How to Install a Pour in Place Concrete Counter Top

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Sometimes you just don't have the man-power or it is not practical to carry and set a pre-formed counter top in place. When this is the case for you, you can install a pour in place concrete counter top.

Make the Form

  • Secure cleats to the base of the cabinet, and lay a sheet of Melamine on top of the counter itself. Melamine is a kind of particle board that's coated with vinyl. Because Melamine is slippery, it will be easy to remove at the end of the process of installing pour in place concrete counter tops.

  • Drill three holes in the Melamine, and slip in pieces of PVC if you are going to install a sink in the counter top. The holes will be for the sink's faucets.

  • Attach 2-inch by 4-inch boards to the cabinet's outside, and fasten the Melamine to them. In this way, you create an overhang for your cabinet. Cover any of the exposed wood with electrician's tape, so you can pull it off easily when it's time to remove the forms.

  • Create a form for the sink out of Styrofoam. Put a bead of caulk around the outside of the foam. Screw the Styrofoam in place, then add some steel to add more strength for the concrete counter top so it won't crack later.

Mix and Pour the First Batch

Mix and Pour the Second Batch

  • Use a quick drying mix when you mix the second batch of concrete. Add marble sand, mineral pigments and Portland cement. The mineral pigments are what give the poured in place concrete counter top it's color, and it can be whatever color you like. Mix this together while it's dry.

  • Add black slag last to the mixture. It will add color as well as dimension to your concrete counter top.

  • Pour in water, and mix everything thoroughly. Be careful-it can be slippery. Shovel it into the form.

  • Create a thinner mixture for the edges of the counter top, for these will be exposed. The thinner mixture will help to eliminate air bubbles as well as voids. Use a trowel to move the heavier mixture away from the edges, and pour the thinner mixture in.

  • Strike the side of the Melamine with a hammer to help knock out any air bubbles on the edge of the counter top.

  • Bring up the fine particles with a jitterbug tool, then let the concrete rest until it's hard enough for you to trowel it. Press your finger in to test the concrete. If it leaves a fingerprint, but doesn't stick to your finger, it's ready.

  • Smooth the top with the trowel, burnishing the surface. Do this several more times as concrete dries. When the concrete has set completely, remove the form.

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