Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kitchen Updating, Counter Tops; part two

This is the second post about our new concrete counter tops we poured in place in our kitchen. (Read Part One Here)


In layman's terms, the cement was mixed to about a 2” slump consistency and was too dry actually. If we had to do it over again, we would make it a little wetter and it would have had a smoother finish and not as much sanding. My husband carried the mixed cement into the house in a 5 gallon bucket and dumped it into the framed up sub counter top.


The frame work around the counter area had been built carefully making sure that the top edges were level, this would ensure the correct thickness and keep the cement level for the finished counter. Once the right amount of cement was in the frame it was worked, or leveled off, with a 1x2 sliding along the edges of the frame.



Then the top was carefully smoothed with a cement tool, a float. Now we and waited for it to set up. (It was late so we went to bed, then in the morning we went to a birthday party.....returning just after noon. We highly suggest you don't leave your counter top that long because it can set up really fast in a dry climate. Fortunately it was not too late when we returned home, but almost!)


The frames were then removed from around the sides and the edges were smoothed while it was still somewhat wet. We checked for holes or gaps and they were filled in with a  cement slurry mix.

Next came sanding. Most of the videos we watched used wet sanding at this point but we wanted to fore go the mess that makes and my husband sanded away using dry sandpaper sheets. They were being used up fast and he went outside to look for a rock. Yes, a rock; it was a smooth river rock just large enough to fit in the palm of his hand which actually did a better job than the sand paper and wasn't costing us an arm and a leg buying cases of sandpaper. Ok I exaggerated the cases of sandpaper part; but rocks are plentiful around here in everyones yards. Just saying.......

After the sanding was finished we added slate tiles to the outer edge were we have three bar stools. We let it cure for about a week then sealed the whole thing with several coats of natural stone sealer.



Well, what do you think? It took us about 5 weeks to do all this but really it could be done over a weekend and holding off on sealing until it cures a few days.


We just had so much going on all the time and the window of construction time we had carefully planned for was ruined by the product not arriving as promised. There is some variation in the coloring which I really like. Coloring can be added to the mix if you don't like the natural color. Staining is an option too after it dries. I understand you can wax it to seal it but I didn't want to have to do maintenance very often so we choose the stone sealer and it should be good for 6 months to a year before it needs another coat.




I surely do love my new counters, sometimes I think I love them more just because they are finally done and I am no longer in a remodel mess. Next will be the painting of the cabinets and then the floor will be replaced. I'll be sure to let you know when all that is done, but don't hold your breath alright?



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9 comments:

  1. That is beautiful and you make it look so easy! At my house there would be little cat prints imbedded in the cement while we slept....but I think I might actually like that effect! I love the contrast of your slate tiles. Nice job on everything!

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    1. Lol! That would probably look pretty cute :)

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  2. So cool! My husband has been wanting concrete counter tops forever. He keeps telling me how beautiful they are. I've been pretty skeptical but yours look wonderful!

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    1. Thanks! Google concrete counter tops. There are a lot of different looks.

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  3. They are beautiful but I don't know if I would tackle it myself! I somehow don't think they would turn out as well and like Grandma J -- I know there would be cat prints all over it when we woke up! Possibly full body cat prints!

    You did an amazing job!

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    1. Haha! It was some hard work for sure.

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  4. Good morning, Connie! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award ~ http://www.lovebakesgoodcakes.com/2012/06/chicken-enchilada-soup-and-versatile.html ~ Your counter tops turned out beautiful! I thought about concrete when we remodeled our kitchen but was afraid to tackle it ourselves!

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