As part of a full kitchen renovation in our Kuna property, Ryan and I wanted to try out making our own cast-in-place concrete countertops. We loved the modern aesthetic and the low-price investment of this option and so after Ryan did a lot of research we got to work.
Here are the rough steps we followed to put these countertops in the kitchen and two bathrooms:
1. Installed cabinets or vanities (based on room) and laid down protective tarps over the new LVP flooring.
2. Installed snap-off countertop forms along entire edge of counters.
3. Mixed countertop concrete and poured into the in-place forms. Smooth out with mudding tools for a flat and consistent surface. Then let dry completely.
4. Snap off forms and begin wet-sanding down the concrete to get a polished finish. This step included several different levels of polishing grit pads to get the final smooth look that we were seeking.
5. Apply top-coat sealant to the countertops to ensure the look remains unstained as long as possible.
6. An aggressive amount of clean-up. The one thing we didn't anticipate with this project was how messy the sanding and polishing process would be. Our perfectly completed renovation suddenly became covered in TONS of fine concrete mess. The walls, the floors, the cabinets...everything. I don't know that we would ever do concrete countertops again just due to the mess and amount of time it takes to get it perfectly polished.
Pros and Cons Post-Install:
Pro - Inexpensive countertops that seem really durable
Pro - Modern, sleek design
Con - VERY messy finish work
Con - Time consuming to get polished finish
Con - Difficult to polish/sand in the countertop corners, which left imperfections along those edges
All in all, it was a great project to try and one that we had wondered about for a long time. I'm glad we installed these and finished them ourselves so that we could truly appreciate the luxury of paying someone for solid surface countertops. If we are doing a project with a deadline, I doubt we will ever do concrete countertops again. BUT I could see us making countertops (not cast-in-place) for bathroom vanities or other small spaces if we are trying to get the modern and sleek look.