How to Build Custom Concrete Countertops

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on February 12, 2016

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This Old House host Kevin O'Connor learns how to create concrete kitchen counters. (See below for a shopping list and tools.)

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Shopping List for How to Build Custom Concrete Countertops:
– Latex gloves, worn while mixing and working concrete
– 1/4-inch plywood, for making template of counters
– Hot-melt glue sticks, for glue gun
– Melamine-faced particleboard, for building the concrete form
– Silicone sealant, to seal inside corner joints on the form
– Beeswax, for lubricating the inside of the form
– 3/8-inch-diameter plastic dowel, used to smooth the silicone
– Sand, cement, polymer, and powdered pigment, mixed to create concrete
– Acetone and clean rags, for cleaning the form[BR][BR]
– Stone aggregate, used to add bits of color to the countertop
– Glass fibers, added to strengthen the concrete
– 1-inch-thick polystyrene foam, used to fill concrete form
– 1×3 furring strips and 1 5/8-inch screws, for holding down the polystyrene foam
– 80-, 100- and 220-grit abrasive disks, for random-orbit sander
– Concrete sealer, to seal countertop
– Steel wool, for applying concrete sealer
– Construction adhesive, to adhere counter to cabinets

Tools List for How to Build Custom Concrete Countertops:
– Hot-melt glue gun, to assemble plywood template
– Table saw and miter saw, for ripping and crosscutting melamine-faced particleboard
– Caulking gun, to apply silicone sealant
– Dust mask and safety goggles, to wear when mixing and dry-sanding concrete
– 1/2-inch electric drill with mixing paddle, to blend concrete
– Wet/dry vacuum, for removing dust and dirt
– Air sprayer and compressor, to spray concrete into the form
– Hand roller, for compacting concrete
– Utility knife, to cut polystyrene foam
– Cordless drill
– Right-angle grinder with diamond-impregnated cut wheel, to smooth the cured concrete
– Pry bar, for removing the polystyrene foam
– Hammer and chisel, to tap apart the particleboard form
– Sanding block, for rounding over sharp corners on the countertop
– Wide-blade putty knife, to free countertop from form
– Wet grinder with pad, for smoothing countertop surface
– Random-orbit sander, to smooth the countertop

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