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Concrete Counter Tops

 
 
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:59 PM  
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Concrete Counter Tops


What do you all think about concrete counter tops?
The son of a friend has been working at getting a business started doing mostly tile work. He's doing really well after about three years.
I've offered to send him to school to learn concrete counter top work and furnish him with tools and a shop for a certain percentage of the profit.
He's weighing the idea.
The only school Im familiar with is Cheng Concrete in California. I used his supplies when I did some counters for my house but it was trial and error. They have one and two weeks sessions dealing with just about every aspect of using concrete for counters.
Does anyone know of other schools you could recommend, maybe closer to Illinois, that we could use for getting hands on training and instructiion?
I've been attending home shows and so far haven't found anyone doing concrete counters in the Springfield-Quincy area of Illinois but I'm pretty sure someone must be doing it.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:40 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


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Originally Posted by CharlesD View Post
What do you all think about concrete counter tops?
The son of a friend has been working at getting a business started doing mostly tile work. He's doing really well after about three years.
I've offered to send him to school to learn concrete counter top work and furnish him with tools and a shop for a certain percentage of the profit.
He's weighing the idea.
The only school Im familiar with is Cheng Concrete in California. I used his supplies when I did some counters for my house but it was trial and error. They have one and two weeks sessions dealing with just about every aspect of using concrete for counters.
Does anyone know of other schools you could recommend, maybe closer to Illinois, that we could use for getting hands on training and instructiion?
I've been attending home shows and so far haven't found anyone doing concrete counters in the Springfield-Quincy area of Illinois but I'm pretty sure someone must be doing it.
It is a good business, can make nice money doing it. We did a bar and tried concrete top on in. Ordered the styrofoam forms on line and they came out nice. Here is a few pictures
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:48 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


Here is a few more
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:37 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


Buddy Rhodes, Thats who i trained with, GMOD
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:39 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


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Here is a few more
Thanks for the pics, Greg.
Did you trowel finish these or did you grind them down and polish them. They really look good. In fact, the whole job looks great.
I was glad to see you can buy the forms for different edge profiles.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:48 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


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Buddy Rhodes, Thats who i trained with, GMOD
Thanks for the heads up on Buddy Rhodes. I think he takes it to a higher level than Cheng although both are great artists.
i ordered one of his books today just to get a better feel of his way of doing things.
My wife was laid off today from her job of 33 years so the recession has hit our house.
But she is saying we need to do this on our own and not use the guy we wanted to set up in the business but just hire helpers.
We shall see.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:35 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


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Thanks for the pics, Greg.
Did you trowel finish these or did you grind them down and polish them. They really look good. In fact, the whole job looks great.
I was glad to see you can buy the forms for different edge profiles.
No problem and Yes it was trowel finished, and also when you pour the concrete mixture, you will have to get a vibrator if you don't have one, to get the air out, something like the pic bellow, they have other types, it helps to give a nice smooth finish. Just follow the instructions, everything is there.

Good luck with it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:47 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


hey greg,

nice work you have there! Is that an acid stain? did you use a bagged mix or mix by hand?
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:14 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


Theres a guy up here that lays fiber optics in the concrete it looks amazing. Like a starry night
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:18 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


I've done some fiber optic tops. Lots of work.

Try the Concrete Countertop Institute. I heard they're classes are great. They cater to the professional, where as Cheng and Rhodes are now catering to the homeowners and DIY'ers from what I've heard anyway.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:34 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


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hey greg,

nice work you have there! Is that an acid stain? did you use a bagged mix or mix by hand?
I did the framing and helped him set-up the counter base and form it out. It was a bagged mix, it's easier to work with and you have the instructions to the smallest details and they're right on the money. My friend did the staining and I think he did use acid stain. This is his house, he does concrete and blacktop stamping. When he heard the price what they wanted for Granite, he said, f this, and did in concrete. This was our first outdoor bar and concrete counter-top and it came out perfect. Good enough to have it in the kitchen. We had quiet a few customers who wanted that done, but they didn't want to spend this kind of money.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:27 PM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


With regards to your first question, answering honestly, I despise them. The photos shown look good and I think an outside summer kitchen is the only place they make sense. Not saying anything negative about the workmanship, because those photos look great, but conceptually I just think they are awful.

