Tips and Tricks

Before you pour...

Countertop forms will warp if left outside in high temperatures or direct sunlight.

Use duct tape to seam the cement board and on the outside of the forms to avoid leaking.

Pre-drill holes in the forms before installation. This will help prevent stripping the cement board.

Turn the drill to the lowest setting when installing your clips and forms. Do NOT over tighten.

To protect your cabinets, tape painters plastic under your forms. Make sure the floors are protected as well. Pouring concrete is messy!

Mist down the cement board with water before pouring your top.

When putting in temporary supports under and overhang such as 2x4 legs, cut the legs about ¼” shorter than it needs to be and put in a shim. This way, it will be easier to remove once the concrete is cured.

For added reinforcement around the sink area, cut 2-4 pieces of our mesh reinforcement and install them over the first layer. You can also cut L shaped pieces and install them around the corners of the sink. This will help avoid stress cracks in these smaller sections of concrete.

Mixing, pouring and finishing...

Never use a cordless drill when mixing concrete. We recommend a ½” corded drill with a spiral shaped paddle.

Always mix concrete with cold water. If using your hose, make sure to let it run for a bit to get out any warm water.

When using a Color-Pack with the White Countertop Mix, it’s ok to add a touch more water if the concrete seems thick. A little goes a long way. No more than 1 cup.

When mixing, slowly add the concrete to the water in the bucket. If you add too much concrete, too fast, it will be difficult to get the mix back to that pancake batter consistency. If your mix starts getting thick, stop adding concrete and let the drill catch up. When the consistency is more fluid, you can continue adding the concrete mix.

If you don’t have a screed, you can use a straight 2x4, a level or any straight edge that will cover the width of the countertop.

Remember to always vibrate the edges. You can use your float or trowel to tap along the edges, run a sander along the forms or use our Vibra-Blade. We also recommend using a margin trowel to run along the inside of the form as you pour to force out any trapped air.

Low spots are very difficult to fix. Pay special attention to any gaps under your screed during the pour. Add additional concrete as needed before it sets up.

When pouring outside in higher temperatures or direct sunlight, cover the concrete with plastic or damp towels (once it is hard enough to support them) to prevent shrinkage and curling.

To remove the faucet knockout, twist it from underneath in one direction until you feel it release. If you are having trouble, you can drill a hole in the bottom and attach a lag bolt. Then, use pliers to pull on the bolt until the knockout is released.

Sanding by hand won’t be very effective, we recommend always using an electric orbital sander to sand your concrete countertops.

If using concrete stain, mist down the concrete with water before applying stain to allow a slower and more uniform absorption.

Maintenance and long term care...

Do not apply tape to sealed concrete. It can remove the sealer and stain. Rubber feet on appliances can have a similar affect. We recommend replacing them with felt pads.

Clean sealed concrete with any home surface cleaner and use a soft cloth, sponge or paper towel. Avoid abrasive cleaners like a magic eraser as they will dull the finish.

If using Aqua-Thane sealers outdoors, we recommend keeping the countertops covered during cold winters. Freeze/thaw conditions can cause the sealers to lift.

If you want to take the gloss away when using Aqua-Poxy, use a maroon Scotch Brite Pad or a 3M Very Fine Sanding Pad and buff it out by hand until you get the desired sheen.

When applying sealers or stain to outdoor countertops, apply them early in the morning before the sun has a chance to heat up the concrete.