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Concrete Countertop

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I was amazed at how easy it is to create a concrete counter top. I've never done this before and I have little experience using concrete, but the result was amazing! If you need a durable countertop give this a go.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Start by cutting a mould out of melamine to the size of the slab you want. The 2 main things to think of here are thickness and over hang. I went with 45 millimetres thick and an over hang on the front of 30 millimetres. I’m sure you could go thinner if you wanted but the mix would need something like fibergalss added.
I then measured the inside length of the mould, which would be the total length of the counter top and lined up the strips I cut earlier.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
I clamped these down and screwed them to the base making sure to pre drill each hole because you don’t want the melamine to expand from the screw.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Once all the sides have been screwed into place it's time for caulking. The method I find works is to use soapy water and a lot of rags. This will be the round over on the top so find an object that reflects that edge. I used a rounded pen lid. You also want to make sure that where the silicone meets the melamine there is a feathered edge.
After the silicone dries (24 hours is normally enough) wipe the inside surface of the form with olive oil. This will help release the concrete later.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Then it was finally time to mix the concrete. I used a high strength mix from my local hardware store. All the videos I've watched either used Quickrete, which I don’t think we have in Australia, or it’s not mentioned. I get the feeling that any concrete, besides quick set, would work fine.
After the first layer I vibrated using a rubber mallet.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
You really want to force the first layer on concrete into the corners of the form. Because you’ve mixed it dry it won’t run as much you think.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Here I'm adding strips of rebar to the concrete. These can be pressed into the concrete after all of it has been added, but make sure they don't come through the concrete.
I should also point out that I wasn't wearing gloves while doing this which can be a bad idea. I recommend wearing gloves while handling cement products.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Once all the concrete is added it needs to be vibrated for about half an hour. I used a rubber mallet.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Screeding the top means that it will be parallel with the other side. Don't worry too much about this step though because this side will be the underneath so no one's going to see it.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Make sure to keep the concrete moist for about 4 days. You don’t need to cure it for any longer than that. Do a bit of reading up on curing if you’re unsure, it’s really interesting stuff.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
After 4 days of curing remove the melamine strips and allow it to dry for another 2 days. I good way to test if concrete is dry is to take a piece of rubber and lay it on top. Leave it for an hour then remove it and if there is a damp patch then it needs to dry for longer.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Next seal the concrete. I used a water-based concrete sealer, starting with a 50:50 sealer/water mix for the first 2 coats, then used straight sealer for the next 3.
  • concrete countertop, concrete masonry, countertops
Then simply pick it up and move it into place where ever you need.

Materials I used for this project:

  • Concrete
  • Silicone Caulk
  • Melamine Sheets
See all materials
  • Pixiebabydoll

    I think you can also just vibrate it going around the sides and just under the edge. And its beautifully done too! if I was able to lift this id love to do my counters and maybe a couple cute patio pieces wouldn't have to worry about wind blow over

    • Pixiebabydoll

      lol I'm 4'11 which is rather tiny no lifting this stuff for me!

  • Martin L Franks
    Martin L Franks Visalia, CA

    Would like to try for my kitchen remodel.

  • Mibwb
    Mibwb Flint, MI

    Did you think about adding color?

    • Robin Lewis
      Robin Lewis Australia

      I added a small amount of black oxide powder, but in retrospect I wish I'd used more to darken it further

  • Dale
    Dale Avondale, AZ

    what about making it thinner by using wonder board, backer board or some other water resistant cement board. Concrete would not need to be so thick then?

    • Robin Lewis
      Robin Lewis Australia

      That works, and I've seen videos of people doing it. My concern was the thinner you run the concrete the weaker it becomes. I'm sure there's some magic ratio but I went with the safer option in the end

  • Lynda Jones
    Lynda Jones Australia

    I needed an idea for a large out door table for my bar area & this is awesome , so I would love to try this . It looks so amazing, well done.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!