Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design Feature

A customized backsplash protects your walls while adding a style statement to your home.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhat is a Backsplash?

A backsplash is a washable material extending behind and above a sink, stove or countertop, which protects the wall from damage.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhat is the Purpose of a Backsplash?

The function of a backsplash is twofold: practical and decorative.

Foremost, a backsplash prevents damage to the wall from water, grease and heat. It also makes the surface easier to clean.

Second, it enhances the decor. A custom designed back splash adds personality and visual interest to your home.

What is the Appropriate Backsplash Size?

Backsplash size depends on the dimensions of the wall, location, and the homeowner’s preference and budget.

Backsplashes are often a continuation of the countertop;either an integral vertical extension up the wall or an additional piece separately adhered.

The standard height of a typical backsplash is four inches; however, custom-designed pieces, such as those from our studio, can be made to suit your particular needs and desires.

Larger backsplashes, such as those behind a cook top, ensure maximum wall protection from grease splatters and heat. Ample space also provides an opportunity for a dramatic decor focal point.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhy is Concrete the Perfect Backsplash Material?

Backsplashes can be constructed from a wide variety of materials.

Concrete is heat resistant and waterproof and can easily be cleaned with soap and water.

Concrete is a versatile building material that can be customized to reflect your interests or design style of your home.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhy Should You Install a Backsplash?

A backsplash is beneficial for two reasons:

(1) sensible for wall preservation and efficient cleanup

(2) adds an important visual statement to a home

We look forward to discussing your home improvement project!

About Us

SunWorks, etc. is a small local business. We produce authentically custom, handcrafted, unique designs. At the heart of it all, customer satisfaction remains primary and we strive to make each end customer happy. Made in the U.S.A. proud.

We encourage you to contact us for an appointment to visit our studio located in Annville, Pennsylvania.

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Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

Reasons to Support Small Business and Shop Local

Why Shop Small? 5 Great Reasons to Support Small Business and Shop Local

Are you busy making Black Friday plans? The holiday shopping season is just getting started. Good news: Small Business Saturday is November 29!

In 2010 American Express launched Small Business Saturday too help businesses with their most pressing need — attracting more customers. The day encourages people across the country to shop at small, local businesses, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

When you shop local, it can lead to big things in your community!

5 Reasons to Support Small Business and Shop Local

1. Boosts the Local Economy

Each dollar spent at locally owned businesses returns an average of three times more money to your community than spending at national chains.

2. Customer Service is Better

Local business owners have specific product expertise. They often make their cell phone numbers available. Now that is personal customer service!

3. Maintains Local Character and Prosperity

Small businesses add unique character to a community. Distinctive regional features attract outside investors, enhance your personal satisfaction, and increase property values.

4. Greater Support for Non-Profits

Small local businesses donate more resources to local charities and teams compared to big business. Additionally, large firms contribute primarily to the areas where the corporation is headquartered, not necessarily where they do business.

5. Offer Unique, Personalized Products

Small shops often sell locally made, unique items that are not available at major chains.

About Us
SunWorks, etc. is a small local business. We produce authentically custom, handcrafted, unique designs. At the heart of it all, customer satisfaction remains primary and we strive to make each end customer happy. Made in the U.S.A. proud.

We encourage you to contact us for an appointment to visit our studio located in Annville, Pennsylvania.

Please remember our local neighborhood on Small Business Saturday. Shop your local stores and help support your community!

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Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

draingroovesAn overview of what integral sinks are, and why a decorative concrete sink and countertop might be right for you.

What are integral sinks?

INTEGRAL SINKS are made from the same material as the countertop they are set into. The effect is a smooth transition from sink to counter surface.

What are the advantages of integral sinks?

Integral Sinks: Elegant & Practical Design FeatureEASY CLEANUP Integral sinks lack a seam between the sink and countertop. Thus, there are no places for food particles to collect in.

MODERN DESIGN Integral sinks have a simplistic design allowing the focus to stay on features such as an elegant faucet or artistic backsplash.

Why is concrete the ideal material for integral sinks?

Concrete is an extremely versatile building material that can easily handle both the water resistant sink and functional countertop. Concrete also offers unique style and color options not possible with other materials.

