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Countertops vs. Global Surface Solutions Countertops

There’s a vast world of options out there when it comes to choosing a countertop for your home or business: wood, granite, quartz, concrete, marble, recycled glass, laminate, tile, lava, stainless steel, resin, porcelain . . . the list goes on and on. But when it comes to durability, style, and versatility, there’s no better countertop than a Global Surface Solutions Countertop.

Every material has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to countertops:

  • Wood looks classical but is prone to chips, scratches, and wear.
  • Concrete can be shaped and styled in various ways, but is extremely heavy and difficult to transport.
  • Stainless Steel is elegant and clean-looking, but is often cold and shows significant wear with time.
  • Tile is versatile offering a vast variety of styles and materials, but can be difficult to clean and expensive to repair.
  • Marble provides an elegant finish to any room, but much like concrete can be very heavy and is one of the more expensive materials to work with.
  • Laminate countertops are one of the most popular finishes because they’re the most cost effective, but application can end up peeling and repairs are difficult without fully replacing the entire counter.

However, when it comes to the Global Surface Solutions Countertops, there are fewer disadvantages. Here’s why . . .

We work with polymer modified cement (PMC), a material that’s not only durable, but also extremely versatile when it comes to design and finishes. In fact, the final product can be made to look exactly like any other type of countertop material. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Easily Transportable – Countertops made from PMC are often built using a lightweight core. While it may look like a heavy slab of marble, it’s actually not. This not only gives the counter a durable flexibility, it also makes it much easier to transport.

  • Long Lasting – Thanks to the inherent flexibility of the material, PMC countertops are long lasting. The versatility of the finishes means it doesn’t come with the weaknesses of other materials, which makes for a long lasting addition to your home or business.
  • Strong! – Polymer modified cement overlays are as hard and durable as concrete floors, even when placed over plywood substrates.

  • Stylish and Adaptable – Our countertops can take on any dimension, be formed to any shape, and can include decorative products like glass, metal, or special rocks.

If you’re looking for a countertop, we can help! No matter the shape or size, if you’re looking for the absolute best in versatility of style and long lasting durability, Global Surface Solutions Countertops should be at the top of your list.

Contact Us Today

    The Evolution of the Concrete Countertop


    Concrete counters are the fastest growing type of counter today, but it comes at a premium, and in some cases might be the most expensive type of counter on the market. Unlike all other materials, concrete counters are the only kind which is not currently mass produced (but maybe one day). Consequently, when it comes to concrete countertops, we’re usually talking about a client that doesn’t want the same thing as everyone else, and in most cases wants to make a statement in their home or business, and in many cases want it to be an ‘artsy’ statement. There was a time, not more than 15 years ago, when concrete countertops were viewed as ‘too raw’ and ‘too rugged and masculine’. They were mostly made by the DIY’s who had very little experience in working with concrete, did not have access to the knowledge, and didn’t have the right tools.

    Furthermore, the sealers which are designed to protect the counters were very limited and some people just had to learn to appreciate the impending staining and scratching of their counters.


    Now thanks to advanced technology, techniques, and materials, the overall quality of concrete countertops has improved greatly and you can find them in every design magazine. Over the past decade they’ve become classier and offer a timeless look and feel. The sealers are also much better, and the techniques, material, and forming tools have all improved. There are quite a few companies now that specialize in casting concrete as counters and furniture.


    At Global, we take a slightly different approach to our countertops. Global make 3 different kinds of counters;

    • Epoxy Resin Based (over lightweight cores)
    • Polymer Modified Cement (PMC) Based (over lightweight cores)
    • Glass-Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Counters (typically not more than 3/4″ thick)

    The GFRC counters, are usually the best solution for making integral counter vanity sinks, where there is 3-dimensional shape involved, such as a sloped-channeled sink or really any kind of sink basin. These pieces are heavy, but not as heavy as a solid concrete counter that is 2″ thick (obviously).

    Where we use the lightweight cores as a solution, is really any flat or waterfall slab for kitchens, vanities and bars. We used to use hollow cores for making integral counter sinks, but it was too difficult to work with and using a 3/4″ GFRC is manageable in weight as long as it is not utterly massive, which it rarely is. Most vanity tops are rarely over 6ft long.

    With all that in mind, having the ability to work with raw materials and pigments, Global can offer the designer or client a counter that works with whatever they require us to work with in their design palette.


