The enCOUNTER professional countertop system was developed out a need for a product, which would provide the same consistent results, each and every time. Doug Bannister a concrete contractor, began doing decorative concrete work in 1980, believed that concrete had a purpose and a place in home and commercial interior spaces--decorative concrete no longer relegated to the outside.
It was not until 1998 that Doug poured his first concrete countertop. At that time, Doug’s retail store, The Stamp Store was new, and he needed concrete countertops in order to serve his customers. He began blending and formulating a countertop mix for his own use. Customers soon began asking when there would be a bag mix available that could achieve the same results that Doug had accomplished with the countertops in his retail decorative store.
It was after Bannister left his contracting business and was solely focusing his retail business that he began working with a well-known tole blender. Their first mixes contained a high range of water reducers and fibers of various sorts, similar to those he had used with ready mixed concrete to control the water and cracking, but there were issues. Superplasticizers made the concrete surface difficult to finish, fibers stood up after acid staining, and caused problems when sealing. It was at that time Bannister determined that the aggregate gradation was more important to the “finishability” and the crack control, than the additives. With considerable work he was able to standardize his recipe for production in easy to handle 50 lb. bags. The results of the work, is a mix with minimal shrinkage, cracking, or curling, and easy to finish every time; enCOUNTER.
Over the next few years Bannister added enFORM (reusable edge forms), enCOLOR (easy use liquid color), enSPARTIC (polyaspartic coating), enMAGIC (micro topping) and enPOXY (stain proof 100% epoxy) to the enCOUNTER line. Countertops as long as 60’ have been completed with enCOUNTER Mix with no cracking or warping...and they are all stain proof. There is an unsupported clear span of over 18’ in one of the Oklahoma City showrooms, which was poured in 2007 and is affectionately known as “the bone”.
The development of the enCOUNTER line of products has continued with a unique technique to produce thin wall panels. The enCOUNTER Mix, along with enFLOW (superplasticizer) and enFORCE (structural fiber) allows the customer to produce large panels the size of 4’ by 8’ sheets with a thickness of less than 3/4”. These panels are being used for shower stalls, fireplace surrounds, backsplashes and baseboards.
The thin wall panel technique is also used for sinks both precast and cast in place to make perfect casting of vanity sinks, vessel sinks and the sleek flat sinks that are showing up in bath design magazines.
Further development of additional sealers has also allowed enCOUNTER Professional Countertop Mix to have several different looks other than the thick build enPOXY.
Now clients can get a thin gloss look or a matte finish with these additional sealers, while still maintaining a stain free countertop. All of these suggested sealers can be found here.
The enCOUNTER Professional Countertop System provides the components that give contractors the confidence and ability to produce the high quality pieces, which are demanded in today’s sophisticated market.