Concrete counters marry functionality and beauty, giving you the ability to create surfaces in virtually any color, shape or size. Concrete countertops offer a number of advantages that other materials, such as granite and laminate can’t match. The ability to create larger areas without seams that trap crumbs, grease and grime is another point in their favor. Kitchen countertops can be cast to accommodate sinks, faucets, cooktops, or other kitchen appliances.

Shape, texture, color and style can all be customized to support your personal style and entertaining needs. From start to finish, the process may take up to 2 weeks depending on the finish. Overlays can be applied to existing surfaces such as laminate, tile, marble, or unfinished wood frames with minimal preparation. Experienced contractors can create custom colors or even color match to paint or fabric swatches. Smooth-polished surfaces are easy to clean because they don’t trap dirt, grease or grime. They can be simple slats or depressions formed directly into the countertop.

Small decorative pieces (also called aggregates) such as stones, pieces of glass, bits of marble or tile, seashells or other materials can be embedded throughout the concrete mix and exposed when the countertop is ground and polished. Consider long-term durability and consult your contractor regarding any items you’d like to add. Light fibers attached to pieces of clear or colored glass embedded in the surface of the countertop create a unique lighting effect. When using manufactured sinks in the kitchen, undermount styles are typically the best match for concrete countertops. A traditional tile backsplash can also be installed with your countertop. Limiting customization and using more recycled materials can help keep your budget in check. Concrete countertops have no grout lines, making them much easier to keep clean than tile.

Durability and ease of maintenance add to the growing popularity for commercial use. Precasting allows the contractor to control the conditions during the entire process and gives easy access to any tools or equipment needed along the way. Pouring countertops in place is a messy undertaking, as well as disruptive to your home. Discuss the entire process and timeframe with your contractor to determine the best choice for your project.

They are considerably lighter weight than poured countertops and can be made seamless for long runs—something that might not be possible with either precast or even poured-in-place countertops. Various methods used to impart color include using an integral color in the mix, surface staining or dyes. Veining and mottling effects can be created with specialized concrete mixes and casting methods to make your countertop mimic high-end granite or marble.

Trivets help protect your countertop’s sealer and finish from hot pots and pans and are typically made from stainless steel raised metal rods embedded into the countertop. Personalize your countertop with a monogram or logo for a truly one-of-a kind project. This type of construction is better suited as a bathroom sink rather than a primary kitchen sink due to wear and tear from pots and pans and possible staining that can happen in the kitchen. Concrete countertops are generally no more expensive than granite or marble. One often overlooked element is the long-term value that concrete countertops offer. Down the road, this can save you money, time and the hassle of replacing outdated or worn out countertops. Sealers are vulnerable to heat damage from hot pots and pans, so trivets or other forms of heat protection should be used.

Using various reinforcement methods during construction can help to prevent this.

Concrete Countertops by countryliving.com

Plus, weigh the pros and cons to see if cement counters are right for you. That’s because the porous substance can absorb liquids and even bacterial growth, which is why it’s incredibly important to seal the surface upon installation.

Yes, concrete can scratch and stain, but so can pretty much every other material, including granite and marble.

Of course, you can prevent cracks to a certain extent by adding fiber reinforcement, rebar, and/or wire mesh. Thankfully, those fractures are usually not super noticeable and pretty easy to repair. Concrete is notorious for flaunting flaws—the most common complaint of unhappy homeowners. You won’t find anything on the market that’s indestructible. While some may be bothered by the imperfections, others love the rustic look and embrace the rich patina that develops over time. But if you love the rugged aesthetic and are passionate about patina, go ahead and give it a try.

How To Make A Concrete Countertop by diynetwork.com

Plan for basic color treatments and plain edges, and also plan to spend a few weekends on the project.

If measuring the base cabinets, add an extra 3/4″ for an overhang. The key to a great countertop is a well-built mold to pour the concrete into. Then attach the sides by drilling 2-inch pilot holes every 6 inches. Trim the ends strips and attach them in the same way to the remaining sides of the mold. Smooth the bead with a caulk tool or your finger and let dry thoroughly for 24 hours.

To start the cut, drill pilot holes on the inside corners of the portion that will be removed.

Then measure and cut the sides for the cutout, attaching them by butting them against the edges of the base inside the cutout. The bottom of the mold will be the top of the countertop, so it’s important the concrete sets on a debris-free surface. Smooth the bead with a caulk tool and let dry thoroughly for 24 hours. The silicone will seal the joints of the mold and prevent the wet concrete from leaking.

