Crazy idea or artistic genius? (pics included)

graceshanJune 8, 2012

So I have this idea of doing concrete countertops for my kitchen laden with seaglass that we've collected off our local beach. Our house style is coastal craftsman. My husband is very nervous about the idea but told me to go ahead and express myself. I have a concrete guy chosen and he's done some samples for me. I've pretty much narrowed the color down to a sandy tanish (think hawaiian beach). My backsplash is a greenish blue glass... call me cheesy but I was thinking the counter could be the sandy beach and the backsplash the ocean :) All cabinets are white and floors are dark hardwood oak. See pics below. Now that I've set the stage...

I'm thinking the color should be somewhere between the whitish and light tan colors (first two) in this first photo:

I found out he can match BM colors so I'm off to look at paint chips tomorrow to see if I can find the sandy beach color I'm looking for. Any thoughts on the color??

Here's my bigger dilemma... he put some broken wine bottle glass pieces in a sample to give me an idea of what it will look like if I incorporate seaglass. Some of the pieces you can feel and if they are curved parts, there can be little "lips" on the edge. He can fill in some of them to a certain extent but he doesn't want the overall look to be patchy with a lot of fixes. My fear is that since my seaglass is all different shapes & sizes and if I get too many of those lips then food and dirt will get caught in the little areas between the concrete and seaglass. We are doing a huge 13' island and I want it to make a statement but not at the expense of practicality. So I need advice!

He did say I could come help place the seaglass so I can put exactly what pieces I want in there in whatever position. That thrilled me as I'd love to help create my counters first-hand.

I'm REALLY excited about this idea and want it to work out. I just need some input from others to see if I'm being crazy or if this sounds okay.... what do you think?? It's an expensive project to have something turn out yucky. So I want to be sure of it before taking the plunge.

Sample of glass:

Here are some more pics of samples next to my kitchen wall and tiles:

Some of my seaglass:

Kitchen layout:

I was thinking of having most of the seaglass in the radius area where people can sit up at the counter and maybe sprinkle out to the other parts of the island. I have 2.5 jars of it and just not sure how far it will spread or what will look good.

Thoughts, suggestions, anything???

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What an intriguing idea!

I don't know a thing about making concrete countertops so I can't tell you whether it would work or not but I did what I always do when I want to learn more about anything - I ran an internet search. Found the article linked below which describes a custom home and mentions that "The morning bathroom uses brighter colors, with floor-to-ceiling aqua glass tile and a recycled concrete countertop embedded with sea glass confetti." (See the next to last paragraph.)

Too bad the online article doesn't include the pictures that were obviously part of the original. But, I bet you could track them down and get more info!

Hope this helps

Here is a link that might be useful: Mention of a concrete countertop with embedded sea glass

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:08AM
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I'm not much help either. I love concrete though and the glass is very pretty.

This isn't concrete, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: countertops

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:31AM
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What a cool idea! We installed a concrete sink in our bathroom, which I really like. Before we decided on the contour version, I was collecting pictures of concrete sinks and countertops with fossils and glass embedded in them. There are lots of companies out there that do this, so you might find someone with more experience. Pictures can be deceiving, but the ones below look like they are smoother than the sample you have.

Finally, the architect who made our sink said that the concrete sink manufacturers willingly shared information about the process. So an alternative might be for your guy to talk with someone with more experience.

Here are the examples, with the websites, plus our bath sink at the end.

These first two are from
From Concrete Countertops

From Concrete Countertops

This is from
From Concrete Countertops

This is from
From Concrete Countertops

Another sea glass example, this one from
From Concrete Countertops

This is not the picture I wanted, but take a look at the website. This company makes beautiful countertops. I just couldn't grab the picture I wanted! (Be sure to use the "gallery.html" extension.)
From Concrete Countertops

Finally, here's our concrete sink. This pix was taken when we were trying to decide what to do about a backsplash. We ended up just keeping the painted wall.
From Concrete Countertops

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:18AM
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I'm not 100% sure this would work or that you care for these results.

But why don't you have the installer place the glass the smallest amount high and then when he is grinding the surface of the concrete smooth and polishing it, the process will bring the glass down flush which should solve the lip problem.

Just a thought

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:11PM
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I think the architectural term you are looking for is Terrazzo. Wikipedia has a good write up.

In a nutshell it is concrete with aggregate chips/glass/marble added in. After casting the surface is then ground down to a smooth finish via polishing process.

Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 5:26PM
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I think this is one of those things you do for yourself that some people will find interesting and others very yucky. If this will be your home for many years and you really love it I can't see a reason why you shouldn't, but if resale value is important I would not.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have caesarstone counters with embedded recycled glass and I can tell you that the glass has chipped or dinged whereas the counter has not. Glass simply is not as tough so be prepared for that. Mind you, we are gentle people, have no children and have been living here for only 2 yrs.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 5:32PM
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I would think your first concern with the surface of a kitchen counter would be cleaning it. I would avoid porous materials and cracks. None of these materials would be allowed in a commercial kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:54PM
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