How to Build an Outdoor Concrete Countertop

What You'll Need
Metal lath
3/8-inch rebars
Rebar ties
2x5-foot piece of melamine particleboard
Two pieces of melamine, 2x3 feet long
Two pieces of melamine, 60 by3 1/2 inches long
Safety glasses
Car wax

Building your own concrete countertop is a great do-it-yourself project utilize patio or outdoor space for entertaining. Available in a myriad of colors and textures, you can install one to suit your surroundings and enhance the style and functionality of your outdoor space.

Follow these steps to successfully build your own outdoor concrete countertop that is 5 feet long and 2 feet wide, with a thickness of 2 ½ feet.

Step 1: Select an Area

Ideally, your outdoor countertop should be placed close to your grill or other cooking tools so you can socialize and prepare food and drinks, without having to move too far.

Step 2: Make the Form

To begin with, you need to make a form for the countertop. Use melamine because it allows concrete to dry slowly, increasing its strength, and prevents it from sticking to the sides.

Use a saw to cut straight edges of the melamine wood with which you will make the form for your countertop. The bottom of the form will serve as the top of the countertop.

Use a countersink bit to pre drill holes into the form, and attach the sides to the bottom with screws.

Apply silicon caulk to the inner corners of the form very carefully, since the consistency will shape the final edge of the countertop.

Step 3: Cut the Lath and Rebar

Make sure you wear your safety glasses and earplugs before this step.

The lath will help fortify and strengthen the slab, so cut it with a grinder to fit the inside, allowing 2 inches of empty space around the outside.

You want to fit the rebar to the top of the outside edge of the lath, so bend it and cut the excess with a grinder. Insert the 3/8 inch rebar inside the form.

Tie the rebar together with rebar ties, looping it around the rebar and lath, and twisting it until it is secure.

Step 4: Suspend the Rebar

To make sure the rebar does not sink into the concrete after you pour it into the form, add 1-inch blocks under the lath to suspend it while you screw it in place.

Insert screws into the sides of the form and tie the rebar to them. Carefully remove the blocks to suspend the rebar structure.

Step 5: Pour Concrete

Wear your gloves and mix the concrete with water following the manufacturers instructions. Add water to make a  thick consistency.

Pour the concrete into the form and press down with your hands to make sure it covers all corners.

Allow the concrete to sit for 20 minutes before removing the screw from the sides and snipping the wire off with metal snips.

Step 6: Finish the Countertop

Let the concrete cure for 24 hours and then carefully flip over the form and remove all the screws. Break it from the form slowly and buff it with car wax. Have friends help you install it, because your new countertop will be heavy.