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Old 01-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
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Cement Countertops


I want to redo my countertops I'm on a low budgets to do it with so I was thinking cement countertops. I have seen them before and thought they looked cool but the problem is I have never done it before and don't know what I'll need to make them. What is this best cement to use and how do I make the molding of a countertop and what's it called to mix with the cement to give it color. Any help on this matter would be helpful THANK YOU.

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Old 01-02-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Do a google search. Lots of info.

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Old 01-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
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Home centers now sell cement products labeled for counter tops and they have all of the instructions and accessories you need.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:50 PM   #4
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You are probably talking about concrete countertops. Cement is the binding agent used in concrete, if you made a countertop out of pure cement it would not work well. Google concrete countertop for more information.

My brother became quite good at making concrete countertops. It is actually quite difficult to get a really nice finish, lots of practice required. The first few are not likely to turn out well, unless you find someone with experience to help you. You also should check out some actual examples, you can get a wide variety of appearances and textures depending on what goes into the concrete, and the finishing technique.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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If you're looking for a finish like granite or solid surface, don't choose to DIY concrete countertops yourself. However, if you can live with small imperfections (coloring, small pin-like holes at the corners and throughout the top) go for it. I've done a couple of smaller pieces. It's all in the prep.

I used melamine for my forms and caulked the corners to get a nice rounded edge. Installed steel mesh and vibrated the forms for about 10 min. with a random orbit sander (gets the air pockets out)....It's messy and the slabs are HEAVY. Be sure your floors and countertops are reinforced or can handle the weight. Break the project into smaller forms so that you're not having to pour, flip and install a huge awkward piece.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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If you really want to find out about concrete countertops, buy the book from Taunton Press -- the people who do Fine Homebuilding Magazine. It's an excellent book that tells you how to do it, how not to do it, and everything in between.

The method most people use is fairly expensive to set up. You need melamine to make the forms, and diamond pads in every grit (the real cost) to do the polishing.

But they show an alternate method at the back where the concrete is poured in place, tooled, and finished. It has an entirely different look, but it's much easier to do.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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Nice concrete countertops are made in a shop to size jut like stone versions. Or they are poured on site (specified one and things did not turn out especially well),

I specified many of these for clients. Concrete and recycled glass polished to look like this:

http://www.vetrazzo.com/eng

One of the things I love about concrete is you can pour sinks and things as a unit. A friend was trained at a place in the Carolinas. Check out Doug's website at

www.uptownconcrete.com

or the concrete and epoxy guys at

http://www.customconcretecreations.net/index.html

You cannot and should not try this with mickey mouse forming and a couple bags of Sakrete.

Last edited by user1007; 01-03-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:11 PM   #8
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Cement Countertops


I've done several and can say it is A LOT of work. The initial cost is definately high---especially for the diamond pads and viarable speed grinder. I also opted for the inversed mold method using melamine (never trusted my tooling skills enough to do them in place). I used the high strength sack concrete (think it was 3000 psi) and added fibers and some kind of a water reducer. I used powdered pigments for the colors, experimenting with combinations in small bathces. You can use carbon fiber webbing as the reinforcement to make it lighter, and a bit thinner. It's been years since I've messed with this, but the big problem then was protecting them from staining (mine were pretty susceptable, but I always that the dark spote/stains added character). I imagine there are good sealers out now.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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Cement Countertops


I would also like to say that although you are on a budget, you should go with concrete. Cimento just won't do anything by itself.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
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As mentioned, my experience with poured in place countertops is limited. Basically finishing a countertop would be like concrete polishing a floor---aka terrazo. Those I have had fabricated off site end up running a bit less than say granite and I suppose specifying concrete countertops puts guys in quarries out of work. Sorry. Learn to stain and polish concrete and not strip mine the planet.

But being able to cast sinks and things opens up all kinds of design possibilities. A good country artisan can deliver any color you have in mind in the mix and also will know how to work with staining the material. Those that work with concrete and epoxy crank out some incredible stuff.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Learn to stain and polish concrete and not strip mine the planet.
Yow because Portland cement, aggregate used in concrete, sand, and the use of lime, have nothing to do with "strip mining" the planet.

But then neither does granite and marble production.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #12
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Concrete counters are definitely different in terms of their usage and durability to granite and other solid surfaces. They will stain, and to my knowledge even with a good sealer, they are susceptible to staining, especially with oils and grease. Again, if you're doing them yourself and don't mind some imperfections, they're a great option.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cibula11 View Post
Concrete counters are definitely different in terms of their usage and durability to granite and other solid surfaces. They will stain, and to my knowledge even with a good sealer, they are susceptible to staining, especially with oils and grease. Again, if you're doing them yourself and don't mind some imperfections, they're a great option.
Not to argue but stone counters, not maintained, are not exactly impervious to oils and grease. My kitchen has stone surfaces. Came with the place.

Had I a choice? Definitely would have found a concrete artisan. Or probably a glass artisan. Solid glass countertops are to die for.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:50 PM   #14
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I, personally, am not a fan of concrete countertops; however, many of my neighbors and friends have them. There are some options you have in choosing a specific concrete, but when it comes down to it there really aren't that many options. Be sure that the concrete you get is made for countertops. Although any cement mix would work, if you want the best results, be sure to get one specifically for countertops...still very affordable.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:53 PM   #15
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Home centers now sell cement products labeled for counter tops and they have all of the instructions and accessories you need. Again!

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