How to Make a Concrete Kitchen Countertop
There are a plethora of different countertop materials for you to choose from these days, but one of the most popular trends as of late is concrete. With it's durable finish, combined with an industrial and modern look, it is the perfect option for many homes today.
While concrete countertops can be more expensive when hiring an outside party to build and install it, you have the ability to make it yourself by following these simple steps.
Measure the Counter
If you are replacing an existing countertop, the first thing you will need to do is remove it in order to make way for the concrete. Once you have removed the old countertop, measure the area so you know how large the mold needs to be.
When you have your measurements, build a mold out of 2 x 4 wooden boards and secure them together with either screws or nails.
Making Your Cement
Arguably the most important part about making your own concrete countertop is the creation of the cement itself. Obtaining the perfect mixture can be a delicate process, however, and must be watched carefully in order to create the proper consistency.
1 part cementAs a rule of thumb, a good mixture should look something like this:
- 2 parts rock (small gravel)
- 3 parts sand
Mix these together and use about 15 pounds of concrete for every square foot of the countertop, which should measure roughly 1 1/2 inches in thickness.
As you slowly mix the water and cement together first, you can then add the gravel and sand gradually to the overall mixture. When it is ready, it should resemble an oatmeal consistency and stick together well. If it is wet or pours too easily, the concrete will not settle correctly.
Pour Your Mold
Once you have mixed the concrete together, it is time to pour it into your mold and prepare it for drying and setting. Pour the cement into the mound and disperse it evenly within the frame. Scrape any excess off the top to ensure it is smooth and even. To create a stronger and longer-lasting surface, pressing a steel screen down to the center of the concrete and covering it with cement.
Finish up the preparation by vibrating the sides of your mold frame with a sander. This motion will help release any remaining air pockets trapped within the cement.
Once you have done this, let the concrete dry for about four days in a room temperature space. Be sure to not touch it in any way to ensure quality.
Installing the Countertop
Carefully remove the 2 x 4's with a crowbar and sand it down with a palm sander. This will reveal any holes you have in the surface and can be filled in with a mixture of cement and water. When you do fill in the holes, let it dry for two hours and clean with a damp rag. Seal the concrete with a water-based sealant before installation.
The countertop will be very heavy, so make sure you have a group of people to help you slowly lower it into place. Once it is in the desired space, caulk the seams underneath and your countertop will be complete.