Advice on building cement countertops
Cement is recognized as the ultimate do-it-yourself solution for kitchen countertop needs. Using concrete to fabricate your own countertop is the most affordable way to make a kitchen countertop that will pass the test of time. However, if your knowledge of concrete and tools is somewhat lacking, there are many companies producing custom cement countertops at prices lower than what you would pay for comparable stone or quartz kitchen surfaces.
Concrete is commonly used in the building industry to simulate many other natural surfaces, such as stone, wood and clay and with proper coloring and finishing it can produce stunning results for your kitchen. It can be difficult to imagine a basic material like cement, that most people associate with floors and sidewalks, being used to produce stylish kitchen countertops. However, the proper techniques and materials, along with some trial and error experimentation will eventually produce results that you’ll be proud to install in your kitchen. You can even formulate various colors and textures into the cement countertop by adding certain materials such as Portland cement into the mix.
Because making your own cement countertop is a fairly demanding technical task, it pays to enlist the help of a tradesman who works with concrete regularly. But, if you are a do-it-yourself devotee, some of the most important things to remember when creating your own cement countertop include the following:
* The strength of your cement countertop is determined by the proper use of reinforcing agents such as rods, diamond lath and polypropylene fibers. Using just enough water in the concrete is also important for overall strength.
* Because concrete takes up to four weeks to fully cure it is a good idea not to install the completed countertop in your kitchen before this time, as premature movement of the slab may cause stress fractures to appear.
* The final step is to seal the exposed surface of the slab with an approved concrete sealing product. This will prevent liquids absorbing into the cement and help stop food stains and odors.