Once the outer mold is done, you’ll need to build a support frame to surround it. Measure the mold and cut a series of 2x4s for a support frame around it. Then add the remaining two side pieces and attach them to the first two, completing the frame. The last step in preparing the mold for the concrete is to cut a section of galvanized structural stucco wire. Use metal snips to cut the wire to the shape of the mold so that it comes about 1 inch off the edges all around. Once cut, set the wire aside until you’re ready to pour the concrete. Add water to the concrete and mix with a shovel per the manufacturer’s instructions. When it achieves the texture of peanut butter it’s time to add it to the mold. Using a small spade or bucket, pour the concrete into the mold, pressing and compacting it as you fill the mold to a depth of about 1 inch or halfway full. The wire will keep the concrete from cracking as it dries and it will also add strength.

To settle the concrete, use an orbital sander without sandpaper against the sides of the mold. When finished, gently cover the countertop with a sheet of plastic or damp burlap to protect it from dust and dirt. Be careful not to drill all the way through – you don’t want to disturb the mold edge. Then use a hammer and the new screws to pry each side away from the concrete slab. You don’t want a misstep that will cause a chip or any breakage. Use an orbital sander to remove any imperfections along the surface and edges.

Be prepared; you’ll go through plenty of sandpaper and this is a dusty process.

When done, wipe the slab with a damp rag to remove any loose grit and concrete dust. Wipe the surface thoroughly with a sponge dipped in the acid solution.

If you’re working inside, open doors and windows for better ventilation.

Let the sealer dry then apply a second coat, working at right angles to the first. Prepare the installation by running a thick bead of silicone caulk around the upper edge of the cabinet.

This project is a simple, 2′ x 6′, 2″ thick countertop island with a smooth surface and a cutout for a square cooktop. To determine the size of your countertop, measure the base cabinets or your existing countertop. Measure and mark the exact dimensions on the mold base, then cut using a circular saw (image 2). Then insert a jigsaw into the holes and cut from hole to hole along the edge marks. Run a small uniform bead of 100-percent silicone caulk in all the inside corners and seams of the mold. You can also use the tip of your finger to smooth out the caulk. The concrete you’ll be pouring is heavy – about 10 to 15 pounds per-square foot and you don’t want the edges of the mold to bend with the weight. Lay three boards underneath the mold – lengthwise, each a bit longer than the actual mold. The frame should be tight against the mold, to prevent the heavy concrete from pushing the mold out of shape.

Rather, the 2x4s the frame should be attached to each other and the mold should lie within the frame. This will be added to the concrete during the pour to add strength and prevent cracking. If you want to add color to the countertop, now’s the time to add pigment to the mix. Liquid pigments are easy to measure and mix, especially with small concrete batches like this one.

Controlling the amount of water added to the concrete mix is critical to producing consistent color. Mixing the concrete correctly is critical to its strength and durability. Remember that the concrete at the bottom of mold will become the top of the concrete slab. Set the galvanized wire into the concrete, taking care that it does not touch the edges of the mold. Continue to fill the mold on top of the wire, tamping the concrete with a trowel, as you go along to ensure it is well-packed. The level of concrete will drop slightly in the mold as it settles.

The vibrations will help bring air bubbles in the concrete up to the surface. Let the concrete cure at least a week—the more it cures, the stronger it gets.

Carefully drill two 2-inch screws equal distance apart, halfway into each of the melamine sides. The weight of the slab usually makes removing the melamine base an easier task. When done, wipe the slab with a damp rag to remove any loose grit and concrete dust. You’ll need to work progressively from 100-grit sandpaper, finishing with 220-grit. When the slab comes out of the mold, it’s going to have imperfections. Keep sanding and testing until each edge and surface feels smooth to the touch. Prepare the surface for finishing by etching it with a solution made from 1 ounce of muriatic acid mixed in 1 gallon of water.

Rinse the slab with fresh water to remove the acid mixture, and let it dry completely.

Bring the countertop in, set it in place, and press down gently to seal the caulk. But you can save between 20 percent and 30 percent off a professional installation by doing it yourself.

Concrete Countertops by concretedecor.net

It comes to life through the work of many contractors, fabricators and artisans. Add to that the sludge that’s rinsed out and you’re often left with a big mess.

Everyone knows you should use white cement to bring out brilliant colors in your concrete projects. It helps concrete maintain an adequate flow rate with less water, allowing a contractor to lower the amount added to a mix. He has developed a list of 10 tips he thinks will help concrete countertop makers in particular improve their businesses. It is a venue that proudly supports local agriculture and sustainable, local fishing practices. To understand which materials are best for reinforcing your concrete countertop, you first need to understand how reinforcing works.