    Our counters are not like other products where you only get to choose what’s available in a product line or catalogue. We thrive on creating unique pieces of art when it comes to your countertop solutions. Furthermore, we can introduce, inlays, glass and aggregates into the counter, and what is truly unique about our Global counters, is they can be very thick, long, and seamless. And furthermore again, Global counters are designed for exterior use, like bbq counters, where other materials would eventually fail when exposed to harsh environments, where there is strong UV exposure and extensive freeze thaw.

    If you’re looking for a countertop and want something that looks amazing, unique, and is incredibly versatile, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about the different options and styles.


      Meet Sean & Tim

      As an individual owner, there are challenges that come along with running a business smoothly. A partnership can often come along with its own set of problems, but to find a friendship that smoothly transitions into a working partnership that endures the challenges of a company’s growth is truly unique.

      Global Surface Solutions was founded and built by two individuals: Sean Jaegli & Tim Cote. This is their story . . .

      Sean’s first job was mowing lawns at a young age when he lived in Kelowna. He grew up to be a hard worker who liked to get his hands dirty. After attending university he graduated with an Engineering degree and worked in Australia and Toronto where he wrote software, spending his time coding in C++, developing neural nets and fuzzy logic, which marked some of the earliest incarnations of AI with a focus on plant automation. After a stint working in Toronto, Sean relocated to Kelowna where his father owned 4seasons now Globall Gym. During this time, Sean met Tim Cote and they became good friends.

      MEET TIM
      Tim’s first job was picking cherries in the Okanagan Valley. Born in Calgary, his family relocated to the Okanagan when Tim was 6 years old. His family had a background in cement and stucco so it was a natural path for him to take when it came time to choose a career. Tim owned his own company doing large exteriors of buildings before moving to Ontario. He worked for a company in Toronto that had bought a large US company that, at the time, was using a surfacing material and system which ended up being the grassroots of GSS.

      Tim worked with that same large company for 12 years. Part of his job description was  training applicators out of a facility in Las Vegas. The company decided the application materials Tim was most interested in using wasn’t something the company wanted to pursue. Tim, maintaining there was more opportunity with the material if it was altered ,applied and manipulated correctly, obtained permission to continue working with it outside of the company.

      Around this time, Sean found himself in Vancouver where he owned and operated his own health club. Tim had established GSS and would drop by occasionally and show Sean what he’d been working on and Sean even used some of the material and techniques to upgrade his health club. Sean was quickly tiring of the office environment, and after embarking to Kelowna for a squash tournament, Tim and Sean decided they should start their own company.

      “You get really comfortable with taking risks, taking jumps from one thing to another to retrain yourself,” stated Sean of his move from health club owner to surface solution business partner.

      Sean’s experience of working with his hands and using tools factored heavily into how fast he learned the production side of the business from Tim. Both gentlemen were passionate about what they were doing and had a genuine interest in the services they were providing, and Sean quickly became proficient. The rest, as they say, is history.

      While many partnerships falter, Sean and Tim have continued to work well together, complimenting their individual skills, and grown a successful business with Global Surface Solutions.

      “It’s nice to have that support for venting and problem solving,” says Sean on working with Tim. “It’s difficult to find someone who has a strong work ethic. We’ve always been able to get along, even through tough times. It’s hard to find a partnership that complementary to each other’s skills.”

      “We compliment each other very well,” agrees Tim. “We remain calm and objective, we share the same end goal. We’re good friends who respect each other. And we both have a passion for what we do and really enjoy it.”

      While the diversity of the material that GSS uses represents the main product and service of the company, the people who work with it and apply it are equally, if not more important. The people who work for Global Surface Solutions love what they do because of the diversity of the work. No day is the same. Every day being different means there’s so much variety. Tim and Sean are always open to their employee’s opinions on how to do things better, more efficiently. New processes are constantly being developed as a result. Employees are trained from the ground up. A lot goes into developing a system, but once it’s nailed down the system can be taught to anyone.

      “No such thing,” says Tim. Because no job is the same and so many variables have to be taken into account, no day is the same for GSS. While some days have similarities, like quoting on jobs, doing prep, etc. there’s a certain amount of reactive intelligence that goes along with the business. The work done at GSS has so many variables from natural elements to architectural needs. “It’s comparable to cooking,” says Tim, “ recipe-like, prep, process, application, etc. Of course there’s a time crunch with jobs when it comes to laying down material. Then it’s go time.”

