Home Improvement Discussion

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#61  Postby Boyle » Mar 24, 2016 4:29 am

Right, so, here's the bar top epoxy from AeroMarine.

Here's where I got the forms/additives/matting: Concrete Countertop Solutions.

I got the sink mold and other doodads from Expressions Ltd.

I also read stupid amounts about concrete for like 2 weeks to make sure I wasn't being taken for a ride. Near as I can tell, those Z-Counterforms are the best for pour in place countertops because they snap off clean so you don't have to sand the edges.

My total cost was about $1000 for all materials, including the sink mold, so without that it was like $800, $200 I think was for the forms. If you want to flip it into place you can make your own forms from whatever you want the edges to look like (plexiglass for plexiglass smooth edges). I also read into making things from Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete that you can spray into molds so you end up with the same strength at half the weight. You can make some sleek looking stuff with that method. I didn't use it because I don't have room for a good compressor, which you need. Basically it needs to be able to spray stucco.

Anyway, if you flip it into place after making it in a different place you have a few benefits: You get to perfectly level it, sand the edges nice, have it away from your living space, easier to manage/repair if something cracks. It's not as aesthetically pleasing because there'll be seams but you can always hide seams with leftover cement and whatnot. I didn't have space for that either so I just went whole-hog and got, in my opinion, lucky as hell for my first time. Total time, regardless of the method, is about a week, during which you want to tend to it so it doesn't get too dry and start flaking/cracking along the dry lines. Just keeping it under plastic and spritzing with water was enough for mine.

Sanding it was the worst, I think. I got mine to around 800 grit with the diamond wheel and called it good, I didn't want a mirror finish. The nice thing about sanding, though, is that the finer you get the more resistant to staining the concrete is. Etching might be more noticeable, though, similar to marble etching. There are surface hardeners that use up the leftover lime so etching is less of a problem, and that also prevents staining. The other option there is to seal it. You can either use epoxy or polyurethanes or wax, I think. I remember reading about a method that let you keep the unsealed look with the sealed protection. I like the patina, though, which is why I chose concrete in addition to it letting me be cheap. My other favorite was a zinc countertop but zinc deforms at some ungodly low temp so I wasn't sure I could put pans from the oven directly on it without fucking things up.

As far as difficulty of the pour and set up, not difficult, really. If you can follow directions and be prepping the the next bucket or whatever you'll be fine. If I did it again I would have had a third person vibrating the pour spot with a palm sander to ensure even distribution, but it seemed to work out somehow. The prep took a week, I think, but I was still active duty at the time. It also depends it you want to use glass fiber matting like I did, which meant screwing in support posts every 3 inches or something.

One big thing I missed was supporting the places where I didn't have a cabinet face, like where the dishwasher, sink, and oven went, so the plywood and backerboard deflected a bit in those places.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#62  Postby laklak » Mar 24, 2016 5:11 pm

Had you ever done any concrete work before? I have pretty much zero experience with it, other than fence posts.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#63  Postby Boyle » Mar 24, 2016 8:57 pm

I've laid a few small foundations (like, 10' by 20' x 3.5") and lots of fence posts, but never any finish concrete work. Works about the same as finishing wood, though, after the pour.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#64  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 25, 2016 1:36 am

I've done one in situ like that, and one I poured in forms and then inverted, which in some ways is easier.

You are a pretty handy guy laklak, I'm sure you could manage it, but there are a lot of details, it is all in the prep. I would do a practice somewhere first before trying it for real my first time. ( I didn't. :grin:)
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#65  Postby laklak » Mar 25, 2016 1:43 am

Yeah I think a practice pour might be in order. Been digging about online, lots of info out there. I'm sure I can do it with a bit of patience. It's always the goddamn prep work, isn't it? No substitute, tedious though it may be.