Something for you to consider —

10404109_869834426364317_8112654237905781670_nIntegral sinks and countertop combinations are considered to be one piece. Therefore, if you have to replace one, the other piece must also be replaced.

Concrete sinks and countertops for kitchens and baths are the most unique, personal design options because they are handcrafted for each client and can be made in almost any color, shape or texture. The design options are endless!

An integral sink might be perfect for you! Take the hassle out of cleaning your kitchen and bathroom; and, have a uniquely crafted product at your home or business.

Please contact us for an appointment to visit our studio.

Remember… Decorative concrete is handcrafted, durable and unique. We create distinctive decorative concrete; and, we strive to make each customer happy.

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Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

Decorating Trend (1)A concrete fireplace can dramatically enhance any space.

As outdoor temperatures drop, the warmth and glow of flickering flames provides a welcoming gathering place. Even when not in use, a fireplace is a room’s focal point.

Concrete’s natural properties make it an ideal material for fireplace surrounds, hearths, and mantels.

surround – an architectural element that surrounds a fireplace, providing aesthetic and safety benefits

hearth – the floor of a fireplace, often extending outwards into the room

mantel – the protruding shelf over a fireplace

The concrete fireplace is growing in popularity due to concrete’s endless design possibilities. Concrete offers unique style and color options not possible with other materials.

Ideal Material. Concrete’s properties make it ideally suited for fireplace surrounds, hearths, and mantels; it is strong, vermin proof, fire resistant, and retains heat.

Customized To Any Style. A concrete fireplace is a natural fit in any decor style. Concrete can be customized to fit all personalities and surroundings.

Popular looks in the concrete fireplace trend go from modern, with clean lines and natural finishes, to rustic and aged, incorporating other materials as only concrete can.

13797_1348879328_209_13797We had the opportunity to work with an artistic couple to create a one-of-a-kind concrete fireplace surround, hearth, and mantle. For greater dramatic effect, the homeowners asked for a raised hearth that seems to float above the floor, and for the fireplace surround to extend from floor to ceiling with built-in display shelves.

About Us. We have passion for decorative concrete. Each of our creations is unique to our client’s personality, vision, and needs. A concrete fireplace is just one example of how concrete can add beauty and warmth to any setting.

We are excited to work with you in bringing your design ideas to reality. We offer one-on-one services to ensure that every project is a personalized piece of art.

Contact us to start collaborating!

Additional Information:

Photo Gallery Concrete Fireplace Surrounds





Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

Concrete Network: Features SunWorks, etc.'s CountertopsSunWorks, etc.’s artistic countertop project recently featured on The Concrete Network

SunWorks, etc. LLC is getting some national recognition thanks to an article on The Concrete Network.

SunWorks, etc. is honored to be featured on the online resource and directory for the decorative concrete industry. educates homeowners, contractors, builders, and designers on popular concrete techniques and applications.

Concrete Network is visually appealing, easy to navigate and informative for its visitors.

The site has put a lot of work into making it a great resource for both the business owner and consumers looking to purchase concrete products and services.

To view the full article and more of SunWorks etc.’s projects, visit: Concrete Countertops Become An Artist’s Canvas

Read about another SunWorks, etc. project featured on Concrete Network: Floating Concrete Hearth and Mantle Become Works of Artist

A special thank you goes out to Concrete Network for our business feature article. We appreciate the opportunity to introduce SunWorks, etc. and what we can offer to The Concrete Networks’ readers.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts once you have checked out the Concrete Network website!

About SunWorks, etc. — Barbara Sunderlin and David Leas, partners

2612 Brandt Road
Annville, PA 17003

Phone: (717) 473-3743





Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

Summer is right around the corner. Are you ready? SunWorks, etc. can help!

Here are five ways to make your backyard the number one summer hangout.

1. Time to get fired up.


  • Outdoor kitchens are the hottest trend in backyard entertaining. From a simple grill surround, to an elaborate, fully equipped kitchen, outdoor kitchens make hosting fun.


  • Fire pits are hot commodities. A cozy concrete fire pit creates ambiance and entices your guests to sit back and relax.

2. Time to set up an outdoor bar.


  • Beverage servers ensure that your favorite summer drinks are always close at hand. Not your usual boring ice bucket, our concrete trough offers a place for beverages to chill.


  • Side tables add organization to busy family spaces. A pretty tray with a few glasses is all you need to be ready for summer entertaining.


