How to make an elegant countertop with your own hands

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Several years ago, while making a kitchen, I encountered a problem – are shop countertops made of chipboard practical? The kitchen was intended for renting out to holidaymakers, so everything should be done reliably, vacationers are different and busy with their rest, and not the safety of property in the rooms. I would like to add that renting out is an excellent test for the strength of everything that the tenant’s hand touches and it is impossible to disagree with this.

Kitchen countertop

Shop countertop problem

The good worktop deteriorated in the first five days of commissioning. This was also my fault, because in a hurry I did not miss the ends of the cut under the cut-in sink. The result was not long in coming – “waves” on the surface of the front side of the countertop appeared instantly.

DIY kitchen repair
DIY kitchen furniture

Although they did not go further, as urgent measures were taken to isolate moisture, the surface still remains wavy, as can be seen in the photo.

In order to avoid old mistakes, a decision was made: make a concrete countertop in the new room! The decision did not come immediately. The first option was conceived as a wooden tabletop made from a purchased type-setting board. The floors and walls in the room are made of pine and spruce, logically the tabletop could be made of wood, but at the last moment they came to the conclusion that concrete is more reliable. There were difficulties with the choice of tiles, but the deadlines for the delivery of housing were running out and bought from what was at the moment in the store.

Now one of the main tasks is a beautiful countertop end. It took a long time to come to a common decision, the choice of options and the color of the profile, from the fact that they found the choice fell on an aluminum semicircular corner for ceramic tiles and the same threshold from a corner with a shelf width equal to the width of the concrete pour. Now everything in order.

Concrete solution

What do we need to make a countertop

For a homemade concrete countertop, you will need ceramic or marble tiles, tile adhesive, mesh or thin reinforcement (up to 12 in diameter), boards for formwork, sheet metal strips and nails (for formwork), components for concrete (sand, gravel, cement and water ). Last and not least – an aluminum or plastic profile for a tile (which is what we will cover the outer end of the concrete slab).

Go to the store

The first stage is the selection of materials. We choose the parameters and color of the tile, I took the size 60×60, you can take any of your choice, do not forget about the equipment, draw everything for yourself before buying a tile, or make a template. The quality of the tiles, if laid without a seam, should be of high quality. If the table top is curly, you can use mosaic tiles.

What to make a countertop
How to make a countertop

We immediately buy glue, in my case, ceresite cm-11. We will immediately buy the edge of the table top. We took a semicircular tile thickness, an outer corner and long thresholds in color.

Assembling the frame

The next step will be the frame and formwork. We dissolve 50 planks into bars, or buy ready-made 50×50 ones, knock down the frame under the tabletop, taking into account future partitions, install the formwork so that it can be removed. Then we stretch the film, since the concrete will need to be made liquid, for better filling of the form. Using a tin strip and nails, create a mold for the hole for the sink and hob.

Countertop materials
Tips for choosing a countertop

The next step will be to reinforce the structure. I had the remnants of 12 reinforcement, not very convenient, it is better to take a wire mesh (6-10 mm) with a cell of 5-10 cm.

Pouring concrete

Fill the resulting shape. The concrete was made of 1 to 2 cement and sand, plus 3 parts fine crushed stone. The layer will be 3-4 cm. We tap well and level it. The base of the countertop is ready in five days after drying. It is not completely dry, but you can continue to work.

Surface – ceramic (or other) tiles

Now we stir ceresite with water and lay the tiles, having previously made holes for the kitchen equipment. My tiles are laid without seams, and they do large tiles. There may be other options. Immediately along the slightly dried ceresite, pick out 2-3 cm deep along the outer edge, part of the ceresite so that a groove is formed in which we will strengthen the aluminum edge, the edging of our countertop. Otherwise, it will be necessary to cut it out with a grinder and you can spoil the edges of the tile. I recommend not to forget about this moment.

The butt is the crown of everything

Then, after two or three days, we glue the end of the countertop onto the ceresite, while the spacers can be placed raw or pressed with clamps.

Kitchen countertop
Master's tips

I want to note that the aluminum profile is expensive and you don’t need to be greedy, you can ruin everything. Then we clean the sharp corners with fine sandpaper and that’s it, the tabletop is ready. Next comes the installation of the sink and hob.

We make furniture ourselves

But this description can be found in the data sheet for this equipment. Everything is specifically written there.

We count the waste

I will introduce the main thing, I will try not to miss anything:

  1. Ceramic tiles – in my version cost $ 16 sq. M. it took 1.5 sq. = $ 24.
  2. For concrete, about a bag of sand, a small 25 kg bag of cement, crushed stone 1.5 bags, 10 meters of reinforcement (I had leftovers) I think that if you buy everything, then $ 15 can be met.
  3. Ceresit, grouting, cutting disc for grinder = about $ 5-6.
  4. Edge profile 50 $.
  5. Well, they did the “crazy hands” themselves (this point is not included in the budget).

We have a message, I will list from the main one:

  • Bulgarian (sharpening machine),
  • Jigsaw,
  • Drill and screwdriver,
  • Tile cutter (hardly useful),
  • Trowel, trowel (for tiles),

Bottom line: for a hundred dollars, you get a tabletop that looks expensive, practical and beautiful..

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