(cheaper) alternative to granite countertops


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Old 09-22-05, 02:34 PM
newoldhome
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(cheaper) alternative to granite countertops

I am doing a kitchen addition to my existing house and I am at the stage where I really need to be ordering my countertops. I am also at the stage where I am quickly running out of $. I have picked out some granite that is not cheap. One alternative that I am considering is concrete but I have no idea how expensive it is or if I should do it myself or have someone else do it if it is affordable? Does anyone know anything about them?
 
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Old 09-22-05, 02:50 PM
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(cheaper) alternative to granite countertops

Concrete countertops are not for the DIYer.

they are not related to normal concrete. The only similarity is the use of cement, water and aggregate. Even if you know something about mix design, and admixtures you probably have a better chance of sucess in the lottery.

Dick
 
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Old 09-22-05, 02:55 PM
newoldhome
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thank you

I was afraid so but just wanted to check.
 
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Old 09-22-05, 03:14 PM
T
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Absopositivelylutely correct. Indoor decorative concrete finishes require high dollar equipment/technical skills - way beyond any DIYer I know of. And you thought granite was expensive....

Running out of $$ - consider a "temporary finish" such as formica... which you can easily put CBU/granite/tile/whatever over later.... Today's formica is much nicer than the old "lime green" countertops of the 60's - 70's..
 
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Old 09-23-05, 08:44 PM
kmn
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Depending on your local vendor, try looking for something called Swanstone. It is usually alot cheaper than granite and is a DIY product.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 08:58 PM
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Concrete is not cheap as Concretemasonry can attest to.

Swanstone is just another Brand but for a solid surface, there area a great product. There are many out there that make you think it is something else - thats called marketing. Solid surface products are really solid synthetic sheets formed by mixing a mineral compound (less that 90%) with polyester and/or acrylic resins.

Depending on funds, the plastic laminates of today with various styles are still the most economical.

However for more durability, the solid surface products have much to offer although I prefer Enginneered Quartz for my clients. Engineer quartz is a mix of 93% or more of stone and resin binders - doesn’t require sealants.

Natural stones make look great but there are drawbacks - one being the cost.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 09-24-05, 05:39 AM
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How about 18" granite tiles over a plywood/cement board substrate. Use an epoxy based grout like SpectraLoc from Laticrete and some wood chair rail trim for the facing edges and you will have one nice looking durable countertop.
 
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Old 05-04-09, 11:55 AM
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Smile concrete countertops???

I just bought an reno project and have decided upon concrete counter tops, one our cousin professionally does stamped concrete patios and two, the cost of supplies is CHEAP. We wouldn't attempt this ourselves and our cousin is amazing with concrete. don't be afraid to try it yourself though, do some trial pieces. Build a frame with a lip, you're only needing 1/4 inch of cement, practice with a trowel and of course get the instructions for the sealing process, stain...do something to do with an acid wash??? and seal. I have faith the DIYers can do this with patience and proper instruction.
 

Last edited by pmgca; 05-04-09 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Non beneficial
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Old 07-27-10, 10:03 AM
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We poured in place w/ bullnose edge...check it out

We gave the concrete countertops a try and in some ways it was easier and in some ways harder than we expected. We did buy a bullnose edge that would break away after concrete set and poured it in place. And it is DEFINITELY not a professional smooth look so I have to agree that if you want that perfection finish then don't DIY, but you might just surprise yourself at how good it could look. Honestly I LOVE ours! If you want to see our step-by-step process check it out and let us know what you think (or if you have any questions): Concrete Countertops DIY My Home
 
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Old 07-27-10, 10:18 AM
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Kelblue - Very informative post and a great link to an actual DIY experience. Most encouraging to anyone contemplating DIY concrete countertops is the fact that you learned and improved during the process.

My son did a DIY concrete bartop last year. It came out awesome. He practiced quite a bit before tackling the project. As you mentioned, DIY concrete materials are CHEAP. I doubt if he had more than $100 invested.

I have also watched a couple of DIY shows where concrete countertops were used. I don't see why this couldn't be a reasonable project for a DIY'er.
 
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Old 07-27-10, 07:39 PM
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We resurfaced the rough 'experimental' concrete island

Thanks Wayne...that was the goal. I couldn't seem to find any step-by-step blogs w/ pics of pouring concrete counters in place so I made one w/ hopes to help others.

Stay tuned for updates! We put on a concrete resurfacer topcoat tonight and now its looking smooth as can be Pics to come very soon.
Concrete Countertops DIY My Home
 
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Old 07-28-10, 09:09 AM
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Resurfacing update...success :)

Here is our update/pics on how we fixed the 'experimental' first countertop we did...We used a concrete resurfacer and it looks 100% better already (haven't stained it yet tho)

Resurfacing Success DIY My Home
 
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Old 07-28-10, 12:28 PM
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Did you use the premix countertop concrete or mix it yourself? I'm also curious how the concrete resurfacer holds up.

Your project peaked my interest and I surfed around a bit. It was actually enlightening. There is a lot of on line DIY guidance. While a full kitchen may not be a job for the faint hearted or newbie DIYer I don't see it as a really big deal.

I'm off to the big box for some Quikrete and I'm going to make a concrete top for a small garden table.
 
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Old 07-30-10, 08:58 AM
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concrete type

We used a Ready-to-Use (just add water) Quikrete mix for the counters and hand mixed it...if we wanted to spend a bit more we probably should have used a sand only version since we had no clue what we were doing and some of the aggregate is visible in the first few pours and rented a mixer too

Now we are onto a patio project w/ a cobblestone paver mould and we are using ready to mix concrete that we found on sale at Menards now for $1.99 for a 60#bag (cheaper AND easier to carry than the 80# Quikrete...so my husband's happy).

DIY My Home
 
 

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