Concrete counter and copper vessel sinks

cornweerOctober 2, 2004

This project was a DIY that my husband and I both worked on. We arent finished yet, we still need to reface the cabinets, but I am so proud of how well our counters turned out I had to share it with someone! We poured the countertop ourselves. It took a lot of time, and a lot of grinding, but I think it was worth it. For the counter we bought the following:

4 - bags of Quickrette 5000 (approx $5/bag at Lowes)

2 - bottles of Quickrette Concrete Dye - Color Buff (approx $5 per bottle at Lowes)

1 - 4 inch electric grinder (Cheapest one Lowes had at around $40)

1 GFI extension cord (pretty important when you are wet grinding with electric)$25 at Lowes

Grinding Pads - I used diamond grinding pads from Harbour Freight, they were the cheapest. I got 2 of each grit: 100, 200, 300, 500, 800, 1000, 3000, and 10,000. For all of the grinding pads and shipping it was about $65.

I also had to buy a rubber backing pad and hook and loop backer at Lowes for about $15 so they would attach to my grinder.

Penetrating Sealer for Concrete - I bought a gallon can of it and even after putting 3 coats on I still have most of the can left. Approx $10 at Ace Hardware

Carnuba Wax - I had some in my garage for waxing my car, so it didnt cost us anything.

"Concrete Counters" book by Fu-Tung Cheng. This is a must have item for creating concrete counters. Amazon.com $20.00

The sinks I got on ebay for $175 each.

The faucets are by Fontaine Faucets. I bought them online for around $75 each.

Antique Bronze Tailpieces for the drains. $50 each special order at plumbing supply store. Little did I realize when selecting my sinks and faucets that you have to have a special drain that works with vessel sinks. After numerous special orders, and 6 weeks of waiting we finally go ones that worked.

Bathroom

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cabogirl

You SHOULD be proud - the bathroom is gorgeous and to have done it yourselves...that's super!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2004 at 1:18AM
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sweetpea_path

Cornweer ~ LOOKS GREAT!! You did a terrific job and must be very proud :>))

Question: did you pour your counter *in place* or pour it elsewhere and then lug it into place?

Love the finish on the faucets, too.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2004 at 10:31PM
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cornweer

Thank You! We poured the concrete in a form outside and did all of the polishing outside to keep the mess down. When using the diamond grinding pads you need water running constantly. We figured it would be a lot simpler to setup outside and use the water hose so we wouldnt have to worry about getting water everywhere. It nearly killed two very strong men to carry it in the house though. I think if we did it again we would have 3 people help with the carrying:) By the way, I forgot to add to the materials list: 1 sheet of melamine for the form, rebar, and weld wire for reinforcement.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 2:28PM
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thetews

I REALLY, REALLY love your bathroom.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 7:32AM
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pammo

awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

congratulations!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 9:03AM
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quilter1955

how did you get the "fleck" look on it so that it kind of looks like granite?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2004 at 6:43PM
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cornweer

We grinded it down so you can see the aggregates in the concrete. The flecks you see are the stones that come in the bag of concrete. I was amazed at all of the variations in color I found.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 2:08PM
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kvil

What is the thickness of your counter & how long is it?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2004 at 10:53PM
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cornweer

The counter is 2 inches thick and just under 8 feet long.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2004 at 12:42PM
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kvil

Thank you, it really is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2004 at 6:42PM
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msazadi

That is an amazing bit of work. If your arms aren't too tired, pat yourselves on the back!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 10:47AM
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mollysuemolly

Question. What type of special drains do you need for vessel sinks? We are thinking of putting a vitreous china vessel sink on top of a granite counter top. Please advise.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 6:23PM
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mitchdesj

Wow, I always forget to peek in the gallery and your bathroom is a gem..... Your slab would look wonderful as a table top also..
congratulations, you're lucky to be talented diy'ers..

