Today we’re going to teach you how to make concrete countertops! We made our first for one of our investment properties and loved the look of it so much that we’ve since even made them for a couple clients. The best thing about concrete countertops is that they are super customizable. You can chose any thickness, design or color and make them within a weekends work.
You all ready to get your hands dirty?! I hope so, because they’re going to be full of concrete soon!
Step One: Build your Mold
Start by making a base form for the concrete to be poured into.
We wanted the countertop pretty thick so we went with 2″ thickness for our mold. We used melamine lumber, which already has a smooth finish and is typically used for building cabinets, for our concrete mold. We had read that plywood works too but you then have to finish the plywood with a finish to ensure no bubbles or different marks appear within your concrete. So we went with the melamine to avoid one 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.
Step Two: Mix Concrete
We used quikrete concrete for the mix. Depending on the size of 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.
You’ll also want a bag of gravel if you like the look of ours.
We 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.
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.
Step Three: Add your Color Dye
Step Four: Shovel Concrete into Mold
Once the mold was all set and ready, we mixed the concrete and water into a large bucket using a shovel.
Tip: Use PVC piping if holes are needed so you don’t have to drill them out later.
Step Five: Lay Mesh
The mesh should be placed in the middle of the concrete. So, we started by shoveling half of the concrete into the mold before we put the mesh overlay in.
Make sure you have your mold on a level surface when pouring the concrete into the mold. Once half of the concrete has been poured into the mold, we sprinkled pebbles within the concrete along the edges to add some texture. Whether you want to use colored glass, crushed and colored stone, or other materials, it is the perfect way to add some fun to your concrete countertops so they’re not too plain.
We then set the steel mesh into the mold. Once the mesh is set in add the rest of the concrete mix.
Step Six: Scrape Excessive Concrete off
Using a piece of wood, we scraped any excess concrete off, to ensure it was perfectly firm and level.
We sprinkled additional pebbles on top of the concrete and pushed them down into the concrete, while keeping some on the top throughout.
Step Seven: Sprinkle Rocks Throughout
Step Eight: Use a Palm Sander to Level
Using a palm sander, will help you level out your concrete as well as get rid of any air bubbles. And then it was the waiting game. We let the countertops dry for a little over a week before we took it out of the mold.
For our top we wanted the aggregate in the concrete to show, therefore we left a lot of the pebbles on the top to show. To get this look we used a 4″ angle grinder with a diamond wheel to grind off the top layer of cement once dry. 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.
Step Nine: Let Dry
Step Ten: Remove Mold
To remove the mold unscrew the edge melamine boards and carefully separate from the top.
We let the concrete again sit out of the mold for a few days, to ensure no shifting or cracking and that they were 100% solid and dry.
Step Eleven: Seal
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. And it worked great! For the best finish wait 30 days for the countertop to fully cure. This will ensure no moisture is left in the top which can cause the sealer to fail.
We were both so happy on how it turned out! It was even better than we had thought it was going to be! haha!! And have since been hired to make a handful for our clients from bar tops, to bathrooms for vanities. I think for our next house, we are ready to conquer a bigger concrete project!
In the end we decided on a simple, clean and modern bathroom design. Using a neutral color scheme, asymmetrical balance, and clean lined design. And here it is in our finished remodeled bathroom!