It's very trendy these days, so a good (and for once less expensive) upgrade for a rental.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#66  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 25, 2016 1:51 am

A guy I know on a different site specialised in it for a while. He got really into it, the last I heard he was pouring them, then sanding them flat down to 6-800 or more grit paper, and was experimenting embedding fibreoptics into them connected to a light source under the counter which would track through the colours! He could add strobing, waves, you name it.

Yeah trendy, has been for a while here, although tiling is a fuck of a lot cheaper. And you can do that over the existing old laminate deck.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#67  Postby laklak » Mar 25, 2016 2:16 am

Seeing a lot of poured concrete floors here too, highly finished, almost like terrazzo. Still haven't decided, might go with tile. My contractor mate did really nice travertine counters using 24" butt jointed tiles. Used a sealant between tiles rather than grout and bullnose on the edges. Looks good, and quite cheap. I'm keeping the ancient kitchen cabinets (circa 1940s), they're also very retro trendy, and we're mostly renting to trendy junior university lecturers. They eat that shit up.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#68  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 25, 2016 2:33 am

Epoxy grout(?), not hard to do once you 'get it'. I wouldn't recommend travertine for counter tops, though, it stains easily and is etched by acidic stuff like red wine and tomatoes. And I imagine there's some of that around a kitchen.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#69  Postby laklak » Mar 25, 2016 2:41 am

How about Carrera? I did wonder about staining, he sealed it but I imagine you need to do that regularly. It's at a short term rental he owns, so he's in there every few weeks and can do whatever needs doing. Mine are annual rentals, so I want something very low maintenance.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#70  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 25, 2016 2:57 am

Carrara is a much finer marble, but is still susceptible to etching by acidic foods. For a rental I would go with something a little more bombproof if you really want stone, like granite. But ceramic is cheap. I would look into epoxy grout too, especially when not for your own place, the stuff is impermeable.

Who ever wants to do maintenance? Aaaachh.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#71  Postby laklak » Mar 25, 2016 3:08 am

Ceramic is probably the way forward. I've used epoxy grout before, on another kitchen rehab.

The engineer called today, the plans are ready, so I can finally cost the project. Then it's time to pull permits! I can't wait for the demolition, I just love the sound of a sledge hammer in the morning.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#72  Postby DougC » Mar 25, 2016 3:46 am

You are like our very own, Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore.
To do, is to be (Socrate)
To be, is to do (Sartre)
Do be do be do (Sinatra)
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#73  Postby Boyle » Mar 25, 2016 3:31 pm

Demo is always the best part, other than being done.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#74  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 25, 2016 4:04 pm

Onyx8 wrote:Epoxy grout(?), not hard to do once you 'get it'. I wouldn't recommend travertine for counter tops, though, it stains easily and is etched by acidic stuff like red wine and tomatoes. And I imagine there's some of that around a kitchen.


Travertine was hellish stuff. Very popular here in the '50's when there was a massive post war building boom. The Dutch being the Dutch clean everything with bleach and almost everyday. The kitchen sinks of travertine soon became porous.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#75  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 25, 2016 4:23 pm

Bleach is hellish stuff.

Travertine is porous to start with.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#76  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 25, 2016 5:27 pm

Onyx8 wrote:Bleach is hellish stuff.

Travertine is porous to start with.


They used a sealant which was removed by the bleach.

Do tell the Dutch that bleach is hellish. :whistle:
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#77  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Mar 25, 2016 11:33 pm

Baseboards are going in today. I'm having a difficult time coping. ;)
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#78  Postby laklak » Mar 25, 2016 11:34 pm

He he he.

Compound double bevel miter saw. Just sayin.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#79  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Mar 25, 2016 11:36 pm

I'm not actually doing a lot of coping. I purchased very simple baseboards without all that curvy bullshit. My wife and I prefer clean and simple lines. But the pun had to be made.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#80  Postby Boyle » Mar 25, 2016 11:39 pm

Oh man that makes it nice. My cousin has the 12" Bosch one with the gravity roll stand. It's great.
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