Personally, I think this is trendy but will never be hugely popular and may essentially die out in a few years. If the objective is to get the young man into a career I think there are lots better careers. Become a great tile installer, great trim carpenter, or get into very high-end carpet or hardwood.

By the way, don't bother telling me how wrong I am, I understand some people love the idea, but I just think very few people over the course of a decade are going to love them enough to plunk down the cash.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:58 PM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


You can make a living doing them if you in a up-scale area and a year round warm climate or if someone is a real outdoor enthusiast who loves to spend time outdoors and enjoys to entertain people. To do a kitchen like this for a customer, you looking at 30k+ and not many people can afford that, especially this day and age...and just like anything else, it is a matter of personal preference.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:53 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


I agree with you Greg. I think a warm weather, upscale client location is needed to be successful long-term with these. Unless the young guy considering this career is close to Chicago, or in it, and can tap a real upscale market, I just think it's a tough market to find enough customers in a cold weather area like Illinois. But I do think the photos look great and if I lived in Southern California and were doing a summer kitchen I might consider them. I just wouldn't inside.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:00 PM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


I am thinking to do one in my house, when you do it yourself its not that expensive, lumber was under under $200 and it took me a few hours to frame everything out, you can see the pic bellow, pretty much straight forward...His guys did the patio, he just took the needed paver's to make room for the concrete pad, and he wrapped everything up with backer board, pavers and block. BBQ and all the stainless steel doors was the biggest expense around $3k, everything else is all labor.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:12 PM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


Concrete countertops have been around for over 20 years. So I guess it being a fad is off track.

And many guys dont do JUST concrete countertops. Many started out doing either concrete, masonry, or like this guy, tile. Its just another option to offer clients.

And really I dont see what is so bad about being in a house. My tops are maintenance free, virtually stain proof, and I will put my tops up against the best looking granite you can find any day.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:56 PM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


I'm with 6stringmason, concrete adds a much higher level of customization. You can inlay different materials, you have an unlimited selection of colours and textures, you can have drain boards, sinks, saltwells and other accessories cast into the counter tops.

I'd love to do my house but I don't have an area big enough to work on them and I assume pouring in place would be a disaster of a met when it came to surfacing and polishing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:17 PM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


wow much better than i thought concrete could look
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:10 PM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesD View Post
What do you all think about concrete counter tops?
The son of a friend has been working at getting a business started doing mostly tile work. He's doing really well after about three years.
I've offered to send him to school to learn concrete counter top work and furnish him with tools and a shop for a certain percentage of the profit.
He's weighing the idea.
The only school Im familiar with is Cheng Concrete in California. I used his supplies when I did some counters for my house but it was trial and error. They have one and two weeks sessions dealing with just about every aspect of using concrete for counters.
Does anyone know of other schools you could recommend, maybe closer to Illinois, that we could use for getting hands on training and instructiion?
I've been attending home shows and so far haven't found anyone doing concrete counters in the Springfield-Quincy area of Illinois but I'm pretty sure someone must be doing it.
I have done many concrete tops, i think they suck! To much maintenance, even if you put a clear epoxy coating over them you still need to wax them,and they still scratch. I would go with a corian over concrete. But people still like the"high end concrete counter top" you can make money at them if you are good.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:14 AM  
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Re: Concrete Counter Tops


What is the technique for doing this application on a bathroom floor , curb and shower?

I've done a lot of floor mix pours for shower pans and tile subfloors but I have a customer who wants colored concrete for the floor and shower.

Thanks for any advice!

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