concrete countertops for the kitchen - a solid surface on the cheap
Buy everything you need to complete this project here! Rebuilding a kitchen or bathroom with concrete countertops is a home renovation project that you can do on your own. Although it will take some time. - Due to the time required for maintenance, we are ready to scatter our work over several weekends. - You will save yourself the high cost of buying granite or marble countertops. This tutorial will provide all the information you need to plan, create your own forms and moulds, make joints, and distribute poured concrete. I came up with all this because I wanted to redo the kitchen on the square in 1916, and I was tired of all the countertop choices. ( Unless you buy Formica, they cost about the same as granite or marble. They look like granite or marble, typical of granite or marble. ) I found that a more customizable material than other solid surfaces is concrete. The color and texture of concrete are infinite. You can shape it into any shape you can imagine. It retains the advantages of solid surfaces. But it\'s concrete, so it must be cheaper than millstone, right? Not so. If you have a professional to do it for you, it may actually be more expensive than other solid surfaces. You can save a lot of money by doing it yourself. I priced the granite countertop in the kitchen for about $4,000. The final price of my custom concrete countertop is less than $800, including the rent of the concrete mixer. Now, before you\'re ready to pour, I\'ll add your own shortcomings in making concrete countertops at the beginning of all this. 1. This is not a project that can be completed over the weekend. No matter how small the table is, there are at least 10- During the curing process in one day, you will need to do your polishing and polishing. 2. Concrete should be properly sealed at the beginning and waxed every 30 days to avoid contamination. 3. The end result may not be what you expected, especially if you did it for the first time. The good news is that there are many ways to make up for results you don\'t like. I also strongly recommend that you buy Mr. Fu\'s book \"Concrete Countertop\". - Before Dong Cheng tried any concrete bench works. Fu- Dong Cheng is a master. If you want to be a karate kid on a concrete counter, buy this book. Ralph Macchio didn\'t even want to make concrete countertops without Fu. - Dong Cheng\'s help. As you can see in this textbook, I got the help of my husband. P; Evil genius（ Despite its \"special\" nature. He lent his strength and expertise to the project. There are many steps that can be done individually, but they are heavy, and you should expect to need anywhere from 2 to 4 people to help move around your desk on multiple occasions. You need at least three people to pour your wine. It\'s better to have the workbench in the garage repaired. However, grinding and polishing are very damp and messy, so you want to do it outside. Then, you need to install them in the right place to prepare people for help at different times. Note from Mr. P: \"If the substance does not have MSDS, it should be tested before long exposure. Not all testing methods are OSHA-approved. With due sincerity; When mixing concrete or using adhesives and solvents, wear masks, gloves and safety glasses. \"Templates are necessary, especially in old houses like mine, where the walls become irregular due to settlement. It also takes a lot of speculation. Believe me, the last thing you want is to spend a lot of money and time on your desk and find that they don\'t suit you because you\'ve left one-eighth. The door skin is used as a template, but I have a lot of cardboard boxes left from IKEA cabinets, so I recycle them into templates. I made sure to use the edges of the cardboard cut by the factory and the inside of the sink incision to make sure that everything was perfect. Glue guns are good for assembling templates together. When making templates, I allow 1/2 inches from the cabinet surface and 1/8 inches around the sink incision. You will notice that I reinforced my cabinet with 3/4 inch plywood and made a plywood top to increase support for concrete. This is a necessary and specific step. I don\'t recommend skipping this step. I also use steel brackets in the basement to support the floor under the island to compensate for the increased weight, but this may not be necessary, depending on the structure of your house. Be sure to label the template so that you know which side is which. This saves a lot of time, because the non-exposed edges of the mesa do not require polishing and polishing. As you can see, sir. P is proud of his work. Die is the most important part of the whole process. It\'s also the only part of the process where you can spend time reworking, if not correctly. Before starting pouring, make sure that every detail is carefully considered. The best material for making moulds is 3/4 \"melamine, because it is very smooth and straight, if properly made, it can keep moisture without expansion. You need to use a saw with a fine-toothed blade so that it can tear up melamine without breaking it or splitting it. If you want to add some metal support to a concrete mesa, its minimum recommended depth is 2 \". Since I don\'t have any obvious drape, I only use standard concrete wire mesh. If your countertop is less than 2 inches thick, you may have the problem of \"re-shadowing\" on the bracket. - The lighter area in concrete is the pattern of any metal. We tore open several 2-inch long strips of melamine and saw the wound to a certain length with a diagonal saw. Then we put the template on the mould. I don\'t have enough pressure to make sure you turn the template over. - Yes, yes, the template should be down. That\'s because you upset the table. The top of your worktable will be the bottom of the die. If you forget