Concrete counter tops

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Skinner, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    I am building my own counter tops from concrete, I have the floors reinforced so you don't have to warn me etc, etc.

    My problem is after I remove the sides of my form ' the size is 7 x 5 by two inches thick' so it can not be precast, the top edge will be crisp, any suggestions on how to smooth it out, a sidewalk finishing trowel with the round over effect will not work as that will an edge on the sides after complete.

    So, outside of trying to accomplish this while wet, and not feeling good about trying to do it free hand with a grinder as I feel this will leave a rough uneven edge, anyone have any suggestions on how to round over the crisp edge that will be left removing the form?

    The sides are easy, I know to vibrate the form etc, just researching the options for smoothing the top/side transition. I have poured three small practice pieces and even tried my router while the concrete was green, but that was a big fail :rofl: . I might try sandpaper and a belt sander, but an angle grinder and free hand has too much risk of a screwup.

    Got any ideas for me?
    #1
  2. KeithinSC

    KeithinSC Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,720
    Location:
    Sandhills of SC
    What about profiling the form prior to pouring? You mentioned a router, if it is still functioning:lol3 maybe you can shape some wood to the edge you need and tack them onto the form. Wax or oil the forms for an easy release.
    Good luck, post up some pics of the successes (or failures?!)
    #2
  3. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    On my sample pour I did put an angle piece that will provide a 45 degree edge whe removed, so we will see ow that works.

    I'll take lots of pics
    #3
  4. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,946
    Location:
    Columbus, GA
    Why a bare concrete? You could tile it and use bull nose edge tile to round the corners as part of the finish. It will both last longer and look better/finished.
    #4
  5. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    Then why bother with concrete at all?

    I could tile anything.

    The concrete counter will be oh so cool!
    #5
  6. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    Good tip thanks!
    I just checked out the site you linked to, that looks like the ticket for my edges, using the hand pads will be perfect! And 4" grinder pads are the cheapest I've seen! $9.99 each!
    #6
  7. Dave in Wi

    Dave in Wi Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,054
    Location:
    Madison WI (40 Square Miles Surrounded By Reality)
    Subscribed. I'm very curious to see how this turns out. I remember seeing a This Old House episode where they hired someone to make concrete countertops, as I remember it seemed more complicated than you'd think. Take lots of pics!
    #7
  8. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,463
    Location:
    Santa Susana, CA
    What about making a trowel with the desired radius?
    #8
  9. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,946
    Location:
    Columbus, GA
    I guess if you like the taste of concrete...
    #9
  10. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    822
    Concrete bricks or pavers will work well for breaking the edges and they are cheap. I assume you are not using an agregate? Are you using fiber or wire mesh?? At 2" thick it WILL crack without reinforcement. What are you sealing it with? GH
    #10
  11. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,729
    Location:
    central USA
    You can go to a cooking equipment store and buy huge polypropylene cutting boards pretty cheap. Profile edge with router. cut off strip. Repeat. Tack into mold. Pour. Vibrate. cure and touch up with sandpaper. This keeps the aggregate away from the edge

    Rod
    #11
  12. STANIMAL

    STANIMAL SUPPORT THE SECOND

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,982
    Location:
    Northbrook IL
    Why not just go with granite ?
    #12
  13. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    Why not just go with laminate.

    I will be sealing it with Procrete products

    Procrete radiance will be the finish surface

    Will be reinforced with 1/2 inch rebar 12 inches spaced, ad an under surface of half inch plywood
    #13
  14. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    Nice tip, thanks
    #14
  15. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    #15
  16. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,365
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    Hey Skinner- Cool idea!

    My wife and I are wanting to do concrete countertops in our new house too.

    I've got two books by Fu-tung Cheng on the subject- well worth the money if you're serious. One of them came with a DVD.

    It seems to me that it's more about prepping the forms and getting everything perfect for the pour (ie- patience) than anything else.

    Are you going to add any cool aggregates or fossils? You can even get glow-in-the-dark stuff or incorporate fiber optics. It's pretty much limited by your imagination.

    I'm going to see how our projects turn out and consider taking a swing at a side business.:deal

    Good luck!
    #16
  17. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,227
    Location:
    Seattle, WA

    Yuck. The look and feel of concrete is entirely different...and better. If it's what you like. Tile is patchwork, grouty and shiny while granite is shiny and common as cheap formica nowadays. Concrete has a much nicer feel and can be DIY.

    YMMV. :D

    OP, looking forward to pics.
    #17
  18. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    I guess I am using an agregate? I will be using quickcrete 80 lb bags. I will have a 12 inch overhang, so that will the interesting part as far as reinforcing, that's why the 1/2 inch rebar, I will support the underside with 2 x 4's during the pour and cure, leave under for at least a week.

    I'll get some pics up soon.
    #18
  19. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Lake county Il
    Thanks!
    #19
  20. showkey

    showkey Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,005
    Location:
    Wausau

    I would suggest adding extra cement to your "Quickcrete concrete mix" to make a much stronger concrete.

    A 6 bag mix equivalent would be the minimum. It is hard get a Quickcrete bag mix rating but I think it is not close to 6 and the true rating is real sensitive to the water ratio.

    5 bag mix = 2500 psi concrete.....generally used for footings

    6 bag mix = 3000 psi.......the minimum I'd use for a surface type concrete

    7 bag mix = 3500 psi ........ and so on....

    The "Pounds per Square Inch" rating is a bit misleading......the rating for footing concrete would also hold about any vehicle you would park on it ( including your house ).......but the higher the PSI or bag mix, the more Portland cement in the cubic yard.

    What that does do, is give a better surface finish. As you increase the cement, the finisher has more to float to the surface and you get a denser finish that will resist surface cracks, chipping, etc......assuming of course it is finished correctly ( not allowed to freeze or get too dry during curing ).


    Bottom line more cement in the mix (with reason) the better. But it must remain consistent from batch to batch for color match, strength and finish quality etc and with a12' over hang, strength is critical.

    Good luck practice practice practice
    #20