Thursday, January 31, 2019

Concrete Countertops - The Finale

After taking much longer than originally expected, the kitchen countertops are done! I still have two smaller bathroom countertops left, but they should be cake - right? They just need to be polished and sealed. 
Lessons learned? Ok here it is:

  1.  Try to mix all the concrete needed for each countertop before pouring. This will make the work experience less frantic. 
  2.  Pour the bottom portion of the mold all at once if you can. Your finish product will appear more seamless.
  3.  Vibrate. As most professionals will tell you, don't resist the urge to dismiss this vital step. Vibrating helps to rid the placed concrete of air bubbles, yielding a stronger product. It also aids in helping the concrete flow, filling crevices and cavities in the mold (among other things).
  4.  Seriously consider why you want concrete countertops. If you want the granite, or other   manufactured countertop look, then choose granite, quartz etc.. Each concrete countertop will have its own personality, idiosyncrasies and defects that are part of the uniqueness of concrete. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Concrete Countertops

After much consideration, I decided to once again, tackle concrete countertops for a project - the basement buildout in our current residence here in East Layton, Utah. The last time I used concrete countertops for a project was 10 years ago at our Summit Park, Utah residence. As in child birth, you forget the pain and only remember the joy and satisfaction - so they say.

It took close to a week to complete the molds for five countertops in the 2000 sq. ft. basement. There is quite a bit of detailed work involved long before concrete comes into play.

The mold consist of; a 3/4 in particle board bottom with 1/8 in plexiglass on top. The concrete takes on the characteristics of what ever type of surface you use in your mold. I used 3/4 in. Melamine for the sides and sealed any exposed raw wood with a sealer. Any where there is a sink or plumbing hardware, a knockout has to be created. Carefully placed black silicon is used to seal all corners.

The round PVC apparatus is for the faucet plumbing penetration.

The day of the pour is kind of frantic when you're by yourself. So for the next pour I called a friend to help out.

Rob helping with the main kitchen countertop. 

And there ya' go! The pre-buffing stage. The next step will be polishing the countertops with a special concrete compound. A penetrating sealer is applied next to protect the concrete. Finally the concrete is buffed out with wax.