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In seven simple steps, the clear, complete directions in this book and companion DVD give you everything you need to create a customized concrete countertop that's functional and attractive.

If building a concrete countertop doesn't strike you as a traditional home improvement project, you're right. But the detailed advice and step-by-step illustrations in the book, plus valuable demonstrations on the DVD, will help you create a flawless countertop in just two weeks -- all with basic tools and materials.

For a fraction of the price you'd pay for granite, marble or any artificial material like Corian, you can make a beautiful concrete countertop to suit any décor. And by taking a complicated process and making it so utterly simple, best-selling author Fu-Tung Cheng makes your job enjoyable, affordable and rewarding.
Additional Information
About No
Issue Number No
Publication Year 2008
Photos 150 photographs and
Drawings 30 drawings
Isbn 978-1-56158-882-4
Author Fu-Tung Cheng
Dimensions 9 3/16 x 10 7/8
Pages 112
Toc Introduction: Why Concrete?
Pros and Cons
Concrete Characteristics
The Right Stuff
The Ingredients
The Tools to Buy
The Tools to Rent

Step 1: Making a Template
Template Basics
Measuring and Cutting
The Pour Table

Step 2: Making the Mold
Measuring, Cutting, Assembling, and Reinforcing
Let 'Er Rip
Rounding It Out and Sealing the Edges
Instant Foam Mold
Making a Stronger Countertop

Step 3: The Concrete
Mixing and Pouring
The Base Mix
The Pour
Screeding and Smoothing
Tying Up Loose Ends

Step 4: Out of the Mold
Patience Rewarded
Removing the Sides
Removing Faucet Knockouts
Turning the Form Over
Now Leave It Alone

Step 5: Polish and Slurry
Making It Shine
The First Polish
The Repolish

Step 6: Sealing
Protecting the Polished Surface
The Sealer
Applying the Wax

Step 7: Installation:
Careful and Safe Handling
How to Move It
Dry-Fit It
Getting Ready for the Sink
Using Sink Clips

Maintaining Your Countertop:
Some Guidelines
Intro Though many people still think of concrete only as the raw material for foundations and sidewalks, this amazing material is now commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms -- in the form of concrete countertops.

Sure, we're still more accustomed to natural stone, stainless steel, plastic laminates, solid surfacing, and stone composites inside the house. And those can be great materials for your countertop. But add up concrete's unique characteristics, and you'll wonder why it isn't used for many more counters.

There's certainly more work involved in fabricating a concrete counter than there is in picking up the phone and ordering a slab of stone or solid surface. But being able to control color, texture, and shape to form a unique counter -- and to do this yourself -- provides a creative, handsome reward for your troubles.

Nothing is wrong with those other countertop materials. Each has benefits and limitations. In fact, I highly recommend that you use some of those materials in adjacent countertops so they enhance one another. My kitchen designs frequently pair black granite and stainless steel with concrete. One complements the other, and combinations of dissimilar materials can make all of them more interesting while spicing up what can be a relentlessly uniform array of countertops.

I made my first concrete countertop as a do-it-myself project for my own kitchen in 1985. Thousands of meals later, my family still uses it every day. We love it, and so does everyone else who sees it.

My goal back then was simple: to create something special and save money. Little did I realize that affluent homeowners would someday covet countertops made of concrete. Or that my first book, Concrete Countertops: Design Forms and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath, would encourage so many artisans to make concrete counters for the luxury market that soon developed. But the biggest surprise was that there were so many fearless homeowners willing to make countertops for themselves.

Many people find the cost of a professional, custom countertop too much for their remodeled kitchens. Concrete Countertops Made Simple is my attempt to resolve this dilemma by helping homeowners create their own counters that are both affordable and unique. With this book, making concrete countertops comes full circle, back to its origins as a creative do-it-yourself project that's a lot of fun and very satisfying.

Take your time and follow the instructions, and you will get it right the first time. If you're not sure you want to jump into a full-size kitchen counter, you can start modestly with the bathroom vanity countertop.

What's fun about concrete countertops is that anyone can make one: from the amateur with the simplest of tools to the expert who has a fully equipped shop. This kind of project is more akin to cooking than to building -- and it's no accident there are lots of references to cooking throughout this book. Cooking got me started designing my kitchen in the first place. If it weren't for that, I'd probably still be buttering my toast on a FormicaÎÂ countertop.

When you first take an interest in cooking, you're probably not ready to tackle a 10-course Italian banquet. But it's satisfying to prepare your own version of a family recipe and serve it up to friends. That's the same sense of personal satisfaction and creative gratification that you get when making your first concrete countertop.

Think of cement, sand, and rock as though they were flour, baking powder, and salt. Add water to the right blend of dry ingredients, and you get concrete batter. Countertop making is like baking an upside-down cake in a wooden pan. You simply mix and pour the concrete batter into the smooth mold. You even get to stick your fingers in the batter (but no licking!). Your hands get dirty; it's a bit of a mess. You let it bake (no oven required). In 4 to 5 days, pop it out of the mold and (with some beefy help) turn it over. To finish it out, you polish the already flat surface with a hand polisher and seal it.

'The process is fun and affordable. Using the instructions in this book, you should be able to complete a counter in about 2 weeks. Not only will the result be as beautiful as anything you could buy but you will have created it yourself. You won't be able to keep your hands off of it, and neither will anyone else who sees it.'

Concrete Countertops Made Simple

  • by Fu-Tung Cheng
  • Product Code: TP-FHB72070927
Availability: In Stock