Concrete Counter Tops--- Countertops

Never let it be said that I suffer from a one track mind.

Not a great omen for an unfinished project when I realize I don’t have enough of something and have to head over to the local Home Depot. I can honestly say I spend way too much time in those stores gawking and drooling.

What ever happened to the good old fashioned hardware store? The one you went to, to get a ½ lb of finishing nails or a washer for that drippy faucet, then walked out with just that, ten minutes later. You then went home, finished that chore and went onto the next.

No, today’s hardware and lumber yards cover at least eight city blocks. Naturally what you need is in the furthest corner from where you’ve entered. Even being determined to just get the nails and the washer is of very little use. I now have to stop and admire the most fantastic hardwood flooring. Man-o-man look at those shades in that carpet. You have to be kidding me, Italian ceramic tiles on sale, only while supplies last?

Enough of this, next time I have to remember to wear a bib. Next isle…Wow! Just imported from Brazil, the newest of new marble countertop…Hmmm! How would that look in my kitchen? Would it match my cabinets? No that will never do. You just can’t put in a fabulous new countertop with 18-20 year old cupboards can you? I guess that calls for new cabinetry too. Now where is my booklet with the room sizes? Ah! Here it is. Now for an associate…Oh alright! Let’s plot it all out on the computer. How much?…How long? Ya right! Unfortunately that’s no-where near my budget.

Now what’s this? ---A display of concrete counter tops: pamphlets, books, video and catalogues all here. Hmmm! This just looks like my next DIY project. I can definitely see this in my kitchen. Wow it can be as shiny polished or rustic as I want. The concrete can be pigmented or tinted to quite a few colors too…Now the only problem I can see is that my counters are not just a straight slab but wrap around with a cornered double sink. According to the pamphlet it should be anywhere from 2 1/2 to 6” thick. Okay lets take the middle ground about 4” thick the standard countertop is 25” wide I need 16 1/2 feet + the corner…each bag mortar mix covers slightly more then 2’x1’x4”…that seems affordable.

Trying to think back when I was a kid and of all the times I spent with my Dad pouring concrete here and there. Do I dare try??? The kitchen being the focal point of the farmhouse, can I live with something that might not turn out just so? Now on the other hand I could definitely do a small trial piece and see if I’m up to the challenge. The downstairs bathroom needs a new countertop and that is only 4 foot section…hmmm.

What would I need for tools etc?

  • A counter top mold. Needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of the concrete and not buckle or bow. A ‘box’ that is water resistant and smooth surfaced…I could use the old formica from the laundry room that’s smooth and the right size has two ends I just need to add a front. That will work. The powder room has a real rustic theme so the finished top surface will only need to be slightly ground and polished but not glass smooth so it can be cast with its right side up and hand troweled. Again that’s do-able.
  • A sturdy strong “table” to hold the whole affair until it’s all finished. What did that pamphlet say? Oh here …will weigh up to 140 lbs/cubic foot when wet. 4’x2’x4” = 8 over3= 2.7 cubic feet x 140 lbs…so we’re looking at 380 lbs or so. I think I will need to give the work table in the garage an extra center support. Again do-able. (need to make sure it is level too as the counter top should be even thickness) (I wonder how much it will weigh once it's dry, lucky this one will not have to go up the stairs)
  • I can rent a mortar mixer.
  • I have a roll of chicken wire that can be used as reinforcement material. To strengthen the whole counter as it supposedly will hold up to 5000 psi.
  • The counter will need two holes one for the drain the other for the water supply. I’ll need a couple of chunks of doweling the right diameter. (with other words I’ll need to buy the “bowl-sink” and taps now to make sure of the right size holes.
  • Trowel and smoothening devices.
  • I can rent the grinder and polishing equipment. (water cooled type)
  • Diamond Grinding pads for the grinder and for hand use. From rough to smooth (200 – 800 as I still want the rougher kind of finish) The hand ones are to smoothen burs and what-not’s when de-molding.
  • The right amount of bags of fine mortar mix or counter top concrete mix.
  • Sealer and finishing wax.
  • Plastic sheeting to allow the concrete to cure slowly (less chances for cracks)
  • Book with all the how-to’s and tricks or do I want the DVD? Both I guess, the better prepared I am the better the chances for success. And if the bathroom counter works out great I could be doing more than just the one in the kitchen…

Now for that clear ‘ bowl sink’…yup. Yes, I like the brushed nickel finish for the taps. Well would you look at that, the set comes with washers…yeeha I can take the washer off my list. Load it in the van.

So much for only buying finishing nails and a washer. As I said that was the list for today nothing more nothing less.

