Month: March 2014

How to patch and get smooth edges to your concrete countertop.

Some people like when the concrete countertop edges have the rough concrete look and some like to have the smooth edges. Here are some hints and tips how you can get the edges you want.

When you are doing a concrete countertop, one of your worries might be, how the edges look like when you take off the molds. The holes in the edges  occur because of the air in the concrete. If you want egdes to be perfect or without any bigger holes in them you need to vibrate the moulds when the concrete is still wet. The vibration is easy to do, almost everyone has a sanding machine at home. Vibrate the countertop form edges with the sanding machine, it will give you a better chance to get the smooth edges you want. As a rule for vibrating the edges, the time you think that you need to vibrate the edges, multiple that by two or three times:) Then it should be enough.

But there is still a chance that there are some holes after you have vibrated the edges. This has been a concern for me as well, before I found the Z Counterform products. The Counter Patch is made for this kind of issue.  When the concrete worktop  it has dried enough so that the molds can be taken off, you´ll finally see the countertop edges. If there are still holes you want to get rid of, with the counter patch you can easily fill up the holes on the worktop. Only thing you need is the Counter Patch, rubber gloves and some sandpaper.

The second option is to use Liqui Crete mix. It contains acrylic fibers and a special mix that forces the air out of the mixed and poured concrete mix.  The special mix… first time I used Liqui Crete, I could not believe how well it works. It really is a unbelievable product. At the first countertops I ever made, the vibration took a really long time and I could not predict what would the outcome look like. I visited Z Counterform USA, owner and inventor Ed Baldoni, who trained and introduced me to this product. We made a countertop at the training with Liqui Crete. We were almost done with it and I thought we should start to vibrate the edges, well we kind of did it.. but only about a minute and by hand. We used the handles of a screwdriver and tapped the Z Counterform edges gently, really for about a minute. Then we left for a lunch… Really easy and fast job, comparing it if I would have needed to vibrate the edges with sanding machine. Acrylic fibers in the mix, give more durability to the countertop. if you are planning to make a worktop or an island with an  overlay, it would be a good thing to use Liqui  Crete.

I say to customers that , the Liqui Crete saves a lot of your time. You don’t need to vibrate the edges (well just few minutes, by hand) and no patching is needed when the moulds have been taken off. The other benefit, it gives extra support for the countertop because of the acrylic fibers in the mix. The third benefit is, that you get the smooth edges easily. Here is our video on the Liqui Crete if you want to see it in action.

All of these methods work really well. So, you´ll have your dream countertop. All you need to do is to choose the look, rough or smooth. You can have it as you want it. To get the smooth edges it depends on the budged, how  much money do you want to spend on your countertop.  And how much time do you want or like to spend working the worktop? Liqui Crete will lift the cost of the countertop, but I divide the cost with the time I´ll spend more finalizing the worktop.  In either case, the price of the countertop will be affordable and it will sustain a long time. Concrete has been known to last more than 200 years, so in that time you´ll have to change your kitchen cabinets few times:)

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The countertop we made with Liqui Crete at the training.

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Birmingham kitchen fair 2014, more light and space for your kitchen.

I realized that I am spending more and more time in the kitchen making food, eating, planning grocery lists and opening the fridge door far too many times in the evening… Kitchen will be more and more THE place at our homes where we all spend our time at home. So naturally we want to make it as flexible, systematic and spacious as possible.

I visited the England biggest kitchen fair. Kitchen improvements will make future kitchens so cozy and flexible, that you will want to spend more time there

Something new for your kitchen. More light, integration and automation.

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The most interesting ideas in the kitchen fair:

Lights– well, there can’t be too much light in a kitchen. LED- lights have been integrated everywhere. To worktops, overhead cabinets and drawers. Open a drawer, the light automatically illuminates so you´ll see better what you are looking for. Led-lights with this kind of integration, bring more posture and high class look in to the kitchen.

Integration- almost every kitchen appliance can be integrated to the kitchen, so you´ll get more working space on your worktop or for appliances. Even knives, electricity, trash can, spices and even a TV is possible to integrate to a worktop. Visit manufacturer @ http://the-sbox.com. Integration brings more space to kitchen cabinets when some of the appliances are integrated to the worktop. And when they are integrated and hidden in to the worktop, you´ll have more workspace.

Automation- Kitchen cabinets are now being automated, one touch and the door opens it self. You can close it by push of a button.  These things come handy when you hands are full and you need to open the door. Visit Blum @ http://www.blum.com/eu/en/01/10/50/10/

I almost forgot one of the coolest systems there were, Kesseböhmer kitchen island. You can adjust the height of the island by push of a button. The island can be adjusted about 15cm, up or down to suite your desired working height. The island was big and heavy, so that is impressive and handy.

UK´s biggest kitchen fair, KBB Birmingham.

We will visit the fair this week and keep you posted on the latest things of the industry.

KBB Birmingham is the UK´s biggest kitchen, bathroom and bedroom fair, including latest products and trends from all over the world. Best place to see the latest innovations.  We will report and show what is really new in the industry. How you can make your kitchen even better.

