Tips for Cutting Concrete Countertops

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Using a cutting board will protect your knives and your countertop.
Using a cutting board will protect your knives and your countertop. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Concrete has plenty of uses beyond building bridges or laying sidewalks. This tough construction material can also be used to make beautiful and durable kitchen countertops. You can order prefinished or custom-made concrete countertops, or if you are handy with tools you may even want to pour your own. In some cases even carefully constructed concrete countertops will not fit properly and you may need to do some trimming or cutting.

Moving Your Concrete Countertop

Treat your concrete countertop the same way you would treat a granite or marble countertop. Carry the countertop vertically. Concrete countertops can be quite heavy, so it is likely that you will need some help moving the countertop into place. Dry-fit the countertop in place to make sure everything fits properly.

Cutting

If you or your contractor measured properly, your concrete countertop should fit just fine, but since few walls are completely plumb you may find gaps between your wall and the countertop, or areas of the countertop that are simply too tight. You can typically fill in minor gaps with grout or caulk, but if the countertop is too tight you may have to shave the excess concrete. Snap a chalk line on the surface of the concrete countertop to provide a guide, and cut off the excess using a circular saw with a diamond blade.

Grinding

If the part of the concrete countertop that is too tight is minor, it might be easier to grind the area down rather than cutting it with a circular saw. Grinding can create a lot of concrete dust, so you might want to move the countertop outside before you start grinding. Snap a chalk line on the countertop so you know where you need to work. Use an angle grinder to remove excess concrete.

Considerations

Your concrete countertop is tough and durable. It is not likely to be damaged from using it as a food preparation surface, but you can damage your knives by cutting food directly on the concrete countertop. You might also damage the concrete sealer which helps to prevent stains. Use a cutting board to help protect your knives and work surface.

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