I might as well give in to the inevitable. Being just at the beginnings of fixing up an old farm house. I will lose a lot of hours trekking through the Home depot, looking for inspiration. A different point of view, being the Hands-on-Gal that I am, walking around collecting ideas is really not such a bad thing.

The home deco magazines are great starting points but when re-doing an old home not everything in the pictures will be possible. Seeing things up close most definitely helps. I will jot down this time spent as research.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it…lol.

Darn I forgot the finishing nails. (Deep sigh here)…I’ll have to go back, maybe I’ll go to Rona this time. 

Because every concrete countertop is custom hand crafted, each one is unique. Concrete countertop materials can be used for countertops in kitchens, islands, bathroom vanities, sinks, fireplace mantles, table tops and window sills.

Before attempting ANY concrete countertop project I highly recommend that you read the book Concrete Countertops by Fu-Tung Cheng . Fu-Tung Cheng is the master of concrete if he doesn't know something about concrete it it does not exist. 

Concrete Counter Tops the book is available at most bookstores and Building supply stores.

Remember that even if you have everything prepared this is not a weekend project. No matter how small the countertop is, there is a 10 day curing process in which you will have to do your grinding and polishing in.

Once the concrete countertop is finished it has to be properly sealed at the beginning and to avoid staining and water logging will need to be waxed about every couple of weeks or so.

Average cost per square

Granite $100 - $200

Synthetic Solid Surface $90 - $120

Tile $10 - $90

Laminate$25 - $50

Engineered Quartz $100 - $200

Concrete foot $65 - $135 (For a standard 1.5-inch-thick countertop.)

source: HGTV Kitchen Design's Guide to Kitchen Countertops

More by this Author

Comments 36 comments

Steve 2 years ago

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 3 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you frogyfish for reading and commenting.

regards Zsuzsy

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

This was amazing and interesting to watch. I'd love to do that, but don't think I'd dare. Watched all the videos too and the concrete is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your great hub! 5 years ago

concrete countertops Ontario Canada

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

DIYweddingplanner, thanks for taking a look. I'm really enjoying the concrete and have not regretted opting for it.

Thanks for reading

regards Zsuzsy

DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

Wish I had been brave enough to do concrete, but wienied out and went with granite, wish I had now. This was interesting, will pass it on to a friend who's getting ready to do his in concrete!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hello Sir Greek! Dostoyevsky...isn't he the one that kept writing on and on and on about nothing?

The great thing about this hub is the actual counter tops. I'm hoping to take lots of pics this summer when I'm making my kitchen counter top. I will add them here then.

thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Because stories on menopause somehow do not “grip” me I let them alone in the hope that they will reciprocate and I came looking for another of your gems to provide my daily ZsuZsy dose. I ended up here. Perhaps not a subject that Dostoyevsky might have dropped everything for, yet you managed to create interest. Poor old Dostoyevsky. He doesn’t know what he missed :-)

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Crickette always glad when you pop in for a visit. Let me know how yours turns out.

good luck

regards Zsuzsy

crickette_w profile image

crickette_w 7 years ago

I am amazed once again. You have read my mind. I have been all over the Reno/Carson City area looking for a new counter top. Of course, all of them want to charge for installation, they don't realize I am doitmyselfer. Then, I got on hub pages, and there you are. A concrete counter top. My place is really rustic. Country I should say with bits and ropes for décor. I am going to listen to your tuturals and hopeful design and install my own. Thanks!! Oh, I have to say, you took the words right outta my mouth. It isn't only that you can't find a barrel of nails or screws anymore, it's the quality. Being a furniture refinisher, I need quality materials, can't find them anymore. Sometimes, I find the olde but goodies at the Army surplus. They seem to be the only ones with bulk anymore. Thank you again.

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Habee, as I'm redoing an old farm house which needs a lot of redoing to modernize it so I would never be able to afford granite counters but making the concrete ones myself lets me have the next best thing as far as I'm concerned. (I'm not good at waiting, I see something that I can possibly accomplish I will do it now)

Glad you came for a visit, hope you're and the family are well

kindest regards Zsuzsy

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Cool! I'm not familiar with these, but I'll bet my husband is.

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Dolores always glad when you pop in for a visit.

