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Author Topic: Concrete Countertops  (Read 1386 times)

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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2018, 01:10:28 PM »
Guys, I have not abandoned you! Life, moving into the new house, playing electrician, and plumber got in the way over the weekend. About 9 last night I finally got to do the first stages of the polishing process! Started with 50 grit to get the uneven areas smoothed out where the seams in the melamine were located and expose some aggregate. (Note to self, packaging tape covering the seams doesn't cut it)

Next I went to 100 grit  and polished all the tops then went over all the edges with the small buffer and the touched up the quarter rounds.

Talked my girlfriend into getting out of bed to take a couple pictures since everyone says I never document my projects very well. At that point I was using the large polisher to do the tops. It is a 3-headed oscillating unit with a water port for the wet sanding. Luckily a friend of mine has access to one because you wouldn't want to buy one to polish one kitchen worth of tops. $$$$

 



Here's the finish we are going with, just a slight exposed aggregate. As you can see, when using a standard bagged mix there is air entrainment in the mix and when you first begin polishing you open up a lot of pinhole air pockets.

 

 

The final step for the night was to mix up a cement slurry of sorts and smear over all of the tops and edges to fill any voids from the air pockets and the repair any defects. Finished up for the night around 11:30 then back up at 5:30 for work. ::) I will hit everything with 200 grit tonight and determine if any areas  need a second coat of cement. If not, I will go ahead and polish to 800 grit tonight and have everything ready for stain Thursday. Except I have to get the dryer vent cut in and get the cooktop stove hooked up so plans have a possibility of changing  ::)



 


Oh and the friend who is helping when he can with the countertops said my kitchen will determine whether we will get 4 more full kitchens. Maybe, just maybe this will all pay off ;) 8)

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2018, 01:17:50 PM »
next time use putty or drywall cement at the melamine seams?
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2018, 02:25:57 PM »
next time use putty or drywall cement at the melamine seams?
You would have to use some kind of modeling clay or silicon based product. Whatever is used cannot draw water out of the mix faster than the rest of the concrete is curing because it will cause discolorations. I think the ticket would just be to make sure there are not seams to deal with at all. 
I think we are going to make a bunch of samples for potential customers and at that time we will be testing different seam options in the melamine. Since this is being installed in my house, I am not all that concerned because of how I want to stain the top but it would be unacceptable in my opinion to provide something with even a faint line to a customer. They are so shallow that you cannot feel them but all of the seam line still has the top "cream" of the concrete and the surrounding areas are polished down to the exposed aggregate which makes them stand out.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2018, 04:28:37 PM »
When you say 50 grit, is that some sort of sandpaper / emery paper or are you using a grit powder?
John Sawicky

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SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 54' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2018, 07:08:25 AM »
When you say 50 grit, is that some sort of sandpaper / emery paper or are you using a grit powder?
They are diamond polishing pads, 5" round. I'll take a picture of them tonight after work.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2018, 09:55:09 AM »
Another late night in the garage last night, I got the tops all polished to 200 grit. Just basically taking the cement off from Monday night. They look fantastic and I decided not to put another layer of cement down. 

Here's a couple pictures, mainly focusing on the sink portion as I am so pleased with how the hole for the sink turned out. The "color streaking" that you see is just the water drying that I missed with the squeegee after I cleaned them off for the night.

In the first picture, right side, you can see the corner of the concrete top I made for the bathroom vanity, hopefully getting that installed tonight.



 



 



 


Offline DWyatt

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2018, 06:51:17 AM »
When you say 50 grit, is that some sort of sandpaper / emery paper or are you using a grit powder?
Here's a picture of the two different kinds of pads, These two are the 1500 (lower) and the 3000 (upper). The 1500 is a wet sanding pad and the 3000 is for dry sanding. All of the wet sanding pads look/feel the same, regardless of the grit, I think it is just different diamond particle sizes. Both are 5" diameter.
br>
 

Offline Bill Gaiche

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2018, 07:40:24 AM »
DWyatt,

This is a great post and it looks as you have done a very nice job with your concrete tops so far. Im looking forward to seeing the dying process with final color and texture. Please continue to share your progress. Concrete tops can be very beautifully done and I think you have made a great choice that you will be proud of for years to come.

On a side note you said you ruled out Formica or plastic laminate tops because you wanted an undermount sink. Several years back a sink manufacturer called Karran started producing undermount sink systems for installation in plastic laminate tops. Their sink system is installed directly under the laminate creating a unique, flush, lipless, drip edge installation. Like you price was a driving factor for me when I remodeled my kitchen five years ago. I chose the Karran undermount sink in a high definition plastic laminate top and have not regretted my decision.
Thanks again for your post and good luck with completing your new tops.
I also did the Karran installation on my kitchen sink. Under mount sink is costly but well worth it. Looks nice and love the smooth transition from counter top right into the sink with no lip. Overall cost was way less than anything else besides concrete. I would do the same thing again if I had it to do over.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2018, 12:42:31 PM »
Sorry to leave everyone hanging, I finally got the counters installed last night. I had several issues with the finish I used due to the humidity and heat lately that resulted in me having to repolish the finish to remove the roller marks. I was definitely not happy about that and will not be using that product on ventures in the future as I have to do a couple repairs now that the counters are installed. However, the distributor has been very helpful with providing a solution that should be pretty easy to accomplish.

Also, after testing the polishing dye that I had planned to use, I decided against using it. The dye just gave a very fake color look and took away from the richness of the concrete. The dye would be great for decorative finishes where you had a design highlighted with bright colors, but in the end it just wasn't the look I was going for.

I will try to remember to get a couple more pictures tonight, finished up installing around 10 last night and just took one quick picture. Overall I am very happy with them and this winter more will be made 8)
 


 

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2018, 12:47:38 PM »
That looks really good. Are you going to add a backsplash? Is that going to be concrete?
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Concrete Countertops
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2018, 01:32:28 PM »
I started off planning to do a concrete backsplash, but I think I'm going to put up some tile. Since I ended up not staining the concrete, I need some color. Also planning on doing a dark stain on the doors/drawer fronts rather than painting them grey.


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