide training. Their beginning class is around two thousand dollars. It provides a basic understanding, and hands on training with around twenty different finishes. You leave with sample boards for a portfolio. They have a huge line of products, including a Venetian plaster. Most require the class to purchase them. They do have a line of products that the public can buy. That may be sufficient for your project. I order from Faux Masters in Yorba Linda. Juan has processed orders there for years. He is very knowledgeable and may help you figure out what products you could use without a class. They have a showroom where you can look at finishes, but be careful! Once you see what can be done, you may want the class :-) *If you call them tell Juan (or Mike Hoppe)

For the fireplace, it will depend on the manufacturer's specifications. Some form of barrier is normal just for protection.

My direct email is vince@vcstudioinc.com. It should be showing up below my name in each post. There is also a link to my website on my profile page that will have links to my email. My Houzz default email is vcstudioinc@gmail.com.

Hope that helps,

Vincent Cathcart
VC Studio Inc.
vince@vcstudioinc.com
0 Likes   December 26, 2012 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
designideas4me
Thank you so much vincent for all theis graet info. I hope I can find classas close by to take or maybe enough info on line or utube so i dont need one. I just cant really travel too far for too long since I am needed at home. Stll not sure where to get the hardi panels but will research this. If you were to compare the overall cost for me to create this look with panals and plaster and paint compared to the product you well what would be the price difference . I am sure the products are not inexpensive. I dont want to end up with $500 worth of it I cant seem to apply property and get frustrated as is the case with all the metalic paint I have. Its amazing how I have not been able to find any prof. painters who can apply this product without streaks. Have you put this on walls and if so do you use a sprayer or a roller? any tricks you have to make it go on smooth? Also Is it possible for me to create a countertop that is less than granite which is made of these tiles and has a coating that can be heat and scratch resistant or should I just get a solid surface and if so what surface might you recomend that is somwhat cost effective and still modern? Lastly my floor,the bigest problem. Is it possible for me to cover the floor for less than 10,000 with a modern durable surface that I can( with a handi-man) apply and have a solid modern look. I am not crazy about the dust factor and having to move out for 5 days to get this job done. I still an very open to not doing wood although thats what some say would look best. I know the floor needs a micotopping since there is am area with leveling compound that is very large and I dont want to try to grind it down cuz it may be very deep. Also tack strips that I filled the holes with concrete mix. So a product that would adhere to the surface is needed and a microtopping is essential. How would an epoxy mix look for a residential interier and do I need to grind the floor first to allow adhesion. If this was done in a garage or exterior concrete would I need to grind it first? I applied muriatic acid around the pool to acid wash and clean but unforfunately( having used a product called green clean sold at hub)it became etched with lines made by a pressure washer that may have been held too close. I have had several concrete contractors look at it and I am amazed that everyone has a different suggestion and some just have no concrete( pun intended) idea of how to repair it back to its original new concrete look. I can post a few pics of the inside and outside for you to perhaps make suggestions. I am going to attatch a few pictures and hope to hear your ideas. I like them. thank you. Debbie I will email you the pictures.
0 Likes   December 26, 2012 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Koqinaj Astrit
Astrit
0 Likes   June 20, 2013 at 4:45AM
Sign Up to comment
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.