We are pretty handy and thinking of installing concrete counter tops in our kitchen. Any thoughts or tips. I like the idea of granite/quartz but definitely doesn't fit my budget and I don't want to go tile and like the feel of a stone material.
I have had clients do these themselves and they turned out pretty nice. The final product finish would be determined by the skill set of the person doing the work. I would practice on a small piece of furniture before doing the whole kitchen just to make sure you are comfortable doing it. Otherwise, consider stone since it will go in quickly and have a smoother finish.
I would re-think the concrete as a DIY. I have a few clients who have concrete and they are not entirely happy with it...these folks all had it commercially done and the price was way up there at or above granite...personally I have been doing a lot of very large granite tile counters. These tiles can be as big as 18" wide and full depth, some include a formed bull nose front. With clean tight 1/8 to 1/16" grout lines they are very slab like...at a fraction of the cost. http://www.bathandgranite4less.com/kitchen-countertops/
Concrete is becoming more popular, looks great and is greener. But installation is labor intensive and tricky. As per @KMS Woodworks, If you decide to have this done professionally, you may find that the price of the quartz/granite is not much different once you factor in the labor costs for concrete. If price is a key factor DIY maybe your only option. Also remember there is more maintenance after installation to ensure the top looks as good as the day you installed it. Good Luck!
Lisa, I didn't realize you were considering DIY. As a decorative painter, several years ago, I discovered SkimStone while they were still in the process of developing their Bonding Primer to enable DIYers to resurface old laminate and tile counter tops with tintable hybridized cement to achieve the look of concrete counters without the heavy labor. Being the adventuresome artist type I tried it as soon as it hit the market and have been using it ever since. Last year I gave a few workshops in kitchen transformation using SkimStone and paint. This year I'm ramping up my presentations to teach DIYers how to use this in their own homes. It's a great cost-effective solution that you may want to consider. Check out the photos in my profile or at http://www.frogtape.com/promotions/Earn-Your-Stripes.aspx (Click on "Details" of Nora F.'s Cooked Up Kitchen)
I would agree with SawHorse. It's great you have help from your father but, if neither of you have tried installing concrete counter tops before. I would practice on a piece of furniture. This way you have a much better idea for the process and any possible obstacles you may come accross. Good luck, and we look forward to seeing pictures after the project is complete!
you can ' seed ' many things into conc then polish the tops IF you're considering cast-in-place,,, pre/cast are often cast upside down then carried into the house & set into place,,, there isn't an easy learning curve however the 1st lesson is DON'T USE REGULAR CONCRETE - many bagged mixes are available ( buddy rhodes is 1 [ no financial interest in ANY product on the market ]),,, 2nd, NEVER expect to find any material at apron/vest stores ! structural reinforcement placement is critical to final use & longevity of the c-tops,,, the proper sealer will be a blessing & the wrong 1 a nitemare ! good luck !
It can be done but you need to have some concrete experience and a little forming knowledge. I poured our entire new house about 90 square feet of countertops with embedded glass and stained and sealed. The hardest thing about this is flipping the slabs to work on them after they are cured. Then getting them on the cabinets where they belong. Total cost of my countertops with staining and sealing, $800. try buying laminate for that price. if anyone wants a small tutorial let me know and I will gladly pass on pictures and my knowledge.