What Concrete to Use for Concrete Countertops
I’ve seen a lot of posts and pins recently about how cheap concrete counters are. And yes, they are cheap but definitely not as cheap as some might believe!
When we renovated the apartment above our garage we decided to hop on board the concrete countertop bandwagon! Not only because they are inexpensive but I also think they are gorgeous and it was something I knew Mr. Stone Head and I could easily do DIY style (my favorite!)
But the with concrete countertops is, you can’t just go to your local home improvement store and pick up some bags of quickrete, add water and pour them as counters for your kitchen. I promise you it will look awful and over a short period of time they will crack and shrink (and maybe even cup and curl!)
Countertops take a beating. They get dishes dropped on them, coffee and tomato sauce spilled (and left to sit), and sat on! – Think of all those buttons rubbing against the countertop! Needless to say you need a strong, durable counter.
And besides! You don’t want all that hard DIY work to be for naught. Because while concrete countertops is definitely a project almost any homeowner can DIY, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s still a lot of work and you want that hard work to last for years and years!
So I’m here to clarify what concrete to use for concrete countertops.
First Things First
DO NOT USE PLAIN OLD QUICKRETE… The first thing you want to look for is a product that has a high PSI (at least 6000) which has to do with how hard the concrete will be after it’s cured. This helps prevent cracking and chipping later. You should also look for a mixture that doesn’t cure too fast or too slow because this can also cause some additional problems down the road.
The Easiest Thing to Do
The easiest thing to do is purchase premixed bagged concrete that is specially formulated for countertops. I know my local Lowe’s sells it and the last time I bought some it was about $18.56 a bag. However, I don’t think it’s of the highest quality but it’s a hell of a lot better than trying to use regular Quikrete. I wound up using a high quality concrete from a company that specializes in concrete!
What I Did & Used
I didn’t wind up using the premixed bags of countertop concrete from Lowe’s because a company called Concrete Countertop Solutions so graciously agreed to provide me with some material for our apartment remodel we were finishing up at the time!
I used their all in one white concrete countertop mix which meant I only had to add water, mix and pour! The formula is super easy to work with and makes for a flowable batter that fills all the nooks and crannies of the forms with little vibrating needed. And if you don’t accidentally pour too much water into the concrete, you should have beautiful white concrete countertops with ease!
However, if you are dead set on using regular cement for a concrete countertop you’ll have to buy non-crack and non-shrink additives. Don’t ask me where to buy them or what to buy because I have no clue. It just seems soooo much easier to buy a pre-mixed bag. I’ve also read and heard that it can be quite difficult to figure out the ratios of the additives, concrete and water when you’re doing it yourself. And then! And then if you want to add dyes or stains you’ve completely lost me on how much to add of all the different components. (Can you tell I just really think you should buy a pre-mixed bag made specifically for countertops?)
So there you have it. Short and sweet. You can’t use regular quikrete without additives for a concrete countertop. You can probably find a concrete countertop mix at your local Lowes. You can definitely buy it from Concrete Countertop Solutions (and if you head over to this post about DIYing my first concrete countertop you’ll find a 15% coupon code at the bottom!) And I’ve come across some other interesting companies that sell concrete countertop mixes as well. Here’s one. I hope this helped you figure out what concrete to use for concrete countertops and don’t forget to stop back and comment about how your counters came out!
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