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 6:16PM
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cornweer

You have to get a drain that doesnt have overflow holes. I also had to order one that was longer to go through the width of the concrete plus the height of the vessel sink. If you go to a plumbing specialty store they will understand what you need. The biggest problem I had was finding that type of drain in an antique bronze!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 12:26PM
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SnowQueen_NJ

Very nice...I laughed as soon as I saw the sinks because we just bought the same one for our powder room downstairs. Isn't it nice! I can't wait to put ours in.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 9:08AM
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bill_y

That is absolutely Fantastic! I have that book and your counters look better than any in the book!!!

Can you give us a step by step and any tips about the "grinding and polishing process" please

Great Job!
Bill

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 1:12AM
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cwbest

Hi - your counters look great! I'm about to start a similar project with same materials. I have some questions if you don't mind answering 'em. How did you mix your conrete and how long did it take to cure? Other than the colorant, did you add anything else like a water reducer? Did you cover the concrete or keep it wet until it fully cured? Did you use a vibrator to remove air pockets? Did you slurry any to fill holes? How long was the grinding process? Thanks for anything you can provide...
Chuck (cwbest)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 11:57PM
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cornweer

My biggest tip for the grinding/polishing is dont spend a lot on a grinder because you are going to mess it up:) I bought a cheap grinder and got my diamond grinding pads from Harbour Freight online. Important: Buy a GFI extension cord and wear heavy rubber gloves. I got shocked a couple of times at first because it is a wet grind. I bought those rubber plumbing gloves that go all the way up your arm. I would also suggest a heavy rubber apron and rubber soled shoes. I just took my time and started at a low grit - 60 and worked my way up to 3000. I kept a slow trickle of water going while I was grinding. Between each grit I rinsed the slab really well and used a squeegee to clean off the sediment.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 7:14AM
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cwbest

Thanks for the tip--Can't wait to get started. Our cabinets are going in Friday (just in time for Hurricane Dennis!) so we'll be ready to assemble the molds. I'll let you know how they turn out!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 12:16AM
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cornweer

We used a portable cement mixer. We let the slab cure for about 4 weeks, but it was ready before that. We didnt add anything to the mix except for dye. We didnt keep the slab covered, but we misted it with water every day for the first week. We used a small hand sander (something like the mouse) and ran it along the bottom of the form. THis is the most important step. Take your time and get all of the bubbles out. We did have some small pinholes in our slab and had to do a slurry. The hardest part about the slurry is matching the color. Luckily we went down to the aggregates so it isnt very noticable. I spent about 1-2 hrs a day for a week grinding. It really just depends on what type of finish you are going for. I spent a lot of time grinding on the lower grits to get the aggregates to show. If you wanted a solid color you could skip straight to a higher grit and spend less time grinding. Good luck with your slab! I think you will find this project a lot of work, but a lot of fun and satisfaction when you see the finished project.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 3:57PM
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redbazel

That is so nice looking! I love everything you did it that bath. Things just flow together so well. And I am glad that previous posters already asked most of my questions. Good job!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 1:46PM
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vern1

WOW your bathroom is absolutely georgeous

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 6:23AM
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casey2383

How did you get the holes for the drain in the concrete? Thanks

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 8:06PM
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cornweer

We cut out pieces of wood with a hole saw and wrapped them in bubble wrap for the drain holes. we used pieces of PVC Wrapped in bubble wrap for the smaller holes for the faucet. The bubble wrap made them easier to remove when we tapped them out with a hammer. We attached them to the form with screws.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 2:57PM
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audrey_ca

I just love your bathroom. In particular the countertop.
We are in the midst of a MB remodel and we are looking around at countertops. Like Quartz countertops but they are a bit pricey. Would love any suggestions. We have a 61" coutertop with 1 sink on the right.

My BIL is in the hardscape/concrete business, I have got to show him this. Thanks for sharing.

You should be very proud of your hardwork.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 3:08PM
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liz_h

I think that's the prettiest concrete countertop I've seen. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 6:39PM
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mjr32

usual, late to the party; is your gallery images still avail as this might be of interest to me now?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:36PM
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