Concrete Countertops: Advantages, How to Make, and Pro Tips

Concrete countertops’ beauty, durability and versatility make them a popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor living areas.

Despite an array of other options — from inexpensive laminate, ceramic tile and butcher block, to high-end granite, marble and quartz — concrete countertops stand out for the following reasons.

They’re loaded with options.

Creating a concrete countertop is a DIY-friendly project for homeowners who want their kitchen to match their personality.

You can mold the materials into any shape, size, thickness, color or texture for maximum customization. And you can embellish the surface with glass, stone or tile.

concrete-butcher-block
Seeking a statement piece for your kitchen or bathroom? Consider a concrete kitchen island or vanity. (DepositPhotos)

They provide a focal point.

Concrete countertops make a statement, whether they’re stony gray — a common selection — or have instant color added with pigments to match the room.

You can grind the surface to expose underlying aggregate — rocks — for an industrial feel, or polish it for a smooth, modern look. Colored aggregates or glass beads also make for an interesting appearance. The slab can be an inch thick like most countertops, or 6 inches to add visual weight.

And, to complete the look, you can add concrete pendant lights overhead.

Concrete countertop in an outdoor kitchen
Concrete develops a patina over time from age and surface change. This thin, glossy film enhances its character and value.

They age well.

Concrete countertops last for decades if properly maintained with non-abrasive cleaners, waxed every month, and sealed once a year.

The best defense is a good offense, so take precautions and you’ll avoid problems. If you’re chopping tomatoes, grab a cutting board to prevent stains and surface damage, and quickly clean any messes.

When well-maintained concrete countertops do age, they’ll do so in style. Because concrete develops a patina — a natural, glossy film — that gives the countertop more character and boosts its value.

Man creates a concrete countertop in Mobile, Alabama
Anyone can create a concrete countertop with just a few items from the home center.

They’re easy to create!

Fortunately, for many homeowners who enjoy tackling do-it-yourself projects, concrete countertops are not difficult to create.

You just need a special concrete mix that’s made for countertops, such as Quikrete Countertop Mix, water, and a good, strong form.

Bags of Quikrete Countertop Mix
Not just any concrete mix will do for this project — get Quikrete Countertop Mix.

Concrete mix designed for countertops is the best choice for this project because it contains less aggregate — or rocks — than a general-use mix. It also has plasticizers that make the mixture flow well with less water, and the formula minimizes shrinkage.

The easiest way for a do-it-yourselfer to create a concrete countertop is to build an inverted form. This means the bottom of the form is the top of the counter.

Melamine is the best material for the form because it has a vinyl coating that makes it easier to remove when the concrete is dry.

Bearded man uses a power drill to screw together a concrete form
Use a drill to speed up the process of building the melamine form.
  1. Build the form. Screw melamine-coated sheets together, cut to size. Then caulk the seams and corners with silicon.

Make sure the form is perfectly flat and well supported, so it won’t sag from the concrete’s weight. Pour in two lifts, then imbed rebar, if necessary, at the center of the form.

Man pours Quikrete Countertop Mix into a wheelbarrow
To achieve the right consistency for your project, follow directions on the bag of concrete mix.
  1. Mix and spread the concrete. Mix up the Quikrete Countertop Mix, as directed, and pour it into the form. You’ll want to evenly spread the concrete so it’s level with the top of the form’s sides.

Then, while the concrete is still wet, tap the form’s sides with a rubber mallet to release any trapped air bubbles that could mar the surface.

Concrete mix, seen in a countertop form
Rebar, or steel, will reinforce the concrete, which should cure, or achieve its ideal strength, after 30 days.
  1. Let it set. Allow the concrete to harden for a week before removing the form. Then sand any sharp edges on the concrete and polish the surface if desired.

You can cut the thin wires that suspend the rebar after the concrete has completely dried.

Concrete countertop with brick columns
A concrete countertop, no matter how big or small, enhances any patio.
  1. Let it cure. After the concrete has cured for 30 days, apply a concrete stain, if desired, and Quikrete Concrete & Masonry Waterproofing Sealer to give the countertop a finished look.

Watch the video above for step-by-step instructions.

To recap, a concrete countertop project’s success depends on these things:

  • Creating the forms from a smooth, nonporous material like melamine.
  • Providing ample support with rebar and reinforcement wire.
  • Coating the forms with lubricant for easy release.
  • Using concrete mix designed for countertops.

Have you created a concrete countertop? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Where is the video about concrete countertops ? ? ? I clicked on the box that was presented to me in the email message ? ? ?

    • Hi, Gregory! The video is displayed at the top of this page and it’s working on our end.
      If it isn’t displaying/playing correctly, please let us know and we will get our IT staff to troubleshoot. Take care. 🙂

  2. If you use steel wire to hold up the reinforcing bars in the concrete counter top, eventually the steel wire will show rust.
    Could substitute string, plastic ties, or stainless steel safety wire.

  3. I have concrete counters a few years old. When I moved that are 13 years old . I moved in almost two years ago. The counter tops have mark’s and nicks then covered with epoxy. I want a new style sink and repaired countertops. Contractors say unless I buy the same style sink, the concrete had to be removed.
    The repair will destroy house with silica dust. Any ideas?

    • Thanks for writing to us! It looks like there are some AutoCorrect issues, though, so it’s a little hard to follow along.
      Please proofread and re-send the question. 🙂

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