About KBB:
With over 300 brands, manufacturers and suppliers, kbb Birmingham is the place to source the verylatest new products, new technologies and stunning new ranges from furniture, appliances and accessories to components and surfaces. More information about the fair, visit @ http://www.kbb.co.uk

Dreaming of a colorful kitchen?

While white kitchens are still wildly popular in a lot of homes, many of us are dreaming of an energizing splash of color in our kitchen. If you look for colorful kitchen ideas, you often find bright cabinets paired with neutral worktops. But how about selecting a fun and vibrant color for your worktop?
 Z Counterform’s worktop stains offer a wide selection of colors that allow you to make your worktop look exactly the way you like. Building a concrete worktop and staining it with the Z Aqua-Tint water soluble concrete dye is an affordable and easy choice for anyone dreaming of a colorful kitchen.
 Multi-colored kitchen do not need to be loud and restless. Color can create many different ambiences. Just choose the style and color palette of your liking and get going!
 You can create a contemporary, stylish look like this
 Or you can go for a more bohemian, or romantic style
 Or why not go totally wild with a hot, electric look like this
 Z Aqua-Tint comes in sixteen different colors that can be mixed to create nearly any desired tone. Read more at http://en.diyconcreteworktops.com/product/22/z-aqua-tint-stain

Round concrete table to terrace

As there is still snow on the ground and temperature is below 0 Celsius, we finns like to get ready for the summer little bit earlier:) Here are some pictures and details of the round concrete terrace table project. Video will be ready soon.

1. As a support and base for the table we used 12mm thick plywood, that has a water resistant surface.
We measured and cut the Bendable edge form to it´s size and installed it. Next step was to install the supporting mesh for the concrete using Z Counterform FG50 Fibre glass mesh andZ Clip holders. Very easy to install and cut to the round form.

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Bendable Edge form and supporting fibre glass mesh installed

2. When support is ready, just mix and pour the concrete. The table is going for outside use in Finland, so we used concrete that is can hold low freezing temperatures. The concrete was Weber S30 in 25kg premixed bags. Diameter of the table is 115cm and it took 3,5 bags of concrete. Concrete is heavy, so we put some supporting wood underneath the table until it has dried.

Round concrete table with wet concrete, waiting to dry.

3. Let the concrete dry before applying sealer.

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This picture was taken day after. You can see the concrete is still wet form the surface

4. I did found a buyer for the table before it was made and they wanted it to look more like rough concrete. This is the reason why we did not vibrate the edges more than 5 minutes by hand.

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As a concrete sealer we used Z SiAcryl 14 by Z Counterform, two layers of SiAcryl has been applied on to the surface.

When you plan to make a concrete worktop or a table and you want the table edges to be smooth, vibrate the edges with a sanding machine (without the sandpaper, and for a long time 🙂 or use our special add mix, Liqui Crete.  The Liqui Crete makes pouring concrete faster and the outcome is smoother. For it´s special ingredients there is almost no need to vibrate by machine or hand. It also contains extra fibres, so the concrete will be more durable. And if you really want the edges to be smooth, you can use our Counter Patch to get the perfect finish to the edges.
The table surface was NOT hand or machine grounded. It was made by hand with ourWorktop Trowel when the concrete was still wet.

5. We left the SiAcryl 14 concrete sealer to dry and today the concrete table surface will be finished with a Z Counter – Shine, which is a polish that you´ll get the concrete to shine.

The finished table will be shown in our next blog.

Total costs for the concrete table was 331 euros including these products:

-Two Bendable Square Edge forms, 98€
-Supporting plywood with water resistant surface 50€
-Four 25kg bags of winter concrete 24€
-One small fibre glass mesh and one box of Z Clips 69€
-One bottle of Z SiAcryl 14 sealer 45€
-One bottle of Z Counter Shine, concrete polish 45€

I got the table stand from a friend, so I´ll try to find a place where you can buy your own table stands and post it here.

Next concrete project with Z Counterform products

Starts with this.

We will make a round concrete table, by using Z Counterform bendable Square Edge form. All of our edge forms can be cut so that it bends to different shapes. The Square edge form you can buy as a pre cut bendable form.
We will make a video on it, so you can see how it is done and make one for you.
We will do something different on it with our concrete staining colors. So, stay tuned on our blog and enjoy!

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Welcome to the world of concrete.

Concrete. Smooth, rough, flexible and fashionable. All at the same time.

I can and I´ll say it out loud, I really like concrete. And I think I know why, I can build stuff from it. Most of what I have done with  concrete are worktops. In the past 10 years I have become better and better doing stuff with my hands and now I have found THE thing I like to build stuff the most with.

Concrete is flexible in many ways, you can shape it basically to any form. Basic colors are gray or white, if that is not enough, just stain it to any color you want. Sounds simple? It really is.

We at Counterform Distribution don´t just want to give you a glimpse of what you can do with concrete. We want to open the world of concrete to you and give as much information as possible.
We are here to help you. You´ll find us and lot of information of our products @ our website www.diyconcreteworktops.com

Welcome to the world of concrete.

Z Counterform Europe