#1  
Old 10-17-2010, 12:30 PM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 112
Default Countertops

Hello from Florida. I'm interested in building an outdoor kitchen around a 42" pompeii oven. I'm looking for any information about poured concrete countertops. I know Quikrete makes a mix for counters. Has anyone used it?
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:40 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Jacksonville,Fl
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Default Re: Countertops

I have a concrete specialist friend. He and I did really nice acid stained floors throughout the house, and he does countertops as well. He has been to all kinds of schools on this. First I would tell you to look at the Buddy Rhodes system ( see youtube for the technique) . Also, go to concretenetwork.com, photo gallery, then the subsection for concrete countertops. The photos will give you some new ideas, and frankly some of them will blow you away they are so good. These are from concrete guys all over the country.

Good Luck


Tom
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2010, 01:59 PM
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Location: Jacksonville,Fl
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Default Re: Countertops

also, look at the "ashby system" for concrete countertops, named after Ben Ashby (apparently highly thought of)
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:22 PM
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
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Default Re: Countertops

Thanks for the reply, I did see a couple of the Buddy Rhodes videos. Some of the stuff I've seen is quite expensive, ($65 per sqft). I'll check the other sites you recommend and continue the planning. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: minnesota, usa
Posts: 472
Default Re: Countertops

Myself and several other guys here have a fair amount of experience doing concrete countertops. Do a search and you'll see a few other threads on the subject or give an idea what kind of info you're looking for specifically.

The quickcrete countertop mix isn't anything unique. Neither is the Buddy Rhodes or the Cheng branded stuff for that matter. They're just more convenient because the additives and sometimes colorant and custom aggregate are already included vs. having to enrich a regular bagged mix with plasticizer and possibly more portland depending on what type you buy. You'll definitely pay for that convenience. The Cheng and Rhodes stuff can easily put your project on par with granite, marble or solid surface, costwise so IMO it is wise to be sure about what you're doing AND appreciate the material for what it can do that those other materials can't, including being OK with the fact that it probably isn't going to be maintenence free.

You can spend top dollar for one of the specialty mixes for concrete countertops or you can spend $3 on a bag of plain old quicrete and get an equally crappy or fabulous finished product...95% of the outcome depends on your understanding of the material, technique and skill.

Practice and practice again with the cheap stuff first no matter what route you go. There are several great books on the subject, too.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:32 PM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ausitn
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Default Re: Countertops

Concrete is easy to do, hard to perfect. The main thing you have to adjust is your expectations. A DIY countertop will not look like a $65.00 a SqFt countertop if you only do one.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2010, 01:18 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pensacola, Florida
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Default Re: Countertops

Thanks to all for the advice, well said. I think I'll be doing some test squares in the future to decide the best way to go. I'm looking forward to learning the masonry gig, from stucco to brick to countertops.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:11 PM
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
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Default Re: Countertops

Hello all. After looking around I finally found the best process for pour in place concrete countertops. The web site is "Stegmeier.com" . With my planned WFO area, I am pretty much commited to having to pour in place. Stegmeier has a really good video on their site showing the process. After a search, I was able to find the kit, which includes among other things, 32 running feet of the edge molds for $89. Even if you don't use their products, the video is well worth the site visit (22 minutes).
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:46 PM
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Location: Virginia
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Default Re: Countertops

Good video. I used HD 5000psi with chengs mix. You might want to consider integral color and diamond grinding the surface. I would expect the acid stains in the video to fade over time in the Florida sun but if you expose the aggregate it will look good forever. Also, If you don't get a good finish (we didn't) you can fill the holes and the grinder smooths everything out.

Everyone seems to like ours including this guy...


dave
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:42 PM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 1,374
Default Re: Countertops

Do some practice pieces. Paving stones or bench tops. Some tips:


- Do not use a crush aggregate navy jack nor a blast rock crush. Use bags of pre mix concrete. These products are usually made from good aggregate sources with a lot of variation in the stone colour. Even within one brand there will be variation. If you find a bag that gives a good mix of stone, try to buy more from the same batch.
- Do not float or finish the surface too much when pouring. You want the aggregate to stay near the surface not drive it down.
- Do the initial diamond cup grinding to expose the aggregate (1/8 inch or so off) three days after the pour. Do this wet. A diamond cup grinding disk will run about $100.
- Wait another three weeks (keeping the concrete moist) before you start the wet polishing.
- Use a 5 inch angle grinder. A four inch grinder is generally not up to the task. You can use a set of the 4 inch diamond polishing pads (50 grit to 3000 grit) on the 5 inch grinder. A set of pads will run about $100.
- Wet polish, keeping a film of water on the concrete, and the pads will cut quicker and will last indefinably, I have done 8 counter tops with the same set, having only to replace the 50 grit pad. I find that about 6 passes overlapping a third with the 50 grit followed by about 4 passes with each of the other pads will do the job, but there are a lot of variables.
- Re-wet the surface with a hose between passes.
- The whole process is very dirty. Get a set of full rain gear, a good mask and eye protection and set up a poly screen completely around the work area (a car port is a good site). Keep everything wet - dust control issues will arise if you allow the concrete to dry while grinding or polishing.
- I used a product called "enrich-n-seal" on the finished surface. This is both food safe and heat proof. I brings out the colour in the exposed stone by "wetting" it.
- You do not need plasticizers or fiber. The only thing I added was rebar and some powder concrete colouring. (Green is the most difficult to get right).
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Last edited by Neil2; 11-11-2010 at 11:30 PM.
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