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Old 09-17-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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Concrete Countertops over Laminate?


I've seen a lot of DIY projects for installing concrete kitchen countertops and I really want to give it a go!

I want to go the cast-in-place route (no seams, no heavy lifting) and since my current countertops are solid/sturdy I would like to try and make a little less work for myself and pour the concrete directly over the laminate. FYI, our current counters are solid wood with a sheet of laminate/formica on the top surface of the counter.

I have only seen one other DIYer do this (pour concrete directly onto laminate) but I want to take a few more precautions than they did.
My main concern is moisture from the concrete seeping into the laminate/wood counter.

I'd like to put some sort of moisture/vapor barrier between the laminate and the concrete but am at a loss as to how to do this. Need something that will create a barrier, but also needs to allow concrete to adhere to it.

Any ideas? This hasn't been done before (that I can find) and so it is requiring some unconventional thinking (aka stubbornness).

Thoughts on this idea?
Countertop > Film Barrier > Metal lath stapled in place > seal staples > pour concrete
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:54 PM   #2
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Not a good idea to leave the old counters in place. Do a little search on concrete counters and come back with questions.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:33 PM   #3
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I've done quite a bit of research on concrete counters and I see how it's often done (on backer board). I've seen people do Ardex on their laminate, but that thin of a layer seems like it would be very brittle. Why isn't it a good idea/why don't people pour extra strength concrete on top of their existing counters?
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:02 PM   #4
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we use stapled down 15# felt,,, NO STEEL - carbon fiber grid for addl strength
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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Do you mind me asking about how thick your layer of concrete was on top of this? This is sort of what I had in mind! I'm encouraged to hear someone else has done something like this. Are you happy with the results?
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisDIY2015 View Post
I've done quite a bit of research on concrete counters and I see how it's often done (on backer board). I've seen people do Ardex on their laminate, but that thin of a layer seems like it would be very brittle. Why isn't it a good idea/why don't people pour extra strength concrete on top of their existing counters?

Extra strength concrete won't do you any good, because it's high in compressive strength, but much lower in tensile strength, so you need to add something with a high tensile like steel, or as stadry says carbon fibre.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:28 PM   #7
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man, i have a monster thread on this message board for DIY concrete countertop. sadly all my pictures are gone. i used easy to get concrete from home depot, check my thread i put exactly what i used. this was years ago, counter still looks great. i walked on it too while reaching up to top shelf, no problem.

when i did my research that was the main question, form in place or external. pros and cons to both, but the deal breaker for me was when i read that no mater how much skill you have with a trowl, you will never obtain the smooth surface that forming external on MDF can give you.

specific to your question, i do not know the answer but here are some thoughts. once concrete dries and u put your sealer on the top (be real careful about this step or you will leave streaks) you will no longer have a moisture problem between wood & concrete. so... why not just put a sheet of vapour barrier plastic down to keep water in the concrete from touching wood while it cures. easy?
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:11 AM   #8
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why reinvent the wheel ? 'theconcretestore' carries a proprietary c-top mix & buddy rhodes' stuff should be easily avail [no $ interest in either],,, get just as smooth surfaces either way - depends on trowel skill level,,, controlling factor's on-site fabrication OR off-site & transport,,, most pro's use formica for a forming base

this place isn't the 'board' to find many who have done this work
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:23 PM   #9
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So you've got a 1.5 inch laminate top?How much concrete are you going to pour on top of that?Making your countertop how thick?How are you going to handle the front edge?Form it?How thick?So how far will the edge now stick out from your cabinets?How much extra weight is this going to be on top of the cabinets?As a first timer trying this in a unorthadox manner what will you do if it does not work out?You still have to deal with the sink and fixtures?Do you really think this will save you money and you will be happy with the end result?

Just a couple questions but IMHO it's not going to work out well.Especially after your a few days into it and things aren't going well and the wife wants her kitchen done.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:57 PM   #10
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good point, mako,,, its not often we see 3" c-tops in residential kitchens,,, std c-tops are light so i'd guess the op's ok w/weight carrying capacity,,, edge forms are avail to buy or roll your own

10-4 on the wife too !
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