this step, as I did, your desktop is likely to be inappropriate and turn into a very small miniature. - The terrace in your backyard. Thankfully, I found my mistake before pouring the wine and was able to redo the mould. We pre-assembled the side of the die. - Drill a hole every three inches or so, then use a buried-hole drill, so that our screw can be level with the top. The top of the die needs to be completely flat so that concrete can be flattened during pouring. Drywall bolts are the easiest to use, but they need to be drilled very carefully. If you drill too hard, they will break down melamine and destroy the edge material. Especially when you drill too close. We use discarded melamine blocks to reinforce corners because they are under great pressure. Because of the size of the working table on the island, I chose two pieces instead of one big one. There are several reasons for this. - One reason is that without an army, it is much easier to deal with. Another reason is that long-span concrete is sensitive to the movement of weight over time and requires intentional \"stress fracture\". ( Go out and see your sidewalk. . By separating it, you can ensure that if there is any pressure on the table, it will crack at the joint, which can be easily repaired and smoothed. I don\'t want the seam to go straight through the middle of the worktable, but I want to highlight it with an angle and an aluminium bar. So I can call it \"decorative feature\" instead of \"stress fracture\". I bought a 1/8 inch x 2 inch x 12 inch aluminum bar in Lowe\'s, supported it on the die, decided what kind of bar looked good, and then marked it on the side and the template. Then, we use the angle guide rail to transfer the appropriate angle to the diagonal saw, cut the side and sink on the diagonal saw, and then screw in the die with a 1/8 gap to allow the aluminum bar to slide into the die. Another challenge is a big curve. I want to put a small corner on the table. To achieve this, we used a bandsaw to cut the required curve from two twisted pieces of melamine. Then, we took out the two side blocks of melamine connected to the curve and cut a 1. 8 \"x 2\" gap on each side block with a circular saw. We cut a 1/8 inch piece of plexiglass into two inches, and then we are going to glue the plexiglass into the slots on the two sides of our cut. Before you try to bond the resin to anything, you need to grind it flat with sandpaper so that the glue will stick. We used five minutes of epoxy resin to bond the resin to the slot and then clamp it. After that set, we have two sides and a flexible part in the middle, which will fit the curve we need to do. We screwed in the curved melamine and coated the back of the resin with epoxy resin. Then, we bend the resin around the melamine, fix it in place, and then twist two side blocks in place. I think there are curved corners on the island so that if you come too close, you won\'t pierce your intestines. For this reason, we took 2 \"PVC pipes and saw them into 1/4\" with a bandsaw. By using a belt grinder, we can grind the edges until the paper on both sides becomes thinner. Then we use epoxy resin to stick them in the corner. It\'s a real charm, and it\'s also Mr. P\'s evil genius came to light. Mr. P Note: \"Evil is like evil. The last detail is the tap opening. One thing to remember is that most kitchen faucets are made for one. 5 \"mesa depth. Not only is my desktop 2 \", but there are also 3/4\" plywood below. As for the breaker, I use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with a diameter smaller than the base of the tap, but it is large enough for the water pipe to pass through. I cut it to 1. Five inches long, then use a 1/2 inch plywood ring, so that when they are connected, they will be two inches tall. This allows the tap to have a suitable depth and also allows the wrench to tighten. Mould preparation for casting is very important for many reasons: you also need to ensure that any cut surfaces of melamine exposed to wet concrete are sealed to prevent them from expanding due to moisture. For this reason, I spray spray adhesive on the edge of exposure, and then put a clear wrapping tape on it. I trimmed the extra tape with an exacto knife. To avoid spraying too much adhesive in the mould, I used a piece of cardboard to protect the spray. The tape covers most of the screw heads in the die, but some of them are still exposed. Because you need to remove the screw to break the mould, make sure that any exposed screw head is filled with some kind of clay or putty. ( Plumber putty, rubber mud, etc. ). This will prevent concrete from entering the screw head, which will make it almost impossible to unscrew. In order to support the die, I used two very strong sawmills, two 3/4 \"plywood overlapped, and then drilled into the sawmill. I put the mould on top and twisted the edge of the mould into the plywood. In order to increase the support, I took some wood fragments, cut them into a certain size, and then twisted them on the edge of the die. I don\'t have a prominent part on my desk, so I don\'t use steel bars to support it. I needed more support, so I used two concrete mesh slabs. I cut them into sizes, stacked them and offset them, then tied them up with wire. You will also notice that I folded two pieces of polystyrene foam and made a 1-inch gasket from the bottom of the mould. Remember, if the wire mesh is too close to the bottom or side of the die（ Which one is the top of your desktop? You will encounter the problem of duplication. By using gaskets, we can ensure that the grid is in the middle of the table. In addition, ensure that the mesh is 1\"away from all edges of the die. Now that I\'ve made the bracket, I\'ll take it out for final preparation. First, I cleaned the mould with a vacuum cleaner and cleaned it thoroughly with alcohol. To further