Concrete countertops have become an increasingly popular trend in many homes, particularly among homeowners who are interested in having a custom and unique, creative or industrial look. When installing concrete countertops, it is vital to follow all required steps, including the proper use of concrete countertop topping mix. This is a layer of concrete that is poured on top of an existing countertop surface in order to give the appearance of a concrete countertop. Topping mixes are composed of cement along with admixtures, like polymers, and sand aggregates.
When working with concrete countertop topping mix, a few important tips should be kept in mind in order to achieve the best results. Prior to applying a countertop topping mix, it is important to ensure that the substrate base is roughened and cleaned. If the substrate is porous it should be slightly damp to avoid pulling too much water out of the topping mix. Concrete countertop topping mixes should not be poured to a thickness of more than 1/8 inch at a time over the substrate.
Finishing Tips for Concrete Countertop Topping Mixes
A variety of finishes may be used to achieve the look you desire, such as a smooth finish or a textured finish. When applied properly, concrete countertop topping mixes can also be used for repairing and reinforcing an existing concrete countertop, thus extending its longevity.
Excessive troweling should be avoided, as should using an overly wet mix. If the mix is too wet, fine aggregates will settle at the bottom and the surface paste may be soft, whereas over troweling can result in a dusting surface once the concrete has hardened.
It is also important to ensure that the concrete does not dry too quickly with fans or blowing air as this may result in surface cracking due to shrinkage.