You heard that right, I did concrete countertops in my kitchen... that are white. When I started planning my Kitchen Renovation I priced out so many different countertop options.
These were my top 3 choices:
Quartz - $2500
Butcher Block - $1500
White Concrete - $610 + Cement Board $38
Naturally, I decided to go with the least expensive option, I am ballin' on a budget, k? Concrete Countertop Solutions was so easy to work with, I told them my sqft and what style I wanted and they calculated how much I needed of everything. So here is a breakdown of what I bought:
Square Edge Countertop Form (EuroForm) - $139.00
Fiber Mesh Reinforcement - $49.99
Z-Clips (EuroForm) - $19.99
Construction Screws - $12.99
White Countertop Mix x 7 - $203
White Color Pack x 7 - $45.50
Finishing Trowel - $59.99
Magnesium Float - $26.99
Z Aqua-Thane M35 - $49.00
Buckle up, this is a messy process. I covered my floors and cabinets and managed to get concrete everywhere. I started out by removing my existing countertops, which was an absolute pain, but once I got them removed I was able prep them for the Durarock Cement Board. The Durarock was easy to work with, you cut them much like drywall, you score + snap. Once all of my boards were dry-fitted I secured them to my cabinets and sealed any seams.
Once all the Durarock was secured I began installing the forms. I cut them to length using my miter saw and did mitered corner were possible (the countertop forms came with back wall forms as well). I used Duck Tape to hold the mitered corners together and prevent any leaking. Next up was setting the fiber mesh using the z-clips to suspend them up (the mesh provides reinforcement for the concrete).
**pro tip: the mesh comes rolled so when laying out the mesh make sure it curves down and not up because the mesh edges would float up and I had to constantly push it down in the concrete.
The next step was the most stressful...mixing concrete. I learned that I needed to mix the concrete in slowly so that I wouldn't fry my drill. Oh, by the way, make sure your drill is strong enough I recommend a corded drill or I used my hammer drill. Using a 5 gal bucket we put some water at the bottom then added the color pack and slowly added the cement mixture occasionally adding water as needed to keep it at a batter consistency. Here is the other issue BATTER CONSISTENCY - they didn't specify so I kept it a little thinner than brownie batter still pourable but on the drier side. I immediately started spreading the mixture and started vibrating the forms to release air bubbles, this is extremely important. After we were done pouring I started to level the concrete I recommend using a screed, I just had a 1x2 but would have felt better using something more sturdy and straight.
After everything is level I waited about an hour after I poured and then used my magnesium float gently to help smooth and help pull a cream to the surface which is essential for air and water to continue escaping. After about 4 hours I came back with my steel trowel to smooth the concrete to a slick surface, this is your last opportunity to level and smooth the concrete. Once you have done these last two final steps you let it cure for 48 hours. This was the longest 48 hours. of. my. life.
Once cured I removed the forms which was quite satisfying, they just snap off and left the countertop edges sooooo smooth, like glass. I used my orbital sander to smooth out any imperfections, using 80,120,220 grit sand paper in that order. Sanding helps remove imperfections but also opens the pores for the sealer. Applying the sealer was easy, I mixed the two parts and used a staining pad to smooth the sealer on the countertop making sure I overlapped my passes.
**pro tip: only mix half and half because the life span of mixed sealer is only 1 hour and you have to reapply a 2nd coat in 4 hours. I made the mistake of mixing the entire bottle and just hoped my sealer was still good for a 2nd coat.
The company told me they felt that I could do this project by myself HOWEVER, I beg to differ. Please get some help mixing and pouring the cement so that you are less stressed during this portion of the process. lol. The rest was a breeze. If you do get any cracks or bubbles there is a repair kit, however mine dried gray, not white. The color was most definitely bright white until I sanded them, then it was a mixture of white + gray and you could see some sand/gravel. I was very thrown off by this but don't mind it now. The company has a lot of great tutorial videos and I referred back to their product guide quite frequently.
Overall, very happy with my decision and I will most likely do concrete countertops in my bathroom when I tackle that remodel!!
Check out my full kitchen renovation blog.