DIY Network

Updating a Kitchen With Concrete Countertops

This DIY Basic will provide tips on updating a kitchen with concrete countertops.

More in Kitchen

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

heavy cardboard or plywood
palm sander
caulk gun and silicone caulk
1-gallon buckets
circular saw
denatured alcohol
fiberglass or masonite
type 1 or 2 cement w/ two parts 3/8-inch pea gravel, three parts sand
coloring pigment
safety goggles
rubber gloves
150-grit sandpaper
shop vacuum
taping knife
water-based sealer
3/16-inch paint roller
food-safe wax

Step 3: Build Forms for the Countertop

Updating your kitchen with new concrete countertops is a great way to add value to your home.

Build countertop outdoors or in workshop.

Start by creating template of countertop out of heavy cardboard or plywood. Allow 1/8 inch between countertop and wall or backsplash.

Out of fiberglass or masonite, build forms to fit template.

Step 4: Mix the Concrete and Pour Into Forms

Mix cement with 2 parts 3/8-inch pea gravel, 3 parts sand, plus coloring pigments and water. Use mixing wand to smooth concrete mixture.

Pour concrete into forms and allow to harden for four days.

Level forms with shims to make concrete smooth and level.

Tip: Gently shaking forms will release air bubbles.

Step 5: Sand, Seal and Polish Countertop

Strip forms from hardened concrete.

Smooth concrete edges with orbital sander.

With a helper, flip the countertop. Concrete countertop can weigh 50 to 75 pounds.

Sand top with 150-grit sandpaper and palm sander, and vacuum up dust and sand.

Seal concrete with water-based sealer.

Sand again, vacuum and seal with food-safe wax.

Polish countertop with power buffer.

Step 6: Install the Countertop

With a helper, carry the countertop to the kitchen and gently set in place.

Fill seam between countertop and wall or back splash with silicone caulk.

Check with insurance agent about increased value of home.