The most important moment of kitchen repair is selection and installation of the kitchen wall. In turn, in this case it is important to choose and install a countertop, following all the process starting from pouring concrete and holding it with Z clip. After all, the working surface in the kitchen must meet very strict requirements of strength and reliability, but at the same time have a decent aesthetic appearance.
The same applies to countertops installed in the bathroom. They should possess not only strength, but also have a moisture-resistant surface, be resistant to mechanical and chemical damage. All this can be achieved by using concrete countertops.
There are lots of various proposals for countertops. Their price is quite different. In this case, it is better to think about the fact that a concrete countertop made by yourself can turn out not worse and even better than the purchased one. At the same time, it will exactly meet all requests about strength, quality and appearance.
How to make a concrete countertop using Z clip?
To begin with it is necessary to be defined with type and materials from which manufacture of a countertop can be made:
Concrete. Concrete is not only suitable for capital construction. Countertops of concrete are magnificent, because it will be both massive and strong, and the beauty will be even strengthen with fillers and additives that will be included in it during creating process.
Ready-made artificial stone. Acrylic artificial stone is sold in the form of sheets with a thickness of 3 to 12 mm and, as it is already understood, is an acrylic base with a filling of marble or granite chips. It is necessary to form the base of the countertop from plywood with the help of Z clip and attach a sheet of artificial stone on top.
Ceramic tile. The simplest and most accessible method. It would be better and more natural looking in the bathroom; however, with the right choice of tiles and high-quality work, it can also be used as a kitchen table. As in the second case, ceramic tiles are placed on the base of plywood or OSB, held with Z clip, and used as a working surface.
Having decided on the materials, you can proceed to creating a countertop. Below we will look at the process of manufacturing step-by-step.
Measuring and designing a countertop using Z clip
In any case, before you start making any type of countertop, you need to determine its size and configuration. We are talking about a simple rectangular concrete countertop, but if you need to make, for example, a U-shaped single countertop with the installation of the hob and sink, then everything becomes somewhat more complicated.
In any case, measurements are taken to begin with. If you replace the old already unfit concrete countertop, then you can measure it. If a new kitchenette is installed, then go from the basics and take into account standards for proper organization of kitchen furniture. The depth of the working surface is desirable to be made at 600 mm, using Z clