Concrete countertops are being used more and more in outdoor kitchens. They’re a great way to clean up your kitchen, with an endless number of uses for the concrete before it dries out completely. These easiest steps will help you make beautiful cement counter tops for your outdoor kitchen!.
The “how to finish outdoor concrete countertops” is a project that can be done in your backyard. It will help you create a beautiful and functional kitchen for your home.
We built concrete countertops for our best friends’ backyard a few years ago, and we’ll be starting on our own backyard project this summer.
So we decided to show you how to construct concrete worktops for your outdoor kitchen.
Making a Concrete Countertop Outside: Step-by-Step Instructions
This project’s steps are nearly self-contained projects. If you really want to get something spectacular out of this endeavor, you must be willing to put in the time necessary to do it properly.
The concrete countertops of our acquaintances
Place the Countertop Frame in Place
Concrete countertops are popular because of the customizability they provide in the manufacturing process. This characteristic also implies that the countertop frame cannot be installed in a single manner. You can acquire pieces that function as frame lips for your concrete countertop mold, or you can make a DIY mold out of pieces of melamine-coated boards in this walk-through for in-place concrete countertop fabrication.
Of course, I don’t have a photo of the prior with only the frame, but for my outside mold, I used 16 boards and made sure they were level on each side so the concrete would be level when poured to the top. As a foundation, I utilized outside plywood. I cut a hole in the plywood for the sink and used the 16 boards to build walls around it.
The specific materials you’ll be using to build your frame may vary, but you might find it useful to caulk where the plywood edges meet the 16 boards to guard against moisture and maintain tidy countertop edges. If you’re not sure about caulk, marking your intended area using painter’s tape before applying it might help you avoid mistakes.
Concrete Casting Preparation
It’s time to start making your own preparations for your project once your frame is ready to pour your countertop. You’ll be putting mesh into your frame with some overhang before pouring your concrete. After you’ve poured your counter mix, use the overhang to realign the mesh.
Wire mesh or fiber mesh may be used. Pouring concrete over wire mesh promotes structural longevity and boosts structural strength. The usage of fiber mesh improves overall integrity. We utilized a thinner metal frame that was easy to cut with tin-snips.
You should also use this time to cover and protect the regions around your project. You’ll need something to protect your items from the concrete, whether it’s plastic or another protective covering. We used a lot of plastic to cover everything since I had just finished building the deck below and the cupboards under the counter. Concrete went everywhere, as you can see in the photo below, but the plastic saved the day.
Thoroughly mix the concrete
When it comes to mixing concrete, you have a few different alternatives. Both the classic wheelbarrow approach and the concrete mixer method are excellent choices. To make the product efficient, each bag of concrete includes a varied ratio of concrete mix to water. As a result, there is no exact concrete recipe, and you must refer to the directions for your unique brand.
It’s critical to correctly mix the concrete, otherwise your whole project might be jeopardized. It will be inefficient and messy to have concrete that is overly soupy. It will not stick properly if the concrete is too dry. Take your time mixing to avoid making the mixture too thick or thin. For our job, we utilized Quikrete Countertop Concrete Mix 80 lb. It has unique additives that aid in the flow of the product and reduce air pockets. Our countertop turned out to be beautiful, so it was well worth the additional money.
Pour the concrete into the mold with care.
When your concrete is properly mixed, it’s time to pour it into the molds. Your countertop mold should have the same density and fullness throughout. It helps to have a leveled framework since you can drag a long enough flat item over it to totally flatten it. To level everything and eliminate extra concrete, we screeded the concrete with a vertical 24 raked through the 16 forms, as seen above.
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If you’re using wire mesh, just draw it to the middle of the concrete-filled mold once the concrete has been poured.
All air bubbles should be removed.
During this process, you’ll screed – or flatten – the surface of your concrete mix while also removing air pockets. Failure to eliminate these air pockets may result in a hole in your countertop, so it’s critical to make sure the concrete mix is solid all the way through.
You may tap the mold with a hammer to eliminate air bubbles from the exterior. This will cause the bubbles to rise to the surface, removing them from the mix. If you’re willing to invest a little extra money, you may hire a concrete vibrator, which is designed specifically for this purpose.
The concrete vibrator does exactly what it says on the tin: it vibrates the concrete mix in a regulated manner to allow air bubbles to escape to the top. It may save you a lot of time and aggravation, so it’s definitely worth hiring one and doing it correctly!
We borrowed hand-held sheet sanders from our pals to shake the bubbles out of the concrete. Remove any sandpaper and use the vibrating sander head to go over the whole 16 form.
Allow time for your concrete to cure.
You may allow the concrete to cure once you’ve taken the effort to eliminate air pockets and smooth the surface of your counter. While the complete curing process takes roughly a month, the mold does not have to be removed for that long.
While you may keep it on for as long as you want, you can also remove the mold/frame once the concrete has cured for a few days. While there’s no assurance that two batches of concrete will be identical, each concrete manufacturer should be able to offer you an estimate for when your concrete will be cured enough to hold together.
To complete the cure, remove the frame.
After 48-72 hours, you should be able to remove the frame without harming the counter with confidence. While complete curing of your concrete may take up to a month, the material’s strength after just a few days is trustworthy.
The way you’ll take to delete your framework is totally dependent on how you secured it in the first place.
Even if your countertop doesn’t seem to be flawless, don’t worry—there are still some tasks to do to put the final touches on it.
Make the necessary adjustments and sand
After the framework has been removed, you may make whatever changes you want to your project. You may remove sections, create any necessary cuts, tweak the form, or make any other significant adjustments.
You must sand it after making any adjustments. Special concrete sanding discs may assist round up the edges of your countertops to avoid injury. The right side of the counter was sanded in the photo above, while the left side with the sink was how it appeared after the frame was removed.
If any holes or cavities appear on the surface, add a little more concrete mix to cover the gaps. Allow it to dry again before sanding it down for a nice, clean finish. We needed to repair a hairline fracture on the front of the sink. I think it was due to a lack of wire mesh in the thinnest area of the countertop, and I will quadruple the quantity of wire mesh in my next concrete counter.
Concrete should be sealed.
After you’ve finished sanding your project, you may seal the concrete to offer an additional layer of protection to your countertops. Concrete seals can give your countertops a variety of completed looks, so you have some customizing options at this point.
Simply choose a seal that you like and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Because each seal has its unique application and cure timeframes, you’ll need to refer to the handbook for the one you buy.
Properly sealing your concrete countertop protects it from the elements, scratches, and food stains. Remember that concrete is permeable, therefore sealing it correctly is essential, particularly in a kitchen environment where germs may quickly develop in porous, untreated concrete.
The last thing you want is to destroy your hard work by spilling BBQ sauce on it for the first time!
How to Make a Concrete Countertop for Your Outdoor Area
Congratulations after the last application of sealant has cured! You’ve created a gorgeous focal point for your outdoor kitchen.
Just remember to keep an eye on the sealant and look for any chips or cracks as time passes. You may need to reseal every season or every few seasons, depending on your environment, degree of usage, and the kind of sealer you used.
Check out what materials outdoor kitchen cabinets are constructed of, as well as how to clean a concrete patio to keep your outdoor kitchen looking great. If you’re searching for a new project, you may be interested in learning how to create a frog pond.
Concrete countertops are perfect for outdoor kitchens, but it can be difficult to make them in place. This article will show you how to make concrete countertops in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of concrete do you use for outdoor countertops?
A: The type of concrete we use is a mix of Portland cement, fine and coarse aggregate, sand and water.
Are concrete countertops good for outdoors?
A: Yes, concrete countertops are perfect for outdoor environments. They can withstand the rain and snow without getting damaged or breaking down.
Can regular concrete be used for countertops?
A: Yes. Concrete is a very durable material that can last a lifetime if properly maintained, and it is commonly used in countertops because it provides high durability with long-term cost effectiveness.
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