Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Concrete Vanity Top Complete

 SEE PART ONE for the recipe and how we built the mold!

   Our piece came out with a little bit of grief.  We had to drill the wood from the tap void as the melamine wasn't sealed which caused it to swell.  We easily could have avoided this if we had just put some paint or silicone on the unfinished board.  After a wee bit of persuasion, we were able to un-mold our countertop.  Sorry no pictures of this task, only a few naughty words.

 Step number one, is to pour a curing compound sealer all over the counter-top.  We keep painting it on until it will soak up no more, then give it a good wipe down.

  We let this sit for about an hour, set the saw horses up outside, and wash it down with water for grinding.  We have a variable speed 5" Makita grinder.  A regular grinder is too fast.  Our discs are 5" diamond pads.  Quite pricey, but we are still on our original discs, seven countertops later.
  I'm the water person, hubby is the grinder person.  He touches up the bottom with an extremely hard diamond disc.  Perhaps 10 or 20 grit,  then flip it over to work on the visible surfaces.

  When flipped, he starts with a 50 grit disc.  As this is the second most aggressive disc, very little grinding is done with this grit.  We didn't want to expose as much aggregate as we did with our kitchen island.

  If you want a lot of exposed aggregate, this is probably your most important pad.  It will take the top layer off quickly.   Next is the 200 grit.  As he was grinding,  the holes became more visible.  We experienced more porosity with this pour  than we have with any of the others which is not really a big deal.

 A slurry is mixed up to fill the voids.  The slurry consists of cement powder, colorant, H2O and a few drops of water reducer.  We mixed up the color darker as this will add a bit of contrast to the top.  These holes will end up looking like aggregate.   The slurry is smeared all over the top and sides and forced into the voids using a grout float.  Most is scraped off  but we make sure  that the holes are filled.  After voids are filled, we put curing compound sealer on again.  All excess is wiped off.


   After it has sat, .... (for SEVEN LONG DAYS), wet grinding commences.  We now use  the 400 grit, 800 grit, and then finally a 1500 grit pad.

   When all is done, it is very smooth and slick

  At this point, there are a few different ways to finish it.  In our kitchen, we used carnauba wax, but for our bathroom, we used a plastic sealer.  This will ensure a fairly good barrier from water.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the sealer we used as the label fell off  . You could Google it and find many brands.
  I like the wax in the kitchen and there's a reason for this.
   I like to set hot pots on my counter, and with the plastic type sealer, you can't do this.  I am pretty sure it would lift the finish.   But with wax, I can pretty much put anything on it, and I never have a problem.  I do have to wax and buff it every year as the constant cleaning of the countertops causes the wax to wear off.
 Back to the task at hand... Sink is marked out and holes are drilled for mounts.  We epoxy all-thread in holes and let dry.  Brackets are installed with nuts.

 Counter-top is installed using a few squirts of silicone.  That's all there is to it.

Sink and faucet is installed.
I love it!

FOR SALE....one ugly tiled vanity with sink! CHEAP

  Stay tuned for shaker style doors!

To see the bathroom renovation completed CLICK HERE