So what exactly is concrete?
Concrete and cement are often confused. Concrete is made up of mainly sand, cement, and aggregate (various loose particulate materials, such as crushed stone, slag, gravel, pebbles, etc). Since sand and aggregate do not bond to each other cement is added as a binding agent, you can think of it as the glue. Concrete draws upon some of the earth’s most common and plentiful minerals for its raw materials. For example, the predominant raw material in cement is limestone, the most abundant mineral on earth which is readily available right here in North America.
Taking the Cradle-to-Grave Perspective
Concrete is an extremely durable material, if properly cared for a concrete piece can outlive its owner. Virtually unaffected by heat and cold, UV rays and moisture, concrete’s durability goes a long way towards waste reduction. The longevity of concrete means less maintenance and replacement when compared to other building materials.
Concrete can also be easily cleaned with organic, non-toxic substances. The best products to maintain concrete are a mild dish soap, warm water, and beeswax. Harsh cleaning chemicals are unnecessary in the maintenance of concrete, and could actually compromise the piece’s sealer. For more information on maintenance please refer to our Maintenance page
From conception to installation, 2Stone seeks to reduce waste and capitalize on concrete’s inherent longevity. We mix our concrete individually for each project resulting in little to no wasted material. Concrete also has the unique ability to be refinished. Scratches and chips from normal wear and tear can be sanded and patched; some people opt to have their piece refinished after years of use to return it to its original lustre.
Using recycled materials within concrete
Sources of aggregates are diverse and plentiful. These include sand, gravel, crushed stone, and an ever-increasing array of consumer and industrial waste products including fly ash from coal burning electric power plants, and blast furnace slag from steel mills. Crushed concrete from demolition sites is often used as aggregate for concrete. Concrete’s nearly inert matrix of materials makes it an ideal medium for recycling materials while having no effect on the piece’s strength or performance.