  • In-pool tables are the ultimate in luxury. Enjoy a cold beverage while relaxing in the pool.

3. Time to fill your planters.


  • Planters add a pop of color to your deck or patio. Our decorative concrete planters are customizable and crafted to stand up to the elements beautifully.

4. Time to set out your patio furniture.


  • Outdoor furniture that is made of concrete has exceptional strength and durability. Our decorative concrete furniture is expertly crafted for years of dependable outdoor use.
  • Have a base that needs a top? We can custom build a new top for you.

5. Time to have dinner alfresco.


  • Eat in the open air. The summer months are perfect for eating outdoors. Our decorative concrete furniture is crafted to stand up to years of outdoor entertaining.

For more decorative concrete inspiration visit our online gallery.

Tell us: How are you getting ready for summer?



Categories: Blog, Summer 101

outdoor kitchenWhat makes summer special? For many, the answer is cookouts with family and friends. Food brings people together. The kitchen is often a home’s central gathering area. Warmer weather draws people to outside activities. Many homeowners are extending their living area and entertaining possibilities with an outdoor kitchen and bar.

Staycation is now a popular term. For stay-at-home vacations, leisure activities are pursued without traveling anywhere. A family spends quality time together in the comfort of their own home. The backyard is a blank canvas where the outdoor paradise of your dreams can be created. The beauty and convenience of a full outdoor kitchen and bar creates that home resort atmosphere.

An outdoor kitchen is an investment that adds value to both your lifestyle and home. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the addition of an outdoor kitchen can increase the value of any home; and, depending on how much of an investment is made, can bring a return of up to 130 percent of the cost of the kitchen.*

Concrete is the number one material for taking cooking and entertaining outdoors. Foremost, decorative concrete countertops are highly functional and versatile.  No other medium competes with the nearly limitless design options that concrete affords.

  • all-weather building medium
  • alter and customize shape, color and pattern to compliment any décor
  • naturally heat resistant
  • easy to maintain and clean – simply spray off with hose when needed

Do you want everything in your outdoor kitchen including the kitchen sink? Outdoor kitchens are going far beyond the lonely barbeque grill on the back patio. Backyard kitchens can incorporate all of the appliances and conveniences that you would find in the indoor kitchen. A design professional can recommend the appliances and features that will best suit your entertaining wants and needs.

An outdoor kitchen is an investment.  Proper planning will ensure that it is both functional and comfortable. The outdoor kitchen should work well with the rest of your landscape. Things to consider when designing an outdoor kitchen:

  • size of the group entertaining
  • appliance and feature wish list
  • proximity to the house and utilities
  • dimensions of yard, deck or patio
  • prevailing wind
  • sun and shade
  • views

An outdoor kitchen and bar serves double duty. It is an ideal space for cooking and entertaining in a relaxing environment. A beautiful outdoor entertainment area that you can enjoy with family and friends is a wise investment for your home. Proper planning will ensure that you to get the most from your investment.

SunWorks, etc. is a decorative concrete fabricator and installer. Let SunWorks, etc. beautify your existing concrete floor or patio with stain treatments. Consider an outdoor bar, grilling station or kitchen. Coordinate a concrete patio table tailored to suit your deck or patio needs. Create your own unique bench. A SunWorks, etc. beverage server and planters complete the décor.

Envision the outdoor kitchen of your dreams, and SunWorks, etc. can build it. Contact us today and you will be able to host the Fourth of July party of the summer.

* Read more: Outdoor kitchens grow in popularity – Top Stories
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution



Categories: Blog, Summer 101

Concrete Decor: The Joy of Creating

25599_1387370446_80_25599Written by: John Strieder

Pennsylvania artist Robert Stadnycki has excelled in a number of media: textiles, painting, furniture. Last year, he tried decorative concrete for the first time, collaborating with SunWorks, etc. LLC to craft three countertops in his distinctive style for a kitchen in Ellicott City, Md.

SunWorks, a decorative concrete company based in Annville, Pa., had been asked to remodel the kitchen by Ellicott City architect Craig Stewart. The architect sent SunWorks a conceptual drawing inspired by Stadnycki’s work. “As it turned out, we knew Robert,” says Barbie Sunderlin, a partner in SunWorks with David Leas. “He lived in a nearby town. I asked if the clients would like us to have Robert collaborate on the project. They were thrilled.

