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How To Pour Your Own Concrete Countertop For Install In Your Home

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When you replace your kitchen counter, there are many types of material to choose from for a new counter surface. A concrete countertop can give you a durable and attractive surface, and you can construct your own. Here are instructions to help you complete this project with a few building materials.

Measure and Build the Form

First, you will need to build the form for your new concrete counter. Measure your old countertop for its dimension, or measure the base cabinet's dimensions and add 3/4-inch to each edge for the counter's overhang.

Using a length of one-inch-thick melamine particleboard, create a form for your countertop. From the particleboard, with a circular saw, cut it to the dimensions you want for your counter, then cut four lengths for the edge pieces. They need to be 2 3/4-inches wide, and their length should fit each side of the base.

Attach them to the sides of the frame's base with wood screws spaced every six inches to construct the concrete counter's frame. The depth of the frame will allow you to pour a concrete counter that is approximately 2 1/2-inches thick. Apply silicone caulk into the frame's interior corners to seal them, smoothing the caulk line with your finger. Measure and cut a section of metal stucco wire to fit inside the frame. Set this aside for later.

Cut and connect with screws a support frame from wood two-by-fours to fit snugly around the exterior walls of the melamine frame. When you pour concrete into the frame, its weight can press and break apart the melamine's frame walls outward. This two-by-four frame will provide the frame strength during the curing process.

Mix the Concrete 

When you mix your own concrete, you can make sure it is the proper consistency and save some money. Also, concrete will degrade over time, so if you have it delivered to your home pre-mixed in a cement truck, it can be of a lesser quality by the time you use it. Mixing your own allows you to mix it up right before you need it.

Mix your own concrete by combining bagged dry mix to water in a wheelbarrow or a portable cement mixer. Or, you can also mix you own dry concrete using the right proportions of raw materials. The recipe for making your concrete dry mix is one part Portland cement, two parts clean river sand, and three parts aggregate gravel at one-inch sized and smaller. Make sure the gravel has been washed for use in concrete mixing as any added dust or dirt on the gravel can decrease the integrity of your concrete when it cures.

Add water to the dry mixture in small amounts to get rid of any dry lumps. When the concrete mixture becomes the consistency of thick oatmeal, it is ready for pouring into your frame.

Pour the Concrete

Scoop by shovel or pour the concrete from the wheelbarrow or concrete mixer directly into the countertop frame. Be sure to press concrete into the corners and edges of the form first, to prevent any voids or air pockets on the surface of your finished counter. Continue filling concrete into the frame with a trowel until the mixture fills the mold approximately half way up. Place metal stucco wire on top of the concrete layer to provide strength to your counter. Pour additional concrete over the concrete and stucco wire to fill the rest of the frame. 

Slide a length of two-by-four wood across the top of the form to even off any excess concrete and to smooth its surface. This side of the concrete counter will be the base of the counter when you install it, so if it is not level, your counter will slope.

Allow the concrete to cure for at least one week. After that time, the counter will be ready for you to remove the frames, sand its surface to remove any blemishes, and seal its surface with a concrete sealer so you can install it inside your home.