View Full Version : Advice on concrete countertops needed

Lewis Ehrhardt
09-09-2009, 8:24 AM
My wife and I are thinking about using concrete countertops in our kitchen. I know they are heavy and require extra bracing. What I need is mixture ratios, type concrete to use, thickness etc. A web-site, how-to book, or help from someone who's done this would be greatly appreciated. Most likely they will be black. Thanks Lewis

Roger Savatteri
09-09-2009, 9:16 AM

I have used the Buddy Rhodes system for a hearth of a fireplace that I designed and built about a year ago. I was very happy with the results of their products and I'm looking forward to incorporating their system again in future projects. When you go to their website, look under "training" and then look at their Quick time videos they have up explaining their system. You will not regret getting their CD that further gets into the how to. They use a dry system of casting concrete rather than the wet system that most common today in the business. Peruse their website and if you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask. Disclaimer,,,,p.s.. I have nothing to do with their business, I'm just a happy customer.



Andrew Nemeth
09-09-2009, 8:18 PM
I have made concrete counter-tops for three kitchens and a 1/2 bath. I love the look and feel of them and at a fraction of the cost of stone or quartz composite. I used the book Concrete Countertops: Design, Form, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath by Fu-Tung Change. It was very helpful. I will warn you that the book refers to proprietary mixes (add mixtures) sold by Cheng for everything but the actual concrete. I used all of his products for the first set of counter-tops I made and have progressivlely found other, more local sources, for simular materials that I now use. That being said, I still recommend the book as it walks you through evrything step by step. There is a follow up book about using concrete in other areas of the home. I believe the most recent book and DVD from Cheng is about a new technique for forming lighter weight counter-tops but I get the feeling it takes specialized equipment (a fiberglass "chop" gun, if I'm not mistaken) and is more aimed at profesionals for higher volume production.

As for thickness of the tops, it is an both an aesthetic and functional decision. I prefer thicker tops 2-2 1/4". They give plenty of depth to work in all of the re-bar and re-mesh but are still workable with 2-3 people. As for reinforcing the cabinets, it depends on the quality of the casework underneath. All of the counters I have made have had plywood carcasses underneath so I did not need to reinforce the box at all. I also used 3/4 plywood or particle board on top of the cabinets as sheathing before setting the counters in place. ( on one set I made a overhang on the counter to cover this up, on the other two sets I just made a scribe strip matching the cabinetry to conceal the plywood edge).

I am certainly no expert about the subject but I would be happy to try to answer any specific questions you may have.


Kevin Groenke
09-09-2009, 10:08 PM
Concrete Countertops: Design, Form, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath by Fu-Tung Change.

I STRONGLY second the book recommendation, and will only add: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE - you cannot make too many samples. Fortunately concrete and melamine (covered particleboard) are CHEAP.

Our students have gotten some incredible finishes by covering their formwork with window shrink film.

Dave Verstraete
09-10-2009, 8:05 AM
A recent "This Old House" series had a visit to a maker of concrete countertops in it. The series was a complete build of a large timberframe house. Sometimes "seeing it" helps!

Danny Thompson
09-10-2009, 10:30 AM
Done it. Used the Cheng method. Lots of work, but a real accomplishment. After that, I felt I could do anything.


Here are the links I used:




Peter Stahl
09-10-2009, 12:06 PM
My BIL made a counter and don't remember him saying that any extra reinforcing of his cabinets were needed but he did buy good quality cabinets. I thought his counter was a little on the thick side but it did look nice. He did his in his driveway, poured it then polished it and sealed it. Him and several other people carried it into the house. They said it was very heavy.