“We arranged a meeting with the architect, clients and artist to make sure we were on the same page. The architect had even brought along a piece of Robert’s artwork that he had purchased years before, which was great because the homeowners, Craig and Robert were able to discuss various elements of the piece that they especially liked.”

SunWorks used GFRC and large casting tables to cast the pieces without seams, foregrounding the design elements. “Craig and the homeowners were excited to have glass beads, metal shavings and geometric shapes included,” Sunderlin says. buying a domain . ”With Robert’s collaboration, we made round concrete discs in various colors that contained either glass beads, copper, steel or combinations thereof. We then cast the discs into the countertops, along with drain grooves and an inset for a cutting board flanking the sink.”

Stadnycki did the staining himself, with technical consulting from SunWorks. “Having never stained concrete countertops, Robert was thrilled to develop new techniques,” Sunderlin says. “For instance, he used acetone-based stain and water-based stain, sometimes building layers and sometimes placing stain, then all but removing it. Once he familiarized himself with the parameters of staining concrete, he really flourished.”

Mastering the art of staining required new approaches, Stadnycki says. “When I paint a floor canvas, I start with light colors and go to dark. With concrete stain, I realized I had to do it in reverse.” He would put down a darker color, then use acetone to wipe away space for lighter colors.

It was worth it — in fact, Stadnycki says the project even helped him beat cancer. “It gave me a lot of motivation to get well,” he says. “It was one of the most joyous projects I’ve ever worked on.”



Categories: Blog

Cement vs Concrete: The hard facts

They’re two similar words describing wet stuff that’s mixed up, poured out and allowed to harden into durable shapes and forms. We’ve heard them used interchangeably. But are they? Is there a difference between cement and concrete? You bet there is!

Cement is a binding agent made of finely powdered limestone and other ingredients which, when mixed with water, forms a powerful binding agent that hardens to near rock-like consistency. It was discovered by Englishman Joseph Aspdin three centuries ago. Aspdin found that mixing these ingredients and heating them to approximately 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit created a product which, when mixed with gypsum and ground into a powder, would harden when mixed with water.

Concrete is merely a mixture of Aspdin’s product – cement – with aggregated stone, sand and other materials that allow it to be used in masonry, flooring, countertops and other useful materials. So while you can have cement without concrete, you can’t have concrete without cement. Make sense?

Typically, concrete contains about 10 to 15 percent cement. The amount of gypsum in the cement mixture affects the setting time of the concrete (the amount of time it takes the concrete to harden), and additional products can be added to the mixture to control cracking and chipping. Also, the amount of aggregate has an effect – the more stone and other materials used results in stronger concrete.

Here are two more interesting facts: The amount of water needed to set cement is not set in stone, so cement can actually be poured, and will harden, underwater. Also, since cement and concrete utilize raw materials that are abundant worldwide, they do not use up our precious resources – and the more that’s produced, the less raw resources need to be used in the future, since both products are easily recycled.

At Sunworks Etc., we utilize a technique called Glass Fiber Reinforcement Concrete (GFRC). What’s great about this is we can cast larger pieces with less weight. It also makes curves far are more achievable – and even large floor-to-ceiling pieces can be realized.



Categories: Blog

Central PA Garden Expo: Mission Accomplished

This year’s Pennsylvania Garden Expo was an amazing experience for us. I wish we could thank each and every one of you in person for coming out and supporting SunWorks Etc.!

This year’s Expo featured more than 200 vendors, outdoor living displays, classes and workshops. I know this isn’t actually true, but it seemed like everyone was coming to see us! There weren’t five consecutive minutes of downtime for us during the entire three-day Expo!

Decorative concrete is becoming more widely used in flooring, countertops and other parts of the home, and Expo visitors certainly were interested in learning more about its durability, good looks and nearly limitless design options. (At one point, our small planters were so popular, we had to go back into production to make more!)

Of course, we were very excited to see our beautiful pieces of art. But honestly, the opportunity to educate people about the beauty, simplicity and versatility of decorative concrete – that was why we attended the Expo. That was the real mission we assigned ourselves.

Based on your overwhelming response, I can only say this.

Mission accomplished.



Categories: Blog