Are you the “DIY” type? If so, have you ever considered making your own concrete countertops? If not, does it seem like a totally unrealistic project? After all, you have to use the right sort of concrete, somehow manage to pour it into a countertop shape, and then finish it in a way that makes it look like more than a slab of concrete. Continue reading
You hear the phrase “decorative concrete” and you might think of figures and fountains of elaborate design, but the modern definition for the term tends to apply to more subtle forms and applications. For example, decorative concrete is found in many homes as flooring and as countertops. A lot of homeowners also use concrete stain in places like concrete countertops, and patios to give their homes a more decorative look.
Is it complicated to do? Actually, it is such a hot trend that websites like the popular TV shows have done extensive coverage on the “how-to’s” of decorative concrete and concrete stain projects.
Taking a look at them can be a bit overwhelming because it seems like there is a lot of work involved. Essentially, you need to read through any DIY instructions to realize that success boils down to two fundamental steps:
- Preparing the site properly
- Following the manufacturer’s instructions
Yes, that is really all there is to it. Naturally, just like any type of products, there are good and then there are better products. The outcome of a decorative concrete treatment does also depend on the quality of the materials used.
For example, if you want consistent concrete colors, it means using a product that dispenses the powders or compounds in precise measurements. This is the only way to get the same hues from batch to batch. The enCounter name is one concrete countertop product that is known for its consistency and top quality results. Those who are considering some decorative treatments for the concrete in their homes or properties will want to explore their options.
As a prime example, if you were using decorative colors and an acid stain on a concrete countertop, you would have to work in one or two batches. If the products did not dispense in precise amounts, and guess work or room for errors existed, you might end up with a job that looks very amateur.
Fortunately, you don’t have to risk that when you choose a trusted brand. Of course, in the end, if you are not using the materials properly you won’t get the best outcome either. This might be the time to look for some training materials prior to the project.
While websites with step-by-step instructions are ideal for learning how to prepare the sites you will treat with acid stains or concrete colors, nothing compares to proper manufacturer’s training materials. Make that your first step and you’ll enjoy DIY concrete success.
You’ve heard the phrase, “The difference between night and day,” and it is a pretty clear description of two contrasting things, and generally used to describe the impact created by changes. It can apply to people, places, and things, and the phrase is remarkably accurate when it is used to describe the differences between plain concrete and concrete with an acid stain. Continue reading
You’ve seen them on home improvement shows, and maybe you’ve even seen them in your neighbor’s house, and you’ve probably asked yourself the question, “Why can’t I have a concrete countertop in my home?” And, if you’re the do-it-yourself kind of homeowner, you’ve likely followed up that question by asking, “Can I install a concrete countertop in my home by myself?” Continue reading
We know what you’re thinking, “Concrete wood? Isn’t that an oxymoron?” We suppose that it might be, but the truth is that it’s one of the most versatile materials out there, and the staff at JM Lifestyles are experts at deploying it for a wide variety of uses in your home, your business, or even your restaurant. Continue reading
Concrete countertops, along with granite countertops, are generally considered to be among the highest end options for gourmet kitchens. Concrete countertops have become very popular for several reasons, but one of the most significant is the variety of different ways in which these can be designed. Continue reading
Concrete continues to be an extremely popular material for constructing countertops, and why shouldn’t it? After all, concrete is durable, practical, and affordable as well as being highly versatile. Concrete artisans can create beautiful effects by sanding, polishing, grinding or stamping the surface, and they can even embed objects in the concrete for increased visual appeal. There’s no need for plain countertops when there are so many possibilities in concrete countertop finishes.
This is simply an “unground” finish. Once the countertop has been released from the mold, no grinding is needed. However, if decorative aggregates have been included, grinding can be done to expose them on the surface of the concrete.
To achieve a polished finish, countertop makers use diamond polishing pads. A 5-grit pad is used to expose aggregate, whereas an 800 to 1500 grit pad would be needed to create a high-gloss polish.
Veined or Pressed Finish
This is a technique that is best employed by skilled fabricators, and involves hand-packing a stiff mix of wet concrete into the mold, and then avoiding vibrating the mixture and slurry. This creates a void that can result in a pressed or veined appearance.
Protecting the Surface
Whatever finish you choose, make sure to protect it using the proper sealant. It’s essential in order to ensure that the concrete will repel spills and stains before they have the chance to penetrate into the countertop. Of course, even with proper sealing and waxing, concrete countertops will begin to develop a patina as they age. This frequently adds depth and character to the countertop, so it shouldn’t be considered a bad thing.
New Products at Concrete Countertop Solutions
Product Manufacturer, Concrete Countertop Solutions, has just begun offering Z Terra-Tint, which is their own line of dry internal pigments. It’s their first integral coloring system, and it comes in 3 lb. buckets with a 2 oz. scooper that makes it easy to keep each mix consistent.
They are also offering a brand new white countertop mix.
Z Counterform Countertop Mix pre-blended, all-in-one high-strength white concrete. ”We think it’s one of the nicest mixes we’ve ever worked with. It’s perfect for cast-in-place, and it mixes, pours, flows and fills better than anything else ever tried.” says Ed Baldoni of Concrete Countertop Solutions. ”We’re very proud of these additions to our product line, and we’ve already had wonderfully positive responses to them.”
You can visit the Z-Counterform website to learn more and find out how to incorporate these products into your next project.
Though the whole idea of decorative concrete is just now being widely accepted, those who are fans of it are already looking for more ways to put it to use. After all, a lot of decorative concrete work is done on patios or surrounds, and floors. Of course, one of the key locations for decorative work is countertops, and this really opens the door to creativity. Continue reading
More and more people are choosing to use concrete in their homes, both indoors and out, because it offers a decorative quality, versatility, and durability that is hard to compare. So, if you make the decision to use concrete countertops in your own home, then one big choice you will have to make is color. That’s right. You can choose from a variety of different colors thanks to Z Terra Tint. This tint, offered by Concrete Countertop Solutions, is designed for the sole purpose of giving you control of the color in your finished concrete countertops.