Terminology & conditions
Concrete: Cement concrete is one of the most used construction materials in the world. It is principally composed of four materials: water, cement, sand and aggregate. It may be reinforced, fibre-reinforced, self-levelling or self-consolidating, formed, trowelled, polished. Each recipe, or composition, has its own advantages and disadvantages, and must be deployed appropriately, depending on its use.
For example, high-performance self-levelling concretes are elegant, once polished. They can be applied in thin layers (+/- 1/2 inch thick), but require a great deal of preparation. Costs are higher than for traditional concrete. The material changes over time, can become stained (like any natural stone), and is sensitive to acids and greases. Because it is a natural material, like wood, it can sometimes prove to be unpredictable. That is why it is important to accept it for its features, and appreciate its qualities that some might see, unfairly, as imperfections.
UHPC/UHPFRC Ultra-High Performance Fibre-Reinforced Concrete: These concretes are resistant to compression, with force and flexion 5 to 10 times greater than conventional concretes. They often contain fibres, not reinforcement. This construction material of the future is durable, has low porosity and allows for compositions, infrastructure, furniture and panels that can meet many usage constraints, in particular in cities and outdoors. AtelierB works with UHPC manufactured in Canada, by a company based in Quebec, which works around the world.
Additives: Chemicals included during concrete mixing to improve its characteristics. Our knowledge of concrete and our partnerships with chemical additive companies allow us to master all chemical elements that can improve and optimize the characteristics of concrete used in our projects. For example, the inclusion of certain additives to our concrete floors creates a high-density and very good quality “cream” when we polish the slab. Other additives are used to allow concrete to form complex geometric shapes.
Polished concrete flooring: concrete slabs, often between 2 in. and 4 in. Several finishes and sealants possible with polishing. AtelierB has specifically developed tools and techniques for its polished floors. Our processes, recipes and materials are workshop-tested. They are constantly evolving and we have been delivering optimal quality projects for 15 years. See also CONTRACT.*
AtelierB turnkey: Our team provides all preparation instructions for pouring floors, from finishing to sealing, all prior to your development project.
Counter: A monolithic piece of concrete, associated with other materials, such as metal, wood or glass. Durable and resistant. Poured in place or in the workshop, our concrete counters are very high quality, trowelled according to our method, with concretes made from our own recipes.
Furniture: Our expertise and the quality of our know-how allow us to complete any concrete furniture project, from unique items to large-scale production, based on our product line or your design.
Concrete panels: Thin pieces that provide the appearance of formed concrete on an interior or exterior wall. The AtelierB panel product line is easy to transport and handle. Panels vary in appearance, depending on the concrete selected. Construction glue bonding is the best option. The material can also be easily pierced for mechanical attachment.
Polishing: Mechanical process that provides concrete with a glossy or matte appearance, which is non-abrasive and pleasant to touch. For the last several years a specific diamond-cut material has been refined; it embellishes and hardens concrete panels without the use of chemicals.
Sealant: Protects floors from stains caused by normal life, prevents porosity and dust production. The sealants we use for our floors and other products are penetrating or wax sealants (LEED); they ensure protection lasts for several years, without significantly altering the material. It is AtelierB policy to never use topically applied sealants like epoxy and polyurethane, since not only do they negatively alter the material, they are dangerous in residential use since they release chemical fumes, especially in the presence of heated floors.
Curing: Procedure to maintain the humidity level of concrete, to ensure it sets properly. AtelierB is a master of curing processes for each of its products, for optimal results, avoiding fissures and discolouring. We never use chemical curing processes.
Fissures: Can be structural or due to shrinkage. Structural fissures are caused by movement of the ground or the house structure. Shrinkage fissures occur within 90 days of pouring. They do not alter slab solidity in any way. We control fissure rates with high-quality floor preparation, an optimized concrete recipe, very high-quality curing and saw-cutting, in order to avoid fissures as much as possible. If a fissure occurs, we have all the products and techniques needed for optimal masking.
Control joints: An intentional concrete fissuring process to prevent undesirable fissuring. AtelierB has the appropriate tools, meticulousness and saw-cutting skills to carry out the process as needed to produce attractive and uniform flooring.
Forming and moulding: Used to produce a specific shape in concrete; can also give it a particular texture. The AtelierB team designs all moulds and forms for its projects in its wood shop by moulder-artisans.
Contract: Required to start a custom concrete project: floor, counter and large order
Ordering and purchasing procedure:
– For all projects above $1000, a workshop visit is required to view and understand the material and our procedures. Approval of samples may be requested.
– Each order will be effective following payment of an advance, a reservation cheque, or an order contract.
– A signed contract and an advance are required before the start of any project. As a participant in the creation of a construction project, AtelierB reserves the right to request a monetary guarantee and to withdraw from any contract in the case of a project with third parties.
– Delivery timelines: Curing and polishing procedures demand a minimum three-week timeframe for custom projects. Clients are to be informed of the status and progress of each stage of a project.
Warranties, damage and deterioration
Objects will differ slightly in terms of colour, texture and porosity. Over time, products undergo slight change. They tend to become darker on contact with humidity and air. The products we deliver are the result of artisanal production. As concrete is a unique material, every client must have realistic expectations, corresponding to the concrete product. Each product is unique and has its specific characteristics, qualities and imperfections. AtelierB insures against any defect in manufacture and error in product recipe and measurement, for one year following final delivery of the product.
This warranty covers any damage incurred with normal use and excludes damage resulting from accident, inappropriate use or negligence.