a randolph maker of countertops, vanities, bathtubs and other home décor items utilizes a novel modified cement process
by Jessica Jones-Gorman Photos BY Robert Nuzzie
Almost a decade ago, concrete expert Jeff Kudrick was designing a vanity for his showroom, pouring a smallish countertop slab to fit a polished bathroom sink, when he decided to fabricate the piece so that it looked and felt just like wood.
“We took a lot of time and effort with the piece, trying to see how much detail we could add, how realistic it could come out,” Kudrick said from the Randolph headquarters of JM Lifestyles, the concrete atelier he operates with Michelle Radley.
“We were happy with the result; it looked and felt like real wood, so we displayed it in the showroom as an example of our work.”
When a client came in and requested the look for her entire kitchen, Kudrick realized that he needed to invent a special production system to make the job happen.
“It took me months to perfect the materials. [The product] had to be lightweight, with a low thermal mass, so that when you knocked on it, it even sounded like wood,” Kudrick said.
The result was WoodForm Concrete, a cost-effective composite that has the look and feel of wood without its delicacy and upkeep, one that is also resilient, adaptable, and environmentally friendly. Further, it will not split or crack, can be used indoors or outdoors, has high heat tolerance, and is created using at least 50 percent recycled content. Clients can choose from a variety of applications, ranging from smooth to rustic-rough. As a lightweight aggregate, it has less thermal mass than concrete, so it’s not as cold as typical concrete or stone, and there’s no waste in its construction, such as there is in making items out of wood, wherein pieces are inevitably discarded.
“As we continue to use wood in all aspects of American construction, we need to address the issue of its diminishing supply,” explained Kudrick. “Yes, we can continue to plant trees, so lumber is technically sustainable, but when you’re consistently taking it out of the forest, you are degrading the environment.”
For Kudrick, who has worked with concrete for most of his life, WoodForm is a multi-layered achievement. He started working in the business when he was just 16, pouring everything from residential foundation walls to bridges and stadi-
“People can’t believe how authentic each piece is, and we can create any shape and color; the only limit is the client’s imagination.”
ums. He worked with stamped concrete for decorative and architectural jobs for years before venturing into home design.
“I actually studied chemistry,” he said. “I grew up on the water in Montauk and was always interested in the environment and wanted to become a marine chemist. I poured concrete to pay the bills and started to utilize my chemistry background building fish tanks for zoos and aquariums. I came to understand how fragile the environment was—everything within a closed system—but with my background I was also able to also create some beautiful and decorative designs.”
He made his commercial debut 10 years ago after meeting Michelle Radley and forming JM Lifestyles.
“We’ve been using modified cements longer than anyone else in the surface countertop industry,” Kudrick said. “We’ve create countertops, bar tops, vanities, sinks, bathtubs and more—all from concrete. Everything is made here in New Jersey, manufactured where our showroom is. We create something that doesn’t exist anywhere else—high-end custom engineered concrete in a range of finishes, colors, and shapes.”
“WoodForm instantly becomes the focal point of the room,” the owner added. “People want to touch and feel it—they can’t believe how authentic each piece is, and since it is a modified material, we can create any shape and color; the only limit is the client’s imagination. Efficient, versatile, beautiful and sustainable…amazing qualities in tandem.”
215 Route 10 Building 3, Unit 4, Randolph
973.668.5057 / jmlifestyles.com