I wanted to touch up some of the areas next to my newly remodeled bathroom, and the laundry room needed a new utility sink. The plastic piece of crap I had was junk and I couldn’t find anything that would fit in the space I need. So, I made a custom cabinet, and planned on a nice concrete counter top similar to my last one. This time I decided to do a more complex mold:
I did a 3D design in Sketchup and made a template to go off of (based on my real top). The above shot is what it looks like in the mold, so it is upside down. The mold was quite tricky because I wanted a large overhang, and a backsplash that was all one piece. The sink itself is a stainless steel undercount sink that I ordered from eBay.
For the color, I picked Cheng Concrete’s PLATINUM color. I decided my specialty for this countertop would be to use brown IPA beer bottles as accent pieces. I had to drink a few six packs of Sculpin IPA, and scrape the labels off as a starter for this project. I broke up the bottles, and tumbled them in my cement mixer for a bit to get them to have soft edges. After a few minutes of tumbling, I could stick my hand in the broken glass and there were no sharp edges to cut me. I dropped broken pieces in the bottom of the mold and mixed a TON of them in to the main mix, hoping they would show up.
Here’s a shot of the top right off of the mold, but before the bottom was removed (again, remember it is upside down):
The Platinum color turned out a lot more gray than I expected. If I were to do it again, I would try to use a different color. I think the green would look really nice with the brown bottle pieces. Or, a color without aggregate (i.e.: don’t use Secrete, and custom mix your own concrete, or buy the D-FRC from Cheng). I will definitely do experiments before I ever do a kitchen top, because I want more control.
Here’s a shot of the top outside of the mold and turned over:
There were some big holes from the glass pieces preventing concrete from settling just right, but I did manage to prevent a lot of smaller holes. I didn’t spray-glue the glass aggregate down on the “bottom” of the mold like I did for the last one. this helped with preventing extra holes, but probably was a mistake, as it allowed the glass to move as I poured the concrete in. I worked a lot of the concrete down with my fingers, doing shallow layers. The first layer was less than the steel re-enforcement. Another “new trick” I did on this top was to weld the re-bar together. I welded it into just the right shape, as opposed to bending. This worked awesome!
I didn’t take hardly any pictures this time. Here it is all ground and sitting on top of the counter:
The gray makes it look a *lot* more industrial than I expected, but I like the effect. I wish I could have gotten more glass to show up, and if I do it again I will explicitly lightly glue pieces of glass to the mold (or use caulk) so I can control the placement of them.
In the pictures, you can notice that I ground the horizontal plane *a lot*, and the vertical planes very little. This was intentional to create the effect of industrial style.
I made a mistake with the placement of my sink knockout; it is slightly off for some reason, and I have to move the sink back ¾” or so to make it fit. I don’t know what I did wrong..but I should have double checked a bit more!
Luckily, the costs of this project were very cheap. The colors were about $70, concrete about $10, and the reset of the stuff (including the mold parts) I had leftover from the first project. Oh, Sculpin IPA was expensive..but worth it! So, for under $100 I had a nice custom top.