Friday, October 12, 2012

Concrete Countertops and Kitchen Finishes

concrete counter poured in a melamine form.
Its the last big weekend here. We've got a lot left to finish up - but we should be on schedule to be able to cook an inaugural dinner in the new house this sunday! Over the last couple weeks, we've been making our own custom concrete countertops for use in the kitchen, hearth and bathroom. After a bit of testing and planning we ended up pouring all the tops upside-down in melamine forms in order to give us a nice smooth finish. 

Above you can see Jason and Carrie vibrating a table full of the forms, we just used our cordless sawzalls without blades to get a constant vibration. The mix was a bit too dry in the end - so even with the vibration we still had some pockets and voids - but mostly it all worked really well.  

Carrie - troweling off one of the countertops

Kitchen counter, just after setting.
In addition to the kitchen and bathroom counters - there is a large built-in bench under the fireplace. This is made of a single huge concrete slab which sits on walnut fins. Below the gang is lifting it into place.

Jeremy, making nice on the bench right after pouring

To deal with the irregularities and voids, Carrie mixed up some special sauce and spent some time patching it up. Looks really nice now though. The first coat of sealer went on today - and over the next few days we'll apply a couple coats of beeswax finish and buff it to a beautiful sheen. 

Carrie finishing up the kitchen island.

Concrete counters on either side of the big farmhouse sink.

Besides the concrete, the kitchen Walnut paneling and doors are almost all on. It looks amazing contrasting with the pale pine walls and ceiling. Really dramatic, but still natural and together with the concrete it makes for a very strong looking kitchen.

Walnut panel

Installing cabinet doors

So, some more doors in the kitchen, a few more spots of pine on the walls, the bathroom door to install once the floor grout is done, and then after a bit of handle-installing and some baseboard we're just about wrapped up. Only 22 weeks in the making.