The plain square ceramic wall tiles on sections of the kitchen wall looked decidedly old-fashioned, and some of them had either become unstuck from the wall or they had pieces broken.
The pieces of the broken tiles were cast into Deconcrete slabs to give the kitchen an artsy, modern makeover, providing a beautiful example of recycling.
(A) Installing a precast Deconcrete countertop.
Formica-covered chipboard countertop waits its turn to be retired as old termite-infested cupboards below it are ripped out.
Its cupboard underpinnings now mostly removed, the now un-supported old countertop hangs down at an awkward angle, as if in surrender to its impending fate.
After many years of faithful service, and many hours of dismantling the ancient but very well-built cupboards under it, the battered old countertop is finally off, headed for a well-earned and well-deserved rest at the scrap heap.
The skeleton of the cupboard, on top of which the retired countertop sat for not just years but decades!
Trial fitting of the new precast Deconcrete replacement countertop. It has been cast with pieces of plain old white ceramic tile like that still hanging on the wall in this picture. Pieces of tiles that had become unstuck from the wall or had broken were recycled into this new concrete countertop.
A wide range of decorative materials (or none) can be used; the concrete can be cast in almost any colour (here with dark grey dye in the wet concrete mix); it can be polished smooth or left rough-an infinite number of custom designs are possible!
The new countertop cleaned up.
Varnish and sealer have now been applied to the new countertop to protect the exposed concrete. They give the colour of the concrete a deeper, richer hue as well as a shiny gloss.
Dark edges of the embedded tile pieces are from the applied oily sealer-varnish. When the sealer has dried the residue on the tiles will be wiped off with solvent.
(B) Installing precast Deconcrete wall cladding.
Plain white square ceramic tiles on the wall above this kitchen sink had seen better days, helping make the kitchen look and feel as old as the tiles.
Here all the tiles, complete or broken, are being removed, to be replaced with a freshened wall decor.
Old tile all removed on this section of wall, photos 2 and 3.
A sample of the custom-made, precisely measured precast Deconcrete wall slabs that will be installed on the section of wall above the kitchen sink. Some pieces of the old broken tiles have been cast into these new concrete wall-cladding slabs.
Deconcrete wall slabs being put in place.
Lightly coloured protective coating applied to the exposed parts of the concrete. When polished, the shine of the embedded ceramic tile pieces will be restored while leaving a more muted, subtle contrast between them and the exposed concrete.
Most of the wall tiles in this corner are still intact despite their age, but some will be removed to carry the new decor into this space. This will create an aura of 'newness' as this corner of the kitchen is radically re-organised to create more working and storage space, as well more space for additional appliances.