Once solely used for the development of buildings, nowadays, concrete is on the rise for modern urban design. No longer is this material unappealing and raw, it’s elegantly unique, and its many uses continue to evolve. Thanks to new casting techniques, the potential is vast for many different architectural needs. We catch up with Charlie from CubeX Industries, who specialise in Ultra-High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) – read on for ten ways to work this sustainable trend in your project.
1. Concrete wall cladding
An easy way to add dimension and irregular texture to walls, concrete cladding can create a sleek, minimal look. According to Charlie, this material also fits just as well in a residential setting as it does commercial, and will elevate any interior.
2. Facades, panels and screens
Perfect for in or outdoor use, concrete facades and panels can transform the look of a build. CubeX Industries work with Reckli, one of the leading manufacturers of rubber moulds to produce a range of panelling that also have a photocatalytic coating so that they are self-cleaning. Depending on the design and architectural requirements, Charlie is also more than happy to create bespoke pieces. Check out this impressive curved concrete panelling for the observation deck at At The Top, Burj Khalifa.
3. Insulated concrete panels
With a need for increased fire safety across all buildings, Charlie says, ‘’Our new composite insulated and fire-resistant concrete product uses our UHPC facades and panelling with a foam concrete backing. He adds, ‘’This is also attached to the underlying structure, so there’s no need for a separate insulating panel.’’
4. Concrete flooring and tiles
Concrete flooring is the ultimate choice for a contemporary new build, or it can add a modern twist to an existing home. A concrete floor can also be laid with underfloor heating and matching cladding for that seamless, wall-to-floor finish. Whether your clients prefer the poured flooring effect or a statement tile, both are sure to create an impact in any room. Concrete can also usually be laid on existing substrates, as long as it’s stable – keep reading to discover the best stain protector and concrete cleaner for these trending floors!
5. Concrete lighting and accessories
Recent shifts in the design community have led to a trend for concrete tables, seating, lamps and more. Although a simple concept, just a hint of concrete can result in an understated, stylish space.
6. Kitchen countertops
The kitchen is the hub of the home, and with today’s open-plan living, concrete worktops are favoured for their uncomplicated, high-end look. They’re also as solid as granite or slate, exude a very modern aesthetic and can even increase property value. According to Charlie, while concrete is not scratch-proof, it resists scratches remarkably well and has the ability to be shaped to match a clients kitchen to their exact liking. Annual sealing will also ensure the surface is protected long-term and resists dirty marks – we’ll cover the best stain protector and concrete cleaner further down!
7. Artistic installations
When used for decorative pieces like modern fireplaces, concrete brings calm, wholesomeness to a space. It’s also ideal for creating art installations thanks to its rugged texture – what unique murals will you create?
8. Concrete living walls
A concept that seeks to connect us with nature, Biophilic Design has many ecological and social benefits. Living walls are a great example of this, and they make a breathtaking statement and improve the overall atmosphere of a space. In fact, these leafy displays are said to absorb 41% more sound than a traditional facade. Charlie says, ‘’Our living walls have been designed so that the beauty of the concrete is still visible, and also allows for the lighting and watering system.’’
9. Modular street furniture
Public spaces like parks play an important role when it comes to bringing people together. CubeX has developed a range of concrete street furniture including planters and benches – perfect for having a sit and taking in the sights.
10. Beautifully, modern beehives
Beekeeping is a truly rewarding pastime, not just for the honey – we all have a responsibility for the welfare of bees. An essential part of our planet, without them crops die and it’s likely our species wouldn’t last long either. CubeX has redefined the classic beehive in beautifully modern concrete to give the bee population a fighting chance. Charlie says, ‘’They are ideal for the UK climate as the traditional wooden frames are protected from the elements and the concrete structure is fully insulated.’’ We think every new build home should include a CubeX beehive!
What is the best stain protector to use with a concrete cleaner?
Concrete is very straightforward to clean: although the right products will help with the maintenance and care. Check out our pick of the FILA products to use, including the best stain protector and concrete cleaner for walls and floors:
- CLEANER PRO – a pH-neutral cleaner for the day to day cleaning of any surface
- SATIN and MATT – satin and natural-effect protective waxes
- PS87 PRO – FILA’s highly acclaimed concrete cleaner
- CONCRETE SHIELD – the best stain protector for concrete floors
- MP90 ECO XTREME – the best stain protector for concrete tops
Contact FILA and CubeX Industries
Thank you for reading, and also thank you to Charlie for his collaboration on this blog post. If you’re looking for well-protected fine concrete made in Britain – look no further than CubeX Industries and FILA surface care solutions! Thanks again.