Concrete countertops provide durable and sturdy fixtures for your home with a unique aesthetic that is distinct from a traditional kitchen island or bathroom counter. When building concrete countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, it is essential to prepare adequately. Ensure that you thoroughly understand the process for pouring concrete countertops before beginning your project, in order to guarantee a fixture that is attractive, functional and durable.
Different types of concrete yield vastly different results. Mixing in mineral pigments, sands or different varieties of cement will enhance the color of your final countertop, while simultaneously strengthening the concrete. Unless you have experience working with concrete, some experimentation will be helpful to determine the look and style that you prefer.
When you have decided on the concrete mix that you will use for your countertop, follow these steps to pour it successfully:
Step 1–Mix and Pour the Base of the Countertop
Using a mason’s hoe, mix a first batch of concrete to serve as the foundation and base of the countertop. Do not use too much water in mixing your concrete, as you need a relatively thick, doughy consistency. Pack the concrete firmly into the form, like clay. Use plywood sections to compress the concrete. Allow the concrete to set and dry.
Step 2–Mix and Pour the Surface of the Countertop
You may want to color the surface of your countertop differently from the base. If not, be careful to measure out ingredients in the same proportion to guarantee an even and consistent color.
Use more water in the surface concrete mixture to produce a thinner, more liquid concrete. This will prevent air bubbles and inconsistencies in the surface of the countertop.
Pour the surface concrete, ensuring that it lays evenly along the edges of the form and particularly where the Styrofoam sink fixture is. Allow the concrete to partially dry, checking on it periodically.
Step 3–Trowel the Surface to Make it Smooth
When the surface concrete is firm but not completely dry, use a trowel to smooth it out and reduce any inconsistencies. Repeat this about once per hour until the surface concrete has dried.
Step 4–Remove the Form
When the concrete countertop has dried completely, carefully remove the form. If you have used vinyl-coated particleboard to construct the form, it should separate from the countertop easily.
Concrete countertops can be beautiful fixtures for a kitchen or bathroom, but they require patience and careful attention. Do not rush the process, and if you have any questions or concerns along the way, contact a home improvement specialist for advice. Mistakes that you make in the pouring process may affect the appearance and durability of your concrete countertop for years to come.