NEST: Reimagining Form and Function with Polished Concrete

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The concrete counter at Krankies traces its origins to the Roman Empire.
The concrete counter at Krankies traces its origins to the Roman Empire.

When Krankies partners Mitchell Britt and John Bryan approached Tyler and Travis Reeder, of Perfection Plus, they had a big ask in mind: They wanted custom-blended concrete countertops for their new bar area and they needed them to be installed and cured in time for the new restaurant opening. The Reeders accepted the challenge, even though they had never poured that large an amount of concrete at one time and couldn’t be certain how it would perform. Four-thousand pounds of rapid set concrete gets extremely hot while curing, and there is a risk of shrinkage and cracks as water evaporates. In order to make it work, the Reeders used a wet curing tactic: basically using water-soaked blankets and plastic over the counter as it cured to lock in moisture.

Roman throwback

Concrete use dates back to the Romans, with notable examples being the Roman Pantheon and the Colosseum. Other famous historical structures include the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam. Though in more recent history, concrete has not often been correlated with beauty, it has made many advances over the years and is at the forefront of the eco-friendly building trend not only for its durability, but for its transformative abilities.

To make the countertops at Krankies look just the way Mitchell and John Bryan envisioned (Mitchell had even taken Travis Reeder to a spot up the road from Krankies to show him the exact color and aggregate exposure he wanted), the Reeders had to mix several samples, adding different ratios of aggregate to get the exact look that Krankies was after. Aggregate is the rock that goes into concrete that is usually not visible, but with the grinding and polishing process Perfection Plus uses in its custom concrete blends, those rocks get exposed and their color variations make for a beautiful abstract piece of art.~1446171155~DSC_1106

“It’s just math,” said Tyler, about the difficulty of reproducing their sample on a larger scale. But they got it just right.

Humble beginnings

Perfection Plus was started back in 1985 by Tyler and Travis’s father, Eric Reeder. In the beginning, Eric buffed and scrubbed Eckerd Drug stores, and was the first to use propane-powered floor buffers, basically cutting his work time in half. Due to this new technology, the business grew rapidly, eventually containing a full-service repair center for all major small engine brands, facilities-maintenance equipment rental, a sales and repair shop as well as a wholesale supply house. In the ’90s, the industry shifted away from vinyl flooring to more sustainable processes that required fewer raw materials, and less maintenance. Polished concrete quickly become Perfection Plus’s new path, and they have been following it to greener pastures ever since. Tyler and Travis are now at the helm of the business, and they plan on making advances towards the eco-inspired industry, adding solar-panel installation as well as other environmentally friendly materials to their arsenal of goods and services.

Diamonds on the soles of their tools

The beauty and durability of a concrete counter comes from the polishing process. Tyler explained that polishing concrete is similar to polishing wood, except that instead of using sandpaper, they use metal and resin bits impregnated with tiny pieces of diamonds. They start with a low grit, which is more aggressive, and gradually work up to a fine grit that polishes the surface to a glossy, mirror-like finish. Polishing seals the surface so that it is no longer porous. Dirt, stains and spills are no match for this countertop, and it’s a good thing considering the action it will get at Krankies new kitchen and bar.

The new bar top at Krankies is its crowning glory, and it’s built to last. “This monster isn’t going anywhere,” says Tyler.

Perfection Plus does both commercial and residential custom countertops and flooring in the greater Triad and surrounding areas. For more information, visit PerfectPlus.com.

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Perfection Plus

800.849.PLUS

PerfectPlus.com

1208 East Mountain St., Suite F

Kernersville