The Science and Art of Concrete Countertop

Posted on July 14, 2014


Transforming a kitchen or bath is often a matter of a few updates and changes. Chief among them are cabinets and countertops. The amazing range of choices in cabinetry and countertops often guarantees that a designer or DIY decorator can find a look that suits their style or that of the property owner. However, what if there is the need for something truly unique and original? What if the space is a bit of a challenge?

Often the answer is custom cabinetry or countertops, but that is an option only to those with larger budgets. Another, and far more viable solution is to create a concrete countertop that can be stained and sealed in any way and which can create an updated look easily. Even more appealing is the fact that it is possible to make concrete countertops directly on top of new or original cabinetry in order to save dramatically on costs.

How to Make Concrete Countertops

The idea of creating a concrete countertop may sound like a highly complicated affair, but the eco-friendliness of concrete and the cost efficiency of the materials has made it relatively easy to find workable solutions. For example, the Z-Counterform system is one that uses patented forms to allow even a dedicated DIY enthusiast to design, pour, and finish concrete countertops of all kinds.

This system requires only a few basic steps in order for even an elaborate set of concrete countertops to be created "on site". The steps are as follows:

  • Concrete board is cut to size and installed on the cabinet base.
  • Special forms are installed on top of the board - with many different angles and edges to accommodate seams between the counters and the walls and to give the front edges of the countertops a decorative or flawlessly finished edge.
  • Corners are taped, including edges where sinks may be "dropped in", and special fittings are put in place to create openings for plumbing and taps.
  • Concrete is poured into the mold and as it cures it is troweled and smoothed.
  • Once cured, the edges are diamond sanded, and the front edges of the Z-Counterforms are snapped away cleanly.
  • The countertops can then be stained and sealed as desired.

Anyone wondering how to make concrete countertops may think that this seems all too simple and easy, but this series of steps is all that is needed. Certainly, there are extra tools and accessories that make the most of such systems. Specialty forms for precise cutting and shaping of the molds are needed to ensure that the concrete countertop has evenly aligned edges and seamless corners. Proper cement and concrete products are required for making the most effective "slurry", and safe stains and sealers are essential for this work. However, contractors or DIY enthusiasts taking the time to learn how to make concrete countertops will find themselves looking for even more ways to use such systems. They allow fast and easy improvements, and they create countertops that are visually appealing and totally unique.?

​the science and art of concrete countertops