Concrete countertops are increasingly growing in popularity due to their great durability and versatility in colour and finishes, offering a completely customizable, cost-effective surface in your home. Significant research, product development and continued support from our suppliers has allowed us to provide many of the best products available on the market, to ensure your kitchen countertop is both beautiful and well-protected.
Fundamentally, templating is the first step in producing concrete countertops. This template will be a full-scale mock up of your project. To create a precise image of your piece it is imperative the cabinets have nothing on them.
Creating the template will consist of marking overhangs, cabinet lines, stove/sink cut-outs, and any other pertinent information. To help with eliminating confusion with notes, it is wise to use a red marker on-site and black marker to transfer any notes to the reverse of the template.
Please keep in mind that the casting application will dictate how the template will be placed and formed around.
A multitude of different mold methods are prevalent throughout the countertop industry. Such materials like plexi-glass, coated MDF, and sheet metal can all be used in the mold process.
Hard Rock recommends melamine coated particle board for the casting application. It is relatively inexpensive and is readily available; plus a big positive factor is melamine is ready to cast on immediately.
Melamine coated particle board creates an optimal casting surface for all projects, but be aware it will leave a subtle texture. This subtle texture will mimic an “orange peel” effect, but can be easily polished out using diamond resin pads.
With a numerous amount of other concrete materials out there, Hard Rock recommends for DIY’ers, the SureCrete Precast Mix. This bag mix will need only the Precast Modifier to mix with and there will be no need for any metal reinforcement, fibers, or additives.
SureCrete’s cleverly designed mix allows for a no non-sense approach to mixing, by not having to measure out individual parts to for the mix.
(1) Precast Bag Mix : (1) Precast Modifier : (2) 0.6lb Color Packs.
It is extremely important to note that mixing dry material into wet material will create a more consistent mix. It is imperative the when ready to mix up the Precast mix please follow these helpful tips:
When ready to pour the concrete into mold, consistency of the mix is extremely crucial. If available, using a table vibrator can help consolidate the mix, if unavailable adding water to “loosen” the mix will also help.
When pouring it is important to remember the working time of the mix being used, so the potential of “over-working” is minimized. It is also beneficial to the pour to cover as much of the mold as possible with material to avoid “cold joints” appearing.
SureCrete’s Precast mix has the capability to be de-molded within 4-6hrs. Hard Rock recommends that for larger pieces, a longer time frame would more beneficial, somewhere in the area of 16-24hrs. Although rare, at high altitudes and dry climates, some pieces may require covering with plastic to slow the cure and avoid curling.
When de-molding the countertop it is wise to remember that the material is still curing and is at high risk for cracking. Avoid lifting the countertop at the corners and any cut-outs, also avoiding tools that will scratch the surface. Hard Rock recommends that gloves be worn during de-molding as the oils/grease from fingertips can leave distinct markings on the surface.
Undoubtbly the area of most concern for concrete countertops, sealing is a neccissity in the longevivty of the countertop. Acidic foods like vinegar, tomatoe sauce, wine, lemon juice etc… will etch both unsealed and sealed tops alike. Common sense tells us to clean spills immedialely. Also be aware that dragging pots/pans over the surface can lead to a change in appereance and negatively affects the coating.
SureCrete’s XS-327 is FOOD SAFE, specially formulated two component, moisture cure, high solids hybrid water based polyurethane. XS-327 is a penetrating UV stable, minimal color enahancing sealer, available in Matte & Gloss. This high performance clear coat generates a balance of strength, flexability, chemical and scratch resistance, and is suited for residential and commercial settings.