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Versatile Concrete accomplishes the pebbled finish on this concrete sink using a reclaimed local material called slag. 

Versatile Concrete accomplishes the pebbled finish on this concrete sink using a reclaimed local material called slag. 

It comes as no surprise that we take pride in our work here at Versatile Concrete: the custom designs, handcrafted concrete pieces and hardworking artisans. That also translates to our materials. “One of the materials we’re really proud of using here at Versatile Concrete is slag,” says Richard Dueck, owner of Versatile Concrete. 

What is slag?

Say what? You might be wondering, what is slag? We’ll get a little technical with you! Slag is a byproduct of metal refinement. It’s waste, in so many words. But waste not, want not, right? Slag is basically a material that’s left behind after a metal has been mined and refined. 

Waste Not, Want Not

The slag that we use at Versatile Concrete is sourced from Greenwood in the Grand Forks, B.C. region, just over 200 kilometres from home sweet home, Kelowna. It’s the by-product of copper mining in the region from over 100 years ago. 

The mines have long closed but the town’s mining history lives on. If you’ve ever been to Greenwood you may have seen the BC Copper Company Smokestack (it’s hard to miss, standing 36 metres tall). The landmark is a relic of the town’s copper mining legacy when the Boundary region of BC (east of the southern Okanagan and west of West Kootenay) was one of the biggest copper-producing regions in the world. 

All that copper meant that there was a lot of leftover slag. With no use for it at the time, much of it was stockpiled. And we’re so proud that some of that slag sees a second life through our custom concrete projects. 

“It truly is a recycled/reclaimed product in every sense,” says Richard. “Not only are we happy to be a part of it, but it is also an incredible product that looks great!” One man’s slag is another man’s gorgeous pebbled concrete finish, as they say. 

The pitch black pebbling effect on this custom concrete piece is achieved using a byproduct of copper mined in the Grand Forks, B.C. region.

How Versatile Concrete Uses Slag

The sand-like slag that Versatile Concrete uses is sold by OCL Industrial Materials LTD for many uses, including as an abrasive for sandblasting. At Versatile, we use the slag to create a “pebbled” concrete finish on a variety of custom concrete pieces. The unique finish has a pitch-black textured look that’s smooth to the touch and food-safe, making it a great choice for a concrete countertop. 

Water, Water Everywhere

At Versatile Concrete, we’re passionate about finding ways to make the most out of our materials and resources — like the slag! That’s why we also go to lengths to avoid water waste in our workshop. Our concrete mixer and tools are washed with water. Rather than tossing that wash water, we let it rest in settling tanks that allow the solids to condense. We then use the separated water for new uses, including fresh batches of concrete.  

Go for a custom concrete artisan who concretes outside the lines. Versatile Concrete has two decades of experience handcrafting precast concrete using out-of-the-box thinking. Contact us through our website or call 778-215-6440 to get started.

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