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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!