We reluctantly decided shower installs couldn’t compete in a countertop contest. Cleaning concrete-covered mixers, tools and buckets uses even more water.

Everyone who makes concrete faces this dilemma: what to do with all that dirty water and gritty sludge. And the final element of the finished piece — the interface between the concrete and the customer — is the coating. What isn’t so widely known is how to prevent white specks from appearing in some of those deeper colors. It only made sense to include as one of its focal points a concrete countertop made from local natural resources to complement its overall ambiance. Countertops fall into two general categories: cast-in-place and precast and projects can call for either application.

It is one of the few building materials we can create and control to suit our wants and needs. The materials you use for reinforcing are just as important as those you select for your mix.

DIY How To Make Concrete Countertops by sakrete.com

Sakrete has the inspiration and project planning guide to help you get started. All of the necessary ingredients are already formulated and precisely proportioned, so all you need to do is add water and then mix (according to the manufacturer’s specific instructions).

Since most variables have been removed and instructions are provided by the manufacturer, there is no need for you to be knowledgeable about specific aggregates or quantities for creating a desirable mix. Further, high-strength concrete mixes offer exceptional durability and long-lasting performance. Such high temperatures would cause the concrete to pop even bigger pieces out of the surface. Our concrete mixes are not fire rated and they will not hold up to direct flame. One last thing: what type of bonding agent do you reccomend?

However, the most crucial consideration is which concrete material to use. First, concrete mixes are much easier to use and are very convenient. It would probably not work due to the temperatures that the glass would have to reach to start melting. Just glass tubes, special gloves and a and one of those inexpensive propane things you can get at any tool store. But yes, countertops can be made simply using the concrete mix itself.

Concrete Countertop Guide by bhg.com

Its weathered patina looks great with any style, and its durability makes it a top choice for families whose kitchen is the heart of the home. Color and chips of stone, metal, and glass can be added to the mix for decorative effect. This surface is both heat- and scratch-resistant, and if sealed properly, will withstand spills. Patient, ambitious homeowners can take on a concrete countertop project; try out colors before casting the entire slab and be mindful about environmental conditions that can cause concrete not to set.

Concrete countertops are made just like concrete walks and drives, but instead of being poured into a form on the ground, the concrete is cast into the actual size of your counter space. You can opt for a matte finish that gives the concrete a honed look, or you can finish it with a high gloss that rivals the finish of high-gloss granite.

Because of the weight of concrete slabs, installation is also time-intensive. Some installers prefer the controlled environment of a workshop; others like the on-site availability.

You’ll also need a small army of friends to help you install the countertops once slabs are completed.

Standard Dimensions For Building Concrete Countertops by concrete-countertops.org

If your countertop will have bar stools next to it, choose your bar stools ahead of time and let the height of the seat dictate your countertop height. Bar stools are typically 28” tall but can vary greatly per style and manufacturer. This way you can calculate how much space is required for your counter.

This will make sitting, eating and conversing at the countertop much more comfortable. Your countertop should cantilever a minimum of 10 inches to allow room for your knees under the counter. A recommended practice is to measure your appliances and accessories that will be incorporated with your countertop. Allow for placement of a serving platter between each accessory or appliance on the counter.

CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS KITCHENS CustomCreteWerks Inc. by customcretewerks.com

Concrete countertops and concrete sinks have the strength and durability to hold up to tough use. Concrete counters are a popular alternative to granite or other countertop options. For a cohesive look, consider matching your kitchen counters to a correlating concrete backsplash.

For example, some homeowners choose a matching concrete backsplash, while others may choose concrete tiles in contrasting colors.

Concrete’s extreme strength means it will look great for many years, if not decades, to come. We ensure your concrete countertops will be easy to clean, stain-proof and heat resistant. Alternatively, if you prefer a more unique look, mixing colors can add visual interest to your concrete project.

Jake Brady Concrete by jakebradyconcrete.com

Whether your project is a kitchen counter top, vanity, fire pit or commercial bar, concrete is an amazing green material with limitless possibilities. We now have a warm inviting place to spend evenings with friends and family. Concrete is a fantastic surface but is one that has to be done correctly. Jake returned on the final day to complete the touch-ups and was honestly very pleasant to have around. Jake is an innovator who is dedicated to quality and customer satisfaction.

We specialize in hand-crafted functional art for both inside and outside your home or business. Jake believes strongly in staying informed in his trade and thus has continued to train under fellow master artisans around the country. A piece of art that is not only beautiful but functional what a concept!

After having a horrible experience with another contractor in the area where we experienced water rings, stains, and cracks that the contractor absolutely refused to fix, we lost confidence in concrete as a suitable surface for our outdoor kitchen.

