White concrete countertops create a huge statement in any space! Concrete counters are a great way to add value and style to your existing kitchen remodel or new build on a budget. White concrete counters are the perfect answer for avid DIY’ers needing a softer, lighter feel over the typical gray tones of traditional concrete. Here are some of our best tips for making white concrete countertops. Here you find some of our tips for concrete counters.
We always want to encourage others to take on new challenges but, with that said, we need to tell you that pouring concrete counters can be a challenging project. You definitely want to do all your research, plan ahead and have a few good helpers on hand! If you are looking to DIY white concrete countertops – we applaud you, you will LOVE them. We have laid out some steps below to help your project go as smooth as possible!
We used products from Concrete Countertop Solutions. They have a great offering of various white shades. We will list the products we used for our countertops and while we are very happy with the products, we were not satisfied with one one key component(the sealer). I will chat about that later in this post.
Concrete Countertop Forms And Substrates
As with any project, you want to start with a good foundation. We used the recommended 1/4″ Durock and made sure it was supported every 12″. We did not screw the Durock down to the cabinets. Instead, we use dabs of silicone caulk. This would make future removal possible in case of failure or changing them down the road. The forms we used are the EuroForm – Square Edge. This profile is the perfect modern European look and is only 1-1/4″ thick. For reinforcement we used fiber mesh and mounting clips. The clips are very important as they keep the mesh centered in the concrete while you are pouring the concrete. Once the concrete is dry, the forms can be snapped off to reveal a smooth, thin edge.
White Mix for Countertops
The concrete countertop mix that you use is very important. We used a white countertop mix formulated for thinner applications like ours. We also used a “Bright White” color pack to give our white countertops a crisp white look!
Helpful Tools And Products
Do not attempt to mix the concrete with a battery-powered drill! I can’t stress this enough! The batteries will die in less than a minute. Use a larger power drill made for mixing. This can be rented or purchased at most box stores. Here is an example of a corded drill. I also recommend having quite a few clean 5 gallon pales handy with one filled with water to clean the mixing paddle. Also, a heavy duty paddle mixer is a must have!
There are many leveling and screeding tools out there. We used a wood screed because our island was so wide! This was just a scrap of really straight wood. A magnizum float is used to level and smooth the concrete after it’s screeded. Once its dried and set up after about 10-15 minutes, you can smooth the surface with a steel trowel.
Mixing and Pouring
We suggest doing this with a team of people. This was very difficult to do alone with just Sarah and myself. I recommend having 2 people pour, screed and float. Another 2 people can mix and cary concrete inside. We definitely recommend reading all your suppliers instructions and watching any video tutorials provided.
Protect the floors and cabinets around the area. We used painters plastic on the cabinets and rosin paper to protect the floor. In hind sight, plastic under the rosin paper would protect even further.
Vibrate or tap the edge of the forms with a hammer or sander. This helps get the countertop mix into all the corners and remove bubbles.
Curing And Removing Forms
We waited a full 48 hours to remove the forms. They snap off easily to reveal a beautiful edge. I used a 400 grit sand paper to lightly sand along the top of the forms to remove any excess concrete. Once the forms were removed I used the sand paper to slightly round the top edge.
When concrete dries it will dry from the surface down. This can cause bowing and make the counter look like it is lifting off the cabinets in the corners and ends as the top and the bottom of the countertop dries at different speeds. It is recommended to spray/mist small amounts of water onto the top surface to slow down the top from curing quicker than the bottom.
White Concrete Countertop Sealers
Another tip for concrete counters is selecting a good sealer. We do not recommend Concrete Countertop Solutions sealers. Unfortunately, we had many areas that did not seal well and did peel away in the first month. We completely stripped and removed the sealer. We decided to use a product we strongly recommend instead. Cheng’s Concrete Sealer. This sealer applied much easier and has performed very well for us in the past. It is also food safe and non-toxic!
We would definitely do another concrete countertop if given the opportunity and feel way more prepared. Sarah loves the organic/earthy design element it adds to the kitchen! We really hope these tips for concrete counters help make your project go smooth…and your countertop too!
If you are looking for another organic concrete look check out our post on our DIY Concrete Fireplace