Making concrete countertops is becoming a famous topic for households in the US and all around the world as well. If you have a little experience with concrete mixing, DIY tools, and lumber then you can try to make a good concrete countertop for your kitchen. It is best if you have a little experience in making concrete slabs, too.
It is very difficult to work using concrete because concrete takes time to build and to restore properly. Hence, you will need at least one person with you to perform this job, and you will need a little patience also. If you are new to this job, then try to make a small concrete countertop that requires comparatively less finishing and less hard work.
Tools and Materials Required for Making Concrete Countertop
Some tools and materials required for performing this task are given below:
- Casting table
- Concrete mixer
- Materials for reinforcing
- Some special pigments
- Concrete countertop mix
- Countertop molds
- Knockouts for sinks
The method of making concrete countertops requires four important steps. These are planning for the countertop, template making, building the frame, and pouring the concrete.
How to Plan for Making your Concrete Countertop
- First of all, measure the area where the countertop is to be made using measurement tape.
- Make a rough design of countertop according to you measurement.
- Remember you must need to make each foot of countertop so that it can withstand for at least 20 lbs. however, this property is directly depends upon the thickness of concrete slab.
- You should check your working space of the room, large space will make your work quit easier.
How to Make Template of Your Concrete Countertop
- First of all, you will need a wood template for your countertop. Purchase a sheet of wood surface. The size of the sheet is directly depends upon your rough design of concrete countertop.
- Trace the wood sheet according to you measurement. Keep in your mind that you are tracing the base of countertop, i.e., a base cabinet that the countertop will rest upon.
- The most important part of the template is marking control joints on it. The control joints will work well when the distance between them never exceed four feet. Therefore, it is clear that you will need more control joints for a longer countertop, and the more the control joints, the more the reliability of the countertop will be.
- With the help of the control joints, you can get the information for concrete cracks. They allow the movement of concrete due to temperature rise and fall.
- For each foot of countertop, control joints are marked at a distance two to three times the slab thickness in inches and they are cut to 25% of the depth of the slab.
- The dimension of overhangs for a standard countertop is 0.5 to 0.75 inches.
How to Make the Frame for Your Concrete Countertop
- For making the frame of countertop, you will need poplars or pines, and will be screwed together.
- Make the bottom of your frame using 0.75 inch fiber board.
- Use deck screws to fix the frame.
- You will need to seal the inside edges and corners with caulk so it will appear like rounded edges.
- Coating the frame is also important. You can use paste wax for this.
- Make a rebar grid with an intersection every four inches and secure them with zip ties.
- After this, you will need to suspend the grid by placing two or three pieces of 1 x 2s across the frame
How to Pour the Concrete
This step is the last step in the making your countertop. To perform this step, you will need the following points.
- Mix the concrete according to the instructions of the manufacturer and pour it into the frame.
- It is better to stop pouring periodically to add reinforcement.
- Use rods and polypropylene fibers according to the size of the countertop.
- Use drop cloths loosely over molded concrete. They are used to help the inside and outside of the concrete slab dry with same speed.
- Remove the outer surface of the frame after four to five days using a crowbar.
- Remove unwanted concrete that is dried around the structure.
- Wash the entire countertop using an acid cleaner that is suitable for concrete.
- You can use polish and other things for finishing purposes.
These are all the steps for making concrete countertops for your house, but you will need to remember few things.
- Making the frame is not so easy; hence, practice it by making one in small scale first.
- It will take nearly 25 days to install the concrete properly.
- Don’t keep the place totally enclosed. Leave an opening to pass harmful gases.
- Use a breathing mask and protective glasses when mixing concrete or using acid wash.
Image: portlandconcretecountertops.com-Concrete Countertop
Reference: Building Material- Rangawalla
Reference: Building Construction – B.C.Punmia
Image: concretenetwork.com-Making Frame