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Has anyone out there had any experience with cement countertops. A client of ours is expressing interest and we are considering trying to tackle it ourselves. Foolish maybe, but we are always willing to try new things at least once. Any advice, books, web sites ect. would be appreciated.

Thanks
Dakota ;)
 

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Yep, Cheng seems to be the authorative source on doing them. I have that book, after reading it I decided I would be out of my freaken mind to ever attempt them. Doing them right and cost effectively seems like it would only work if you specialized and only did concrete counter tops, to me I got the impression that doing one or two every once in awhile was not an option. You need to reinforce the cabinetry, there are so many considerations in regard to the forms and getting predictable results. I would read that book first. I would consider myself really aggressive when it comes to doing things other people would not attempt and usually getting impressive results that are out of proportion with my level of experience, but I got totally conservative after reading his book. You might see it totally differently, who knows.
 

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Dakota said:
Has anyone out there had any experience with cement countertops. A client of ours is expressing interest and we are considering trying to tackle it ourselves. Foolish maybe, but we are always willing to try new things at least once. Any advice, books, web sites ect. would be appreciated.

Thanks
Dakota ;)
I watched one built at a restraunt we built.
It really wasnt that hard.
The base was just 2x4 walls with plywood sheeting, the top was 3/4 plywood with the normal over hang you see on most bars.

The company that poured it used flexable expansion material, 3 1/2 " tall,
they screwed it to the edge of the plywood top. This bar had some radius's in it. They then used metal form screen inside the forms to reinforce the light wieght concrete that was pumped from a truck. They used small blocks to hold the screen up off of the plywood to keep the metal screen in the middle of the pour. Make sure to keep the wire away from the edges, it will show when finished

After it set up over night, they unscrewed the expansion forms and cleaned up the edges. A desighn was painted on the concrete and then 3 coats of high gloss epoxy .
 

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The one that I saw done, they ground off about 1/8" on all sides then ground the edge profile. It looked really nice but what a mess.
 

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checkout this old house website. They did cement counter tops on their arizona project. This is probably something that is regional..meaning if you live in the arizona area no problem to find someone to do them. But if you live in Illinois like I do forget about it. Nobody has ever done them.
 

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Didn't see the link to the This Old House website.

Tim
 

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I'm interested in seeing that concrete countertop - anyone have a website I can go see it at??
 

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sorry checkout this website

This old house website doesn't have the cement countertops they did on it. However I have came through for you check this website out....www.aceconcrete.com :Thumbs: :Thumbs: :Thumbs:
 

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I have been using concrete in a creative way for about ten years now. Hand made concrete tiles, concrete entryways, large sculptures and creative concrete countertops. Although there are some things to learn about making counters if you are handy with tools it is not "hard". Of course having said that, you can screw things up pretty fast if you don't practice out in the backyard first. Most of my counters are poured in the shop face down in a mold. I need alot of control over the concrete since I am adding designs and colors to the mix. I haven't done a counter in place yet but anyone who is good with a finish trowel can get a nice surface. The beauty of concrete is that it is concrete. I always tell a customer before I start that there may be pits and unusual areas here and there. Since I am coming from the direction of being an artist I always have the option no matter what happens of saying, "Heck, it's art. I wanted it that way". A friend lent me a book once. It was the one mentioned in the post above. I found I had been building my molds in a similar fashion. It is is a good book and a good place to start. You can check out some of my work at http://www.johnkingart.com
 

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Most of my work is in concrete for now. Prior to that I did custom cabinets, construction and anything else to feed myself while also doing my art. I have been lucky these past ten years to be able to support myself with my art. I am still scraping by like all those starving years before, but now it is not because people don't want my art, it is because I am a lazy bum.
 

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Based upon your sample work I would be depressed if I found out that there wasn't a steady stream of high income clients waiting in line for your work.

I understand the artist thing, I used to be a professional photographer, but I was more of a whore and not an artist. I would shoot anything as long as my day rate was being paid, I didn't care if it was artistically pleasing or not, I stepped around and over all the starving artists crying on the street trying to make my way to the bank to deposit the checks. So along the way I met tons of artists who were their own worst enemies, (business speaking only) different breed, we weren't on the same wave lengths at all. But they all had cool apartments (they couldn't afford houses) and they all seemed to have hot girl friends too and threw the best parties. The most successful couple I ever met was a guy and a girl. She was the artist and he was the business man, the combination was deadly and very profitable and allowed her the freedom to pursue her artwork while they raked in the money.
 

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This thread is kind of old, but anyway...I worked for a lady in LA five years ago who had heard about concrete counter tops and we just went ahead and did it. Poured it in place, 'cos it never occurred to me to do it otherwise. Radius corners, dropped the edge to hide the plywood, set in a sink and a stove top. Lot's of fun and turned out pretty good. Nerve-racking come pour day, though, but concrete's always like that for me. This was the same Lady who wanted me to put in a row of four wooden french doors that each rotated around their central axis, she said she'd seen it in a magazine somewhere. As a kicker she wanted NO visible hardware. Turns out she was lying about having seen them, she just said that so I'd rise to the challenge. The joys of rare earth magnets. Rich.
 
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