How to Build Custom Concrete Countertops

by Super User, 5 years ago
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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
- 1x3 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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