personalize the table, I want to insert coins from places where my wife and I have been. It\'s easy to do this by rubbing a slit in the side of the coins I want to expose and placing them face down on the die. In the process of collapse, the bonding force of the seam just keeps the coin in place. I don\'t have to wait for it to dry. Mr. P Note: \"Remember, when the table is finished, the side of the face-down coin will be exposed. In other words, the side of the silica gel you place will be exposed. The next step is to put the polystyrene foam gasket back into the mold, lay down the metal cage, and then tie the wire with the wire to support the metal cage after the washer is removed. I screw the screw on the outer edge of the die so that I can tie the wire to my head and wrap them around the edge of the cage. Once everything was tied up, I slid the gasket out of the cage, which is now suspended at the bottom of the die. Another additional part of my countertop is the shattered blue glass inside, which matches the blue glass mosaic tiles in the kitchen. I bought glass from Cheng, but if you like, you can break the glass by yourself. It is suggested that spraying glue be used on the mould so that the glass will stick before it is laid down. I did this, although it would not stick very hard to the glass, but it was sticky enough to prevent the glass from gathering when pouring concrete. In addition, make sure that the needle tip on the spray nozzle is clean. Mine is not. It puts some small bubbles on the mould and then transfers them to the table. Then I spread the glass as evenly as possible. I\'m finally ready to pour wine! The day of pouring the wine finally arrived. Most importantly, our friendly neighbor, home depot, rented us a beautiful new concrete mixer for $50 a day. Yes, we are the first to use this good machine. P waited anxiously for it to go the whole way. I finally bought Cheng Major- Because this is my first time pouring wine, I don\'t want to have any accident. These kits contain everything you need, except a bag of Quickrete 5000 that you can buy at any home appliance store. It has coloring, supporting fibers and water reducers, making concrete the perfect choice for mesa. I strongly recommend it to people who meet for the first time. When mixing concrete, you must wear gloves and masks, because the concrete is dirty and dirty. It\'s better to have three people pouring the wine, so that one can clean the mixer and tools while pouring the wine. We mix the concrete according to the instructions in the toolkit, and then start rolling the concrete trolley into the garage. At first, we gently put our hands into the concrete so that we would not disturb the glass. When the glass is covered, we shovel it in. Before you stop vibrating concrete, you can only fill half of the mould. If you want to avoid bubbles on the workbench, you have to vibrate the concrete. There are commercial concrete vibrators, but I found that tapping rubber hammers along the bottom and around the moulds seemed to work best. Using mallets can be exhausting, but soon you\'ll see bubbles coming out of the surface, so you know it\'s working. Cheng also suggests using track sander without sandpaper to vibrate concrete. I\'ve tried this one. It works well on the side of the die, but it doesn\'t do much at the bottom. Now go ahead and fill the mold with the remaining concrete to ensure that the added concrete can hold more than the mold can. Use a straight piece of wood or melamine that is long enough to cross the die to flatten the concrete. Start from one side, push the ironing plate back and forth along the side until you pass through the die completely to reach the horizontal plane. Make sure to fill any hole in the concrete that may be already very low, and then restore it. -screed it. Continue and start vibrating concrete again. Make sure you have vibrated it as much as possible. It took me about 10 minutes to shake the mallet before I felt it properly shaken. Now you wait. . . Watching it doesn\'t make it work faster. The ideal curing condition is in a humid and cool area between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I chose to put it in my garage for treatment because it was in that state all summer. If the temperature is below 50 degrees, some heating is recommended for proper curing. Maintenance in the sun is also not good because it dries quickly and cracks more easily. I waited four days to start the next step. Can you imagine? P\'s expectation? Mr. P Note: \"Unbearable! ! \"If you want to polish and polish your desktop, a time window is ideal. Four days later, the hardness of the concrete is enough to break the mould. Ten days later, the strength of concrete will reach 95%, which will be more difficult to grind. The concrete will reach full strength after 28 days. I made sure that all my polishing and polishing were done in those six days, which made my job easier. Four days after solidification, I began to unscrew all the screws in the mould. Be sure to take them out. It will be more smooth. Do not leverage green concrete to exert any pressure on it, because there is a risk of cracking or cracking. Once you remove all the edges, you need at least another person to take it out of the bottom of the mold. It should be easy to pop up from the bottom. Then support it on its edge. Then I put down a piece of foam and put the counter on it. This will support the table from the bottom, so that you can put your finger under the table, but also easier to grind edges. If you want your countertop to be solid, you can skip the grinding process and polish it directly. Both processes require the use of diamond coated abrasive pads with wet polishers, but the polishing time is relatively short. I want to expose the aggregate and glass on the table, so I choose grinding first. There are many ways to