Making your own concrete countertop mix will allow you to customize the color of the mixture to complement the theme of your kitchen. Mixing the concrete is a labor intensive job which requires constant vigilance. Several variables in the process can affect the result which can compromise the strength of the concrete and thus the countertop. Follow the below steps to easily and effectively make your own concrete countertop mix.
Step 1: Analyze your need
Plan your countertop by choosing a suitable location in your kitchen to place it. Take measurements to determine the amount of concrete required. Determine the required thickness of your countertop. Simultaneously, decide the color you would want your countertop to be. Black is the ideal color to suit kitchen countertops since it complements other colors and appliances.
Step 2: Prepare for the Concrete mix
Choose a location outside, preferably in your yard where you would like to mix the concrete. Judging from the measurements, get the appropriate amount of materials required. For an average 1-1/2” of thickness, you will require approximately 15lbs of concrete per square foot. To determine the proportion of cement, rock and sand use a simple 1-2-3 recipe. For every 1 part of cement, use 2 parts of pea gravel and 3 parts of sand. In addition, use approximately 6 percent of pigment in proportion to the total amount of cement used.
Step 3: Mix the Concrete
Use a concrete mixer to mix the ingredients after you have acquired their appropriate proportion. Ample supply of water is necessary for a good concrete mix therefore ensure that your mixer is placed near a garden hose which you can access easily. Pour some water into the mixer and then add cement followed by sand and gravel. Add the ingredients slowly and in portions. Do not add all the proportion of an ingredient immediately because it will hamper proper mixing. Once all the three ingredients have been added, add the required proportion of the pigment. Keep adding water systematically after every entry to ensure smooth mixing. Only enough water should be added to make the texture of the concrete gooey. The resultant concrete should stick to the spatula in a semi-solid form. If you poke a finger in your mix, the finger should smoothly slide into the mixture rather than being unable to penetrate or going in too quickly. Stop the mixture occasionally to analyze the texture of your concrete. Once you are satisfied with the result, run the mixer for a minute after adding the pigment. Cement can dry quickly therefore wear gloves during all times of your labor.
Step 4: Pour the Mixture on your Countertop
Use a bucket to travel the concrete mix to the location of your countertop. Pour the mixture into the frame and use spatula to even out the surface. Make sure that your frame is the same size as your measurements earlier to suit the amount of mix prepared complementing those measurements.
WARNING: Your countertop will take 4 days to cure inside the frame, and then 3-4 days more (so 7-8 days total) before you can seal it. For the best results, avoid putting anything on the countertop during this period.