Jake came in and removed the previous tops (without any damage to our kitchen or the adjacent tile work) and replaced them with his own and we’ve never been happier. In all my dealings with him, he has been fabulous and very enthusiastic. On leaving they left the place immaculate and removed all the old countertops. I would highly recommend him to anyone interested in decorative concrete.

How To Build A Concrete Countertop by popularmechanics.com

You can purchase precast counters from fabricators that are cured and finished in a workshop and which can be delivered straight to your kitchen for install. Their timeless/utilitarian aesthetic (probably) won’t become dated like some other countertop materials–looking at you dark granite. The goal is to have as smooth a surface as possible to prevent dirt and food particles from catching in holes as well as to give your countertops a finished look. They suggest using melamine to make the countertop molds as they have a very smooth surface which will prevent bubbles and air from drying in the surface of the concrete. Your sink will drop in on your countertop frame and the concrete countertop will rest on top.

Concrete countertops shouldn’t take more than a few days to make, so you won’t be shutting down your kitchen for weeks and when you’re done you’ll enjoy the satisfaction that comes with building something you’ll use and enjoy everyday.

Or you can do the job yourself by creating your own molds and curing your counters at home. Also, concrete does not mean you are stuck with the color gray, as there are a variety of different colored countertop options, especially if you are going to buy them from a fabricator. The process of building your mold for installing a sink just requires making an inset that fits the size needed for your sink opening. After curing, the countertop will be very heavy, so grab some friends to help you lift it and secure it in place.

A Guide To Concrete Kitchen Countertops: Remodeling 101 by remodelista.com

Concrete is a natural composite material made from an aggregate (typically rocks, sand, and fly ash) plus a cement binder (such as limestone and calcium sulfate) and water. Precasting also offers the ability to create a wider range of counter edge options than you can make on-site. Concrete countertops can be made in virtually any color, though stony gray continues to be the most widely used. That said, there are natural variations in color and texture that occur as the counter is crafted and cured; to concrete advocates, it’s one of the material’s appealing qualities. Does a concrete countertop need to be sealed and maintained? And, depending on the sealant used, some discoloration and patina may develop—a chance outcome that’s appealing to some, appalling to others.

Talk to your fabricator or contractor about the best sealant for the look you want. Also, cutting directly on concrete will not only damage your cutlery but also may result in scratches in the sealant; cutting boards and trivets are recommended. Handcrafted and custom made for each application, concrete counters are not a budget item. Properly sealed and maintained, concrete countertops will wear well for years—and can be used indoors and out.

Caused by the natural shrinkage of the material, concrete countertops can develop minor hairline cracks that are nonstructural—some consider these a flaw, others a positive textural characteristic. Your resource for finding the best storage and home organization solutions for every room in the house.

Advancements have catapulted concrete into the world of architectural-grade products, alongside popular stone and wood options. Is a concrete counter the right material for you and your kitchen? It’s more finicky than concrete but makes for a lightweight and subtle look. It’s more finicky than concrete but makes for a lightweight and subtle look. Concrete counters are either precast in a shop or cast in place during your kitchen construction.

Like most natural countertop materials, concrete is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Sealing technology is now so advanced that some fabricators call their concrete counters stain-proof, and provide warranties against staining. Placing hot pans directly on concrete counters won’t harm the concrete, but may discolor the sealant. Despite being a hard surface, concrete provides a soft, textured, natural feel to counters. Like other natural countertop materials, such as wood and stone, concrete counters develop a patina with use.

Corian Vs. Concrete Countertops by homeguides.sfgate.com

Each has pros and cons, so which material is best for your kitchen or bathroom countertop depends on your decorating style, as well as factors such as maintenance and price. This mixture is poured into molds to create sheets or slabs, which allows for features such as an integrated sink. Concrete countertops have seams, but these can be sealed so they’re not noticeable.

Concrete is susceptible to hairline cracking, which some homeowners feel adds to their charm, but others may not appreciate the rustic effect this creates. To ensure you have the proper support beneath the concrete, and to prevent damage to your countertop and your cabinets, it’s better to have a professional handle the installation, which adds to your overall cost.

Concrete must also be sealed with a penetrating sealer at least once each year, or when liquid no longer beads on the surface of the counter, to prevent staining and moisture penetration.

These cracks may appear immediately or long after installation, but are cosmetic, and do not indicate a problem with the counter top itself. While concrete itself is extremely hard, the sealer used to protect against staining can be scratched and abrasive soaps or cleansers and abrasive pads should never be used to clean a concrete surface.

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