When we first purchased our home we knew we wanted to make concrete countertops. At first we were even contemplating putting them into the kitchen. But then we decided being we had never made them before we better start out with a smaller project, so we opted for our Master Bathroom.
I have been hearing the rave on these for awhile and Jamie was up for the challenge. We did some research on how to make these but Jamie decided he was going to go with his own technique. So here it is!
We used quikrete concrete for the mix. Depending on how much concrete countertops you are making will depend on how much concrete you will need. The bags will have a coverage rate printed on them. For ours we used about three 80 pound bags.
We used melamine lumber, which already has a smooth finish and is typically used for building cabinets, for our concrete mold. I have read that plywood works just as great but you then have to finish the plywood with a finish to ensure no bubbles or different marks appear within your concrete. We opted for the melamine to avoid one less step. For added strength it’s a good idea to use some sort of steel mesh. Cut the mesh just shy of the outsides of the mold.
Tip: Use melamine lumber for the mold
Jamie added PVC piping into the mold for where the pipes would be for the bathroom sink and faucets. It is important to make sure the size is correct for the drain and the faucet. We then caulked the inside of the mold with silicone caulking. This step isn’t necessary but we wanted a rounded edge rather than a sharp edge.
Once the mold was all set and ready, we mixed the concrete and water into a large bucket using a shovel. In our mix we also added charcoal colored dye to tint the color of our countertops . Add water for the consistency that you want and then pour the concrete into the mold. Make sure you have your mold on a level surface when pouring the concrete into the mold.
TIP: Use PVC piping if holes are needed so you don’t have to drill out later
Jamie poured half of the concrete into the mold and then set the steel mesh into the mold. Once the mesh is set in add the rest of the concrete mix. The mesh should be in the middle of the concrete. When the mold was filled we use a palm sander (you can use anything that will vibrate) to vibrate any air pockets out of the mix. This also works the mix into all the tight areas of the mold.
Tip: A Palm Sander works great to get the air bubbles out
We let the countertops dry for a little over a week before we took it out of the mold. To remove the mold you simply just need to wedge and break off the mold sides. We let the concrete again sit out of the mold for a few days. For our top we wanted the aggregate in the concrete to show. To get this look Jamie used a 4″ angle grinder with a diamond wheel to grind off the top layer of cement. For this step make sure to do it outside and wear a mask because it’s very dusty.
Once it was at the point we wanted it, we picked up some sealer from our local hardware store. Concrete is very porous so it need some kind of sealer on it to keep it clean. We used a bar top sealer. It’s most commonly used on wood but we thought we would give it a try on concrete. So far its working great!
We were both so happy on how it turned out! It was better than I had thought it was going to be! I think for our next house, we are ready to conquer a bigger concrete project!!