The concrete counter tops can be gorgeous. they can be rustic or glass slick which ever you prefer. As for the do it yourself mess. I just love projects that are a bit of a challenge. If someone says it's hard I'm there just for the fun of it. Now as far as challenges went if I were to rate them from 10 to 1 ten being the toughest I would say that the bathroom counter top would be about a 6.5 and I believe the kitchen one (next spring) because there is so much of it, will be an 8.5 to 9 for sure. I will gladly make more of them wherever there needed. Check them out the counters they're really great.

hope you're well, regards Zsuzsy

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

drcischasse thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

I keep hearing about concrete counter tops but have never seen one in person. They sound really interesting. Thanks for the info. Of course, the do-it-yourself plan sounds like a big mess and an opportunity to really ruin the place. Maybe get someone who knows what they are doing.

drcrischasse profile image

drcrischasse 7 years ago from NH/Foxboro

Great info thanks

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. To be truthful I could not afford granite counters. They look great and are probably great too. HOWEVER I was able to make my concrete counter top in the downstairs bathroom and I love it. It is rustic just what I was wanting. Granite would not suit in there at all. The Kitchen is the next project. I have 18 feet plus a wrap around corner and 6 feet on the other side plus an island counter. I will have my new counter this coming summer. If I wanted granite I would never get it because I could not make it myself. I guess it all depends on what one can afford and what one wants. Again I love the concrete top. It needs to be treated (waxed) regularly but that's not a problem for me. I worked really hard getting the counter made therefore the upkeep is fine by me too.


bengriston profile image

bengriston 7 years ago

I actually have a friend who was just not happy with the concrete tops. Though everyone I know who splurged for granite have been very pleased with their purchase.

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Angela, it's hard work but worth every bit of it once it's done. Also if you can create your counter right on location makes it a heck of a lot easier after too because the counter is super heavy.

Good luck

regards Zsuzsy

Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 7 years ago from Around the USA

I've been wanting to do this myself, but wasn't brave enough. You may have convinced me!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

logic,commonsense... thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

I love the look of the granite counters but once I priced them out there is no way in this lifetime that I could afford the one I like. Now the bathroom concrete one looks good (it's not perfect but...) even if I add in the cost of renting the equipment needed etc. it cost 69.52can$/sqft compared to the granite $218.75/sqft. That's a huge savings considering that I need a bit more then 73sqft. for the kitchen. Which one is going to be polished mirror smooth that will compare great to the granites finish...

regards Zsuzsy

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

GPage, thanks for stopping by. I love the concrete countertops. For a first attempt I'm okay with how it turned out. However practice makes perfect. A friend wants me to help her with hers after that I should be ready to attempt the island and the 18 foot long wrap around ones in the Kitchen late next spring. I will try to get some pics done of the process and probably do another hub about it after.

The first time around I was too unsure if I was doing things right and if things would turn out and naturally forgot to make the step by step photos.

Thanks for reading, kindest regards Zsuzsy

profile image

logic,commonsense 7 years ago

concrete countertops are the new granite. Many people are installing concrete because of the versatility. You can make it the color you like and the shape that fits your kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California

Zsuzsy Bee...WOW! You amaze me! Awesome hub with amazing detail. I once shot a very expensive beach house for a magazine that had concrete counters in all of the bathrooms. They put gorgeous vanity color bowls on top of the counter instead of setting them down in the normal setting. You listed some above on amazon.

In one bathroom they made the whole entire shower concrete and the floor too, but they changed the tones of each one. ANYWAY, thank you again for such an informative hub! Best, GPAGE

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

RTalloni, oh, no-no-no don't let my hub do that to you... that would be too much of a shame.

:) regards Zsuzsy

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

It's hubs like this that keep me from writing...

Informative and well done...thanks!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

How does that saying go 'Jack of all trades...' that's me. I just love to do anything out of the ordinary.

Glad you came for a visit

regards Zsuzsy

elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

wow, you sure know your way around home improvement...Maybe you should have your own TV show, I'd watch!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Tammy, Home Depot has ceramic floor tiles on sale this week that look like die for. I measured out the back hallway and the mud room. I'm trying to talk myself into just buying the tiles now and wait with all the other stuff till after Christmas. I won't have the time to do it now anyway sooo

I'm afraid it will be another trip into town tomorrow...

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

I will be bookmarking this one. I have the same problem in home Depot and Lowe's. Very entertaining.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks for taking a look Paradise and for commenting. kindest regards Zsuzsy

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

Beautiful countertops, good hub. You got right into what it takes to get them ready & installed, and that's good information. Thanks!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lily Rose, it looks fabulous. The Bathroom counter turned out not too bad, not perfect but okay. I have not attempted to do the kitchen yet, it's on my early summer project list when it's not too hot out yet. It's a big job but well worth the effort.

thanks for stopping by

regards Zsuzsy

Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

What a great hub - very entertaining! I have loved the look of concrete countertops for years and would love someday to have it somewhere in my house. Thanks for the great tips!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

dohn Home Depot is a very dangerous place for me because I can find new project to do by the dozens. Then I get frustrated because I don't have enough time to get them all done ...'like yesterday'.

Always glad when you pop in for a visit

kindest regards Zsuzsy

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I hope to have the problems you have at Home Depot WHEN I get my own house! Doubly, I'll be able to use the great advice you showcased right here! Thanks as always.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article