use a wet grinder, such as using a regular grinder/sander with diamond pads, letting others use hoses, or poking a hole in a gallon of pots to let water flow out during grinding. If you choose to take shortcuts, make sure you are on a well grounded circuit and you plug in a GFCI socket. This is a very wet process. You\'ll get wet from head to foot, and we all know that water and electric tools don\'t mix. Another option is to use pneumatic tools to avoid what I think is the perfect power problem. (and cheaper)solution. So I bought this air-wet grinder. It seems like a good gadget, but I never had a chance to use it because I didn\'t realize that it needed 8 SCFMS to operate. For those who don\'t understand your air compressor terminology, I obviously don\'t understand it. It\'s a huge Hongjin air compressor. The only air compressor I can find that drives so much air is between $550 and $800. My pancake compressor is almost shut down. The good news is that for anyone with an air compressor that can drive 8 scfms, I will sell you my air grinder. . . . cheap. So I chose my career path. I bought a Hellcat wet polisher. Not only does this make a fairly time-consuming job easier, it\'s double insulated water and has an additional glass fiber reinforced protection. Of course, you need a diamond pad. I found it cheap here. The only pads I didn\'t use were 3,000 coarse sand and polished pads, so I found this to be a good value. They can also be used for multiple projects, so you may want to talk to a friend who also wants a new table and separate the cost of the grinder from the cost of the pad. I tried with my husband. But he didn\'t fall in love with it. Curse his evil genius-ness! Mr. P Note: \"Berzabuba does not breed fools. \"Again, it\'s a very wet process. There was water mixed with cement everywhere, so I chose to move the workbench outside. You need to wear rubber gloves and boots to provide additional shock protection. Mr. P Note: \"Some people think this is a fashion avant-garde vision. Not many, but some are. \"I started grinding with a 50-grain pad. I moved slowly back and forth, then from side to side. Almost as soon as you grind it, you will see that the aggregate is exposed. The first mat is the most difficult because you use it to grind down the most. Continue grinding until the required aggregate is exposed. The most important thing is to keep your grinder as flat as possible, especially with rough sand pads. If you don\'t keep the table level, you can leave some deep impressions on the table. Then I use 100 sand grains, then 200 sand grains, and finally 400 sand grains. 400 coarse sand is considered to be the last abrasive pad to be considered \"grinding\". Thinner pads are beginning to add more luster to the worktable. Then I use a concrete slurry to fill any hole or crevice in the worktable. This mud is supplied with the kit in the same color as my countertop. I just mix it with a little water, put it on the table with a putty knife, and wipe off the excess with a wet sponge. After drying, I rubbed it once with size 400 sandpaper. I finished the last two cushions, 800 and 1500, respectively. Although I have 3000, Cheng does not recommend using it, because the matching sealing material needs to have a little \"teeth\" on the table to penetrate and adhere. When you seal it and polish it with wax, its luster is the same or more as that of 3000 sand pad. Finish polishing! Almost. I can\'t say the concrete is heavy. You need someone to help you finish the final installation. I can move all my desktops with three people, but that\'s because I did my biggest thing in two parts. Make sure you have a battle plan, how you will move it, and work it out. If you just put a lot of sealant on your plywood countertop, the weight of the countertop will keep it in place. If you want to increase support or live in earthquake-prone areas, you can decide to drill under concrete and use Tubkons to further protect it. I also wanted to hide 3/4 plywood countertops to support the countertops, so I bought 3/4 by 4 galvanized steel bars in Louis. I just cut them to a certain size and then glue them to the edges of the plywood with liquid nails. It adds another kind of decorative touch and looks great! If you remember, I have an aluminium bar, and I want to be an accent, where debris from two islands gathers. To do this, I cut the aluminium to the right length to make it stick. (and out) It\'s just a little red. I applied the sealant on both sides of the aluminium, then pressed the countertops together, clamped the aluminium and fixed it. Then I used two copies of concrete epoxy resin, and I applied it to aluminium and concrete. After drying, I smoothed it with a Wet Polisher until it was completely flat with No. 50 sand, and then grinded into No. 1500 sand to match the surface treatment. The Cheng Pro- There is a permeable sealant in the prescription kit. I apply it according to the simple instructions. I chose to add extra luster and protection and polish them with Kanuba wax. This wax is heat-resistant, so you can still put the hot pot on the table without scorching, and also prevent acid food such as wine and citrus stains. Wax needs to be re-waxed- Use once a month to maintain gloss and protection. So now I have my own beautiful new table! It\'s a lot of work and quite a lot of expense, but it\'s so cheaper than granite that I can add details that you can\'t find on any other solid surface mesa. Now I want to enjoy the fruits of my work, but eventually I want to make an outdoor kitchen, which also needs a countertop. When I start, I also record the process. I hope it will be helpful for your project. I will be very happy to answer any questions you have, so please feel free to ask. Thank you, Major. P and my brothers who helped me complete this project, without them I could not have done it.