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Old 06-12-2009, 01:21 AM   #196
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


Thanks so much for sharing this project with us!! I'm planning on re-doing our kitchen too and remember flipping through that same book on cement countertops at our local Barnes & Noble a couple of years ago. Now I think I'm going to have to pick it up and check it out!!

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Old 06-13-2009, 12:59 PM   #197
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Wet Polish to 1500 grit

at 800 grit the surface feels as smooth as glass. at 1500 grit the surface is as smooth as a baby's bottom, lol. i stopped at 1500 grit because i want the sealer to be able to bite to the surface (as recommended by the pro). for comparison purpose, granite is usually polished to 3000 grit.

important: make sure your concrete has cured to sufficient hardness before you polish it. the pro recommends at least 10 days after initial pour.

this time i dried it before i snapped the pictures.




when grinding over top decorative stone, with low grit pads, it is important to AVOID the stones. they are smooth anyway and do not require grinding. you can always polish with softer grit pads (800+) later. the reason to avoid with low grit pads, you don't want any swirl marks. very hard to get out from the stones!


this next picture is interesting because it shows how i repaired the edge (bottom of picture). go look at the picture a couple of pages back and you'll see what i mean. this was repaired during the Slurry application phase.

Last edited by Knucklez; 06-13-2009 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:24 PM   #198
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Love it - great job !- how often will you have to apply the sealer - I assume it isn't a one-off job ?
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:29 AM   #199
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you'd probably get a better answer by reading the pro's FAQ listed HERE

Q54:
What sort of routine maintenance is required to keep a nice finish on my concrete countertop? How often do I re-apply the finishing wax?

Ideally, for maximum protection and beauty, we recommend that wax be reapplied every month. With each coat of wax, your countertop will develop a naturally hard, protective coating to help repel against staining as well as remove fingerprints and add a lustrous sheen. Realistically, many owners only wax their countertops once a year or less, and then some never do at all. Without upkeep and maintenance, your countertop will patina and stain but this is only cosmetic and will not affect the durability of your countertop. As long as you like the aesthetics of your countertop, the countertop itself can be virtually maintenance-free and provide many years of enjoyment.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:39 AM   #200
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The Herculean Install:

had 3 guys and my wife on hand.

that 350lb piece is no slouch. it took 3 guys to lift it up on edge and try to move it, and after 30 seconds we were too tired to continue. i mean, we could take but one step. then rest. this is not possible.

the pros use a dolly to rest it on (vertically, never carry or transport horizontally) and then roll it into place. i thought, gee.. just got to go about 10 steps, no need for a dolly. ya, was wrong about that.

we eventually used my pour table as a ramp to get into the house (forget about using stairs, can't lift the darned thing!). the friction was too great to slide it on the ramp though. hmm.. so we had 4 pieces of 1" galvenized steel bars. we put them under the edge of the countertop and then slowly ROLLED the big piece up the ramp and into the house. in the house, we protected the floor by having 1" of blankets and 1" rigid foam.

then we slid the blanket/foam over to the countertop.

then tried to heave it into place. nope.. couldn't dead lift it quite high enough.

so we wedged two 2x4's under the edge to raise it off the floor 1.5". then i put in a sheet of 3/4" plywood. then wedge in two more 2x4's. once we built it up high enough off the ground (and we were well rested) we did a monster lift and flip onto the countertop.

we put the same metal bars on the countertop too, so the concrete was resting (just barely) on the edge of the countertop and we were holding the other end up. quickly we rolled it into place, using the metal bars to allow us to roll along the surface of the countertop. then lifted it a bit and took the bars out. can also put cauling in too.

wow, that was tough.

here are some more installation tips i found on the net, click HERE

pictures are forthcoming (camera batteries are charging)

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Old 06-16-2009, 08:35 AM   #201
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i can picture your poor wife and friends lifting this monster while your standing back taking pictures!

something else to consider when I get around to my project. Our doorways to the kitchen are Narrow so it will make it all the tougher to finagle it in. I'll have to engineer a sling or something to get it hoisted in and up.

can't wait to see the pics!
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:50 PM   #202
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ha.

don't worry about the narrow door. remember, when transporting the countertop, it is always in the vertical position, not lying flat and walking around.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #203
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Final Pictures

countertops have been sealed with an acrylic penetrating sealer and then hand rubbed with some carnuba wax.

here is the countertop as it was installed. its obvious that we have to paint the cabinets now.
remember, when i poured the concrete a lot of it was accidently spilled on the driveway. that caused me to lose some and so i was not able to completely fill the mold and thus was not able to guarantee a flat bottom. after install, that means i had to do a lot of shimming. unfortunately this means i have a gap in some places between countertop and substrate. this will be covered with decorative trim. normally, the trim just covers the edge of teh 3/4" plywood substrate, but now it will have to cover that and a bit of the gap so the countertop/substrate appears seamless.







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Old 06-18-2009, 11:11 AM   #204
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Great work on your kitchen so far! Keep it going!
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:41 PM   #205
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@perpetualjon
Fu Tung also has a new book out called Concrete Countertops Made Simple. You should definitely take a look at it if you are interested in doing your own countertops. It comes with a DVD which was a lifesaver! Cheng Concrete's website has a store where you can get nearly everything you need to make your own concrete countertops. It looks like that is where Knucklez got the stuff for his countertop. I know their mixes and such are also available at some Home Depots around Phoenix now as well. The website is: http://www.concreteexchange.com/ and the direct link to the book I mentioned is this: http://store.concreteexchange.com/CH...-and-DVD-Guide
Good luck with your project. I hope to see pictures!
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:41 PM   #206
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ok, i give up. what's the secret with installing a kitchen sink drain & basket? i put silicon between drain and sink on the top side, and rubber gasket between sink and basket on the bottom.

i tighten..

it leaks

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Old 06-18-2009, 07:44 PM   #207
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Ive always used plumbers putty.

Take a golf ball sized glob and roll it in the palms of your hand making it into a long snake. place it around the sink opening. put in the trap and tighten it down.

A lot of the plumbers putty will squeeze out but you just remove that with your finger and your sink is leak-free.

Good luck
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:46 PM   #208
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Yup, I use the plumbers putty too
My cheap HD drain chrome is rusting after only 4 years
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:11 PM   #209
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYdarling View Post
@perpetualjon
Fu Tung also has a new book...
Thx so much for the info!!
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:37 AM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What have I done View Post
Ive always used plumbers putty.

Take a golf ball sized glob and roll it in the palms of your hand making it into a long snake. place it around the sink opening. put in the trap and tighten it down.

A lot of the plumbers putty will squeeze out but you just remove that with your finger and your sink is leak-free.

Good luck
just done this ! - i agree - also do not over tighten - it will cause more leaks than it solves.

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