Countertops is one of the project that you can do by using concrete because concrete countertops provide durability and versatility, plus it is also affordable, it comes with an aesthetic value and it is easier to install provided that you know the basic knowledge of using concrete. Below are some of the steps in order for you to build a concrete desk or countertops.
What you need:
- 30-35 board-feet of Lyptus wood
- A sheet of lyptus plywood
- Some birch plywood
- 2 sheets of 3/4-inch melamine
- 2 94 pound bags of white cement
- 6 50 pound bags washed plaster sand
- Glass fiber
- Polypropylene fibers
- Spray adhesive
- Acrylic concrete fortifier
- Tube of silicone caulking and caulking gun
- Mixing wand and mixing bucket
- Grout for seams
- Flat pry bar
- Drawer slides and Drawer pulls
- First of all, you need to start building a form using a melamine wood and also choose a plastic finish in order to make the concrete dry much more slower, plus also preventing it from sticking to the sides. This will also make the concrete becomes much stronger whereby the slower it dries, the stronger it will be. The form can be built by just attaching the sides to the bottom using a staple gun and also creating your voids. Make sure you do not use a particle board because it will absorb water.
- After that, you need to fortify the slab using polypropylene fibers and reinforcing rods with a diamond lath for keeping the countertop strong. The diamond lath need to be cut at least 1-inch shorter than the edge of the form. Besides that, you can also use rebar around the sink cutout if the need arises and also ensure that all of your measurement and cutting are being done before preparing your concrete mix.
- The mixture of the concrete need to be done according to the manufacturer\’s directions, whereby the better mixing of the concrete, the more durable the countertop will be. You can also use a mason\’s hoe for blending all of the dry ingredients together and ensure you carefully measure any liquid used and them together slowly. Once you have finished mixing, the concrete is ready to be poured immediately. The time between each step will be minimized if you pour them in layers and do not worry if there are cracks forming as the concrete dry because the usage of diamond lath and poly fibers will always keep the cracks tight and microscopic.
- You can start pouring a 1-inch strip along the edges with the concrete and then followed by filling the middle with concrete once it has been reinforced. After that, add rods along with diamond lath once more before adding a layer of regular concrete. If you want the concrete to look like a seamless block, all of the ingredients need to measure accordingly and correctly.
- In order to make the concrete look firm, you have to press it harder into the form so that it will be much more compact. If there are low spots, add some more concrete onto it and then smooth it. Press again and check for other low spots if there is any until the form is really well packed and the concrete smooth.
- Then, you need to allow the concrete to dry for at least 2 hours and during this period, you can use your trowel on the concrete\’s surface because if you overwork the concrete there will be a pop up on top of it and will be hard to smooth out. In a situation where water puddles are starting to form, you can leave the concrete for another 1/2 an hour before you start to try again.
- The forms can only be removed after 2 days where you can use a flat pry bar in order to separate it at the joints. For the sharp edges that you notice, you can simply use sand to smooth it out by etching the surface using a muriatic acid and then rinse it thoroughly. Do not forget to wear a mask when doing this task for protection.
- The next step is to prepare a latex additive and apply it on the surface along with a rubber grout float. By doing this, it will fill any voids that have been created and then leave it for at least 3 weeks before you can begin installing it on your desk or kitchen platform.