      The business is ever evolving and we’re constantly busy. “We get requests for unusual things all the time,” says Sean. “People ask ‘We have a picture of this thing, can you do it?’ It’s a high end business with a lot of potential applications. And we welcome a challenge!”  Tim, Sean, and the crew are constantly pushing new directions, new processes that are unique to specific jobs, always pushing the boundaries of ingenuity and scale.

      Walls That Are a Work of Art

      Global Surface Solutions specializes in a number of areas when it comes to concrete surfaces. The idea that a wall has to be plain is an outdated one and more and more we’re finding people want to see something different when it comes to walls. And the fact is, there are a lot of options when it comes to wall finishes. At GSS, we offer a wide range of finishes that offer a competitive advantage over most others. Here’s how we do it . . .

      A Unique Product That’s Made to Last

      We use a polymer modified cement (PMC) for most of our finishes. PMC offers unparalleled durability so it’s long lasting, easy to clean, adaptable to all kinds of finishes, and can be manipulated to look like (quite literally) anything. We use this exact same product for interior and exterior walls, plus driveways and patios, so you know it’ll stand up to anything we throw at it. The diversity of the material withstands water, heat, natural elements, mildew, algae (think Vancouver, wetter climates, etc.), and the degradation effects of UV light. On top of that, walls that are created using poured concrete are not always cost effective. By using PMC you can achieve the look of concrete for a fraction of the cost.

      It Ain’t Heavy

      When you think of concrete, you think of ‘weight’. It’s going to be heavy. If it falls on you, it could crush you. So as far as architectural applications go, concrete comes with some hefty weight considerations. Because PMC is a lightweight overlay, it has weight benefits. Using 1/100th of the usual concrete combined with lightweight core materials (wood, foam, drywall boards, cement boards, air, etc.) makes all the difference while maintaining perfect rigidity and durability.

      It’s All About the Look

      Regular walls, plaster, cement, clay, and drywall, can be easily damaged, marked, and water can emulsify them. Not the case with PMC. When you work with a cement overlay, you’re not painting it like a wall. You’re using water-based color stains so the way we apply a texture to the wall is how the wall accepts it. It creates an excellent canvas for varying colors.

      Under different lighting throughout a day (natural light) a color stained cement wall can take on various looks giving it a lot of ‘life’ and personality that you simply won’t find in a normal concrete wall. This is partially due to the layering. By layering the stain, you can achieve remarkable effects.

      Something we endeavour to do is change people’s perception of ‘textured walls’. When people think of texturing walls, they often think in terms of tuscan/old world – yet we’ve used it in more modern applications. There are no limitations when it comes to our wall finishes, it can be modern, contemporary, grungy, sci-fi, you name it, we can do it.

      Here are just a few examples of some recent finishes . . .

      View more examples in our ‘Get Inspired’ Gallery

      Want to know more about our finishes and how we can turn your walls into a work of art? Contact us today for more information.

        Welcome to the New GSS Website

        For the past decade, we’ve been so busy creating artistic concrete surfaces and designs for clients all over Canada that we failed to apply the same design aesthetic to our online presence. Well, eventually everything catches up, and we’re very proud and excited to announce the launch of the new Global Surface Solutions website.

        The new site is optimized for viewing on all devices, but more importantly it provides a place to share our projects, experience, and ever-growing portfolio. If you want to learn more about GSS you can check out the ‘Why Global’ page and discover just why we do what we do.

        If you’re looking for inspiration, our new ‘Get Inspired’ gallery will show you some of our most recent work and will hopefully give you some ideas of what can be accomplished when you think outside the box.

        Our new ‘Services’ page clearly states “we do a lot”, and you’ll see that’s absolutely true. No job is beyond our scope and we pride ourselves on coming up with solutions to the benefit of our clients. Browse through some of the services we offer on a regular basis, but if you’re looking for something special, don’t be afraid to ask.

        And finally, don’t forget to check back to our ‘Blog’ page on a regular basis. We’ll be constantly updating the blog with new articles featuring insider tips, useful information, and case studies of recent projects so you can see the amazing before and after images from some of our favourite projects.

        Please feel free to browse the site and if you’d like to speak with someone about what Global Surface Solutions can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to chat!