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Anybody ever try concrete countertops? I'm about to...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Badfish740, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    So here's what it looks like just out of the mold:

    [​IMG]

    Overall I'm happy, but were I to do it again there are a few things I'd pay more attention to. First and foremost is the mix, I was hurrying too much in the beginning and didn't realize that some of the concrete was not totally mixed-hence this spot here:

    [​IMG]

    Next, I'd vibrate A LOT more as there were still a fair amount of voids and pinholes even though I vibrated with a sander and tapped with a hammer. A better flowing mix would probably help a lot with this too. The imperfections give it a little character, kind of like stone, IMHO, but for an actual kitchen countertop you would want as smooth a surface as possible of course. Here's what it looks like after sanding and sealing:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now all that's left is lifting the beast into place!
    ScotO likes this.

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  2. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Did you rebar or anything then? Following closely for my mancave's drybar.
  3. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Did you wreck the forms when you removed the countertop? For the cost of concrete mix I'd personally consider a do-over. I've seen a number of other threads online that have shown some rediculously perfect finishes. Nearly as nice as granite.

    Most I've seen have suggested the use of a bladeless reciprocating saw as your vibe tool after the pour.
  4. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    I only used reinforcing mesh-I considered rebar, but didn't think it was necessary. I'll find other uses for what I bought.

    I did save the mold but eh...the mix was $70 (5 bags of Quikrete Countertop Mix) and the mixer rental was $40 so I'd rather not spend the money again. I honestly don't think it looks that bad. I wouldn't want it in my kitchen, but I think it will make a nice "hearth pad" in my basement (which was the intended purpose)-I actually considered etching and painting it also. Once I bribe some friends to help me heave it into place I'll post the finished pictures and you guys can tell me what you think.
    ScotO likes this.
  5. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I don't know. Natural stone is rarely perfect.
    I kind of like the "humility" marks. ;)
    I'd call it "character" and move on.
  6. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    put a tv on it and nobody will notice a thing.
  7. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    So I used a little ingenuity and managed to get a 300lb concrete slab into place by myself. 75% brains and 25% brawn:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Basically all that's left to do now is install the built in shelves that will flank the TV on both sides. One will hide the plumbing (sump pump) you see on the right, and the other will hide a gun safe bolted to the wall up off the floor. I'm just going to fit them in for now and secure them with screws, but the plan will eventually be to mount both on pivot hinges for easy access. I've been working on this basement in fits and starts for close to three years now. I started with basically nothing and now have about 600 SF of family room space (which almost doubles the size of our house ==c)-it took a long time but it feels good to have done it myself and saved a lot. Obviously you can see where I plowed the money from the savings ==c
    ScotO likes this.
  8. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Super cool, but I wonder how long it will be before you get pissed that you can't see all of the TV from anywhere in the room except straight on. Have you considered some framing behind the TV to make it more flush with the front edge?
  9. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Already been thinking about that-the bones of what you see were actually an old closet that the original owner of the house had installed in the basement. I was going to tear it out completely when I had the "TV/hearth" idea. Mounting it so far back has been a little problematic though, so I've been thinking about how to build the framework behind it. Shouldn't be too hard. Anyway, I think you had mentioned you were going to build a bartop out of concrete? Go for it! I think it would look really cool. Careful with the glassware though ==c There was a bar in town that replaced a portion of the old bar with granite. Seemed like every time you went in there someone broke a glass just from tipping it over by accident.
  10. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    red solo cups. Problem solved! LoL
    firefighterjake likes this.
  11. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I believe their are some pretty nice metal wall mount systems that would allow you to pull the TV out for viewing and push it back to stow it otherwise.

    Edit: the countertop looks great.
    ScotO likes this.
  12. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks! There are mounts that will telescope out, etc...but they're too darn expensive, plus I would never see a need to push it back for any reason. I'm going to stick with the mount I have ($25 on Amazon-very stout/well made) and just put some 2x6 framework behind the TV. Since the space between the TV and the wall is so narrow (it just squeaks in there) as long as I paint the framework white you'll never notice it. I'm building the shelves this week in preparation for the big game which will serve as the unveiling for this project that took way too long. At least in the Spring when I tackle the backyard (it never ends) I'll have a nice comfortable place to retire to at the end of a long day working in the yard.
  13. keninmich

    keninmich Member

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    Go Redwings!!!!
  14. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    I'm actually a Devils fan-just happened to take pictures while watching NHL Tonight :) For those who are interested the whole project is finally done (there are now shelving units to hide those ugly holes on either side of the TV) and the countertop/TV look great. I couldn't be happier with them:

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/its-finally-done.106108/
  15. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10828

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