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Old 01-07-2012, 05:26 AM   #1
Skinner OP
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Concrete counter tops

I am building my own counter tops from concrete, I have the floors reinforced so you don't have to warn me etc, etc.

My problem is after I remove the sides of my form ' the size is 7 x 5 by two inches thick' so it can not be precast, the top edge will be crisp, any suggestions on how to smooth it out, a sidewalk finishing trowel with the round over effect will not work as that will an edge on the sides after complete.

So, outside of trying to accomplish this while wet, and not feeling good about trying to do it free hand with a grinder as I feel this will leave a rough uneven edge, anyone have any suggestions on how to round over the crisp edge that will be left removing the form?

The sides are easy, I know to vibrate the form etc, just researching the options for smoothing the top/side transition. I have poured three small practice pieces and even tried my router while the concrete was green, but that was a big fail : . I might try sandpaper and a belt sander, but an angle grinder and free hand has too much risk of a screwup.

Got any ideas for me?
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:52 AM   #2
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What about profiling the form prior to pouring? You mentioned a router, if it is still functioning maybe you can shape some wood to the edge you need and tack them onto the form. Wax or oil the forms for an easy release.
Good luck, post up some pics of the successes (or failures?!)
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithinSC View Post
What about profiling the form prior to pouring? You mentioned a router, if it is still functioning maybe you can shape some wood to the edge you need and tack them onto the form. Wax or oil the forms for an easy release.
Good luck, post up some pics of the successes (or failures?!)
On my sample pour I did put an angle piece that will provide a 45 degree edge whe removed, so we will see ow that works.

I'll take lots of pics
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:39 AM   #4
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Why a bare concrete? You could tile it and use bull nose edge tile to round the corners as part of the finish. It will both last longer and look better/finished.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:48 AM   #5
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Why a bare concrete? You could tile it and use bull nose edge tile to round the corners as part of the finish. It will both last longer and look better/finished.
Then why bother with concrete at all?

I could tile anything.

The concrete counter will be oh so cool!
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tirebiter;,
[COLOR=palegreen
The problem with using them on concrete tops is the more material you take off, the more aggregate gets exposed.[/COLOR]
If you can get your hands on silicon carbide sand paper, that works too.

Here's an example of hand pads. Keep'm wet, they'll wear out real quick if used dry.
http://www.contractorsdirect.com/Con...mond-Hand-Pads
Good tip thanks!
I just checked out the site you linked to, that looks like the ticket for my edges, using the hand pads will be perfect! And 4" grinder pads are the cheapest I've seen! $9.99 each!
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:22 AM   #7
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Subscribed. I'm very curious to see how this turns out. I remember seeing a This Old House episode where they hired someone to make concrete countertops, as I remember it seemed more complicated than you'd think. Take lots of pics!
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:21 AM   #8
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What about making a trowel with the desired radius?
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinner View Post
The concrete counter will be oh so cool!
I guess if you like the taste of concrete...
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinner View Post
I am building my own counter tops from concrete, I have the floors reinforced so you don't have to warn me etc, etc.

My problem is after I remove the sides of my form ' the size is 7 x 5 by two inches thick' so it can not be precast, the top edge will be crisp, any suggestions on how to smooth it out, a sidewalk finishing trowel with the round over effect will not work as that will an edge on the sides after complete.

So, outside of trying to accomplish this while wet, and not feeling good about trying to do it free hand with a grinder as I feel this will leave a rough uneven edge, anyone have any suggestions on how to round over the crisp edge that will be left removing the form?

The sides are easy, I know to vibrate the form etc, just researching the options for smoothing the top/side transition. I have poured three small practice pieces and even tried my router while the concrete was green, but that was a big fail : . I might try sandpaper and a belt sander, but an angle grinder and free hand has too much risk of a screwup.

Got any ideas for me?
Concrete bricks or pavers will work well for breaking the edges and they are cheap. I assume you are not using an agregate? Are you using fiber or wire mesh?? At 2" thick it WILL crack without reinforcement. What are you sealing it with? GH
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:17 AM   #11
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You can go to a cooking equipment store and buy huge polypropylene cutting boards pretty cheap. Profile edge with router. cut off strip. Repeat. Tack into mold. Pour. Vibrate. cure and touch up with sandpaper. This keeps the aggregate away from the edge

Rod
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #12
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Why not just go with granite ?
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by STANIMAL View Post
Why not just go with granite ?
Why not just go with laminate.

I will be sealing it with Procrete products

Procrete radiance will be the finish surface

Will be reinforced with 1/2 inch rebar 12 inches spaced, ad an under surface of half inch plywood
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
You can go to a cooking equipment store and buy huge polypropylene cutting boards pretty cheap. Profile edge with router. cut off strip. Repeat. Tack into mold. Pour. Vibrate. cure and touch up with sandpaper. This keeps the aggregate away from the edge

Rod
Nice tip, thanks
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:58 AM   #15
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Do a search, they look good.

http://www.google.com/search?q=concr...=1920&bih=1073

I've seen many DIY concrete counter tops, reinforce your slab, make sure its all level, and for the corners, you can grind them or you can precontour. You can also use caulk in the corners to make them smoother so long as it sets up fully.
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