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The first step to fabricating concrete countertops is to make templates of the existing cabinetry. We do this by using strips of wood around the perimeter of the cabinets. We add a few extra pieces to brace it and hot glue it all together.
We remove the templates and return to our shop to create the forms. We create the forms out of melamine. They are built upside down…meaning the bottom of the form will actually be the top of the finished countertop. The melamine will give the concrete a nice and smooth surface.
Once the forms are ready, we place aggregates in the concrete that will be visible in the surface of the countertops. This can range from natural stones to sliver coated mirror glass.
Once the aggregate is in place and the forms are clean and ready to go, we use our custom concrete mix that includes white & gray portland cement, sand, fly-ash/pozzolans, and polymers. The concrete mix is then sprayed into the forms with our hopper gun.
Once the face coat is completed, we apply another concrete mix that is similar to the first, but includes a slightly different ratio of sand to concrete, and a large amount of glass fiber. The glass fiber is what gives the concrete its strength, which allows us to pour pieces as thin as 3/4″.
We let the concrete cure overnight.
We return the next day and flip the countertops over and strip the forms. The concrete now has the texture of the melamine that we used to form the countertops.
The next step is to begin polishing the concrete with our hand grinder (not pictured). We usually start with a 50 grit diamond, and continue using 10 steps all the way up to 3000 grit diamond pads. This process removes the melamine texture and reveals the aggregate that we placed in the concrete.
After we are done polishing, we let the concrete dry overnight, and return to apply our high quality stain-resistant sealer. We apply the sealer with an HVLP gun & compressor. After the sealer cures, we deliver & install the countertops in the kitchen.