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Old 01-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #16
adam_c_eckhardt
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Hey Skinner- Cool idea!

My wife and I are wanting to do concrete countertops in our new house too.

I've got two books by Fu-tung Cheng on the subject- well worth the money if you're serious. One of them came with a DVD.

It seems to me that it's more about prepping the forms and getting everything perfect for the pour (ie- patience) than anything else.

Are you going to add any cool aggregates or fossils? You can even get glow-in-the-dark stuff or incorporate fiber optics. It's pretty much limited by your imagination.

I'm going to see how our projects turn out and consider taking a swing at a side business.

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JamesG View Post
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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Originally Posted by STANIMAL View Post
Why not just go with granite ?

Yuck. The look and feel of concrete is entirely different...and better. If it's what you like. Tile is patchwork, grouty and shiny while granite is shiny and common as cheap formica nowadays. Concrete has a much nicer feel and can be DIY.

YMMV.

OP, looking forward to pics.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:32 AM   #18
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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
I guess I am using an agregate? I will be using quickcrete 80 lb bags. I will have a 12 inch overhang, so that will the interesting part as far as reinforcing, that's why the 1/2 inch rebar, I will support the underside with 2 x 4's during the pour and cure, leave under for at least a week.

I'll get some pics up soon.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
Hey Skinner- Cool idea!

My wife and I are wanting to do concrete countertops in our new house too.

I've got two books by Fu-tung Cheng on the subject- well worth the money if you're serious. One of them came with a DVD.

It seems to me that it's more about prepping the forms and getting everything perfect for the pour (ie- patience) than anything else.

Are you going to add any cool aggregates or fossils? You can even get glow-in-the-dark stuff or incorporate fiber optics. It's pretty much limited by your imagination.

I'm going to see how our projects turn out and consider taking a swing at a side business.

Good luck!
Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:17 AM   #20
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I guess I am using an agregate? I will be using quickcrete 80 lb bags. I will have a 12 inch overhang, so that will the interesting part as far as reinforcing, that's why the 1/2 inch rebar, I will support the underside with 2 x 4's during the pour and cure, leave under for at least a week.

I'll get some pics up soon.

I would suggest adding extra cement to your "Quickcrete concrete mix" to make a much stronger concrete.

A 6 bag mix equivalent would be the minimum. It is hard get a Quickcrete bag mix rating but I think it is not close to 6 and the true rating is real sensitive to the water ratio.

5 bag mix = 2500 psi concrete.....generally used for footings

6 bag mix = 3000 psi.......the minimum I'd use for a surface type concrete

7 bag mix = 3500 psi ........ and so on....

The "Pounds per Square Inch" rating is a bit misleading......the rating for footing concrete would also hold about any vehicle you would park on it ( including your house ).......but the higher the PSI or bag mix, the more Portland cement in the cubic yard.

What that does do, is give a better surface finish. As you increase the cement, the finisher has more to float to the surface and you get a denser finish that will resist surface cracks, chipping, etc......assuming of course it is finished correctly ( not allowed to freeze or get too dry during curing ).


Bottom line more cement in the mix (with reason) the better. But it must remain consistent from batch to batch for color match, strength and finish quality etc and with a12' over hang, strength is critical.

Good luck practice practice practice
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #21
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Here is the temporary counter top that will serve as a base for the new one


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Old 01-07-2012, 12:26 PM   #22
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Quikrete does offer a countertop mix
http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/CountertopMix.asp
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:40 PM   #23
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Quikrete does offer a countertop mix
http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/CountertopMix.asp
Excellent! Now I need to find a pace to get it near Graslake, il. Off to google!
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #24
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Quikrete does offer a countertop mix
http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/CountertopMix.asp
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^That should solve a lot of potential problems
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:56 PM   #25
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Use a round molding along the edges to form a rounded edge in the mold.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #26
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pvc

try ripping a length of pvc to incorporate into your edge moulding. if you can rip it straight, you'll have a perfect round edge.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #27
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cast the bullnose into the counter top, and once it sets up, and while it's green, gently remove the sides of the mold and hand polish the top and edges.( no power tools!) it takes quite a few day to atain full strength. 1/2 rebar sounds like too big to me, i think i'd used #10 wire grid, instead and see to it that is in the center of the cast. also if you have some cut outs to make, make sure that they are cast into the pour(stryofoam works good for this) good luck on the project
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #28
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Fine Homebuilding has done a few articles on this. Type concrete counter top into their search bar and you will get lots of reading material. Good luck, concrete looks so nice polished.

http://forums.finehomebuilding.com/
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:22 AM   #29
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Regular cements tend to entrain air as a resistance to freeze damage. This is bad for counter tops.

So I would strongly recommend getting a counter top specific mix.

Use the exact amount of water the mix suggests, it will seem dry, but it will work. Don't use hot water for a faster cure. Slow is stronger.

They also make 3/8 rebar, it would be a lot easier to work with. 1/2 will not hurt anything though.

Rod
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:43 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
Regular cements tend to entrain air as a resistance to freeze damage. This is bad for counter tops.

So I would strongly recommend getting a counter top specific mix.

Use the exact amount of water the mix suggests, it will seem dry, but it will work. Don't use hot water for a faster cure. Slow is stronger.

They also make 3/8 rebar, it would be a lot easier to work with. 1/2 will not hurt anything though.

Rod
+1 on a slow cure. Haven't poured any countertops yet but I've poured lots of slabs and I keep them wet for a full month. People, mainly licensed contractors, laugh at the long curing time but my slabs do not crack. Skinners countertop looks big enough to build up significant internal stresses, so proper cure is really important. I don't know if rebar actually does a whole lot to prevent cracking, I think mainly it serves to hold the pieces together after it cracks. I think I'd go with wire mesh reinforcement over rebar in this case.

Looks like a good and interesting project. Skinner are you going to stain or otherwise color the surface? I've experimented with etching stains on concrete and it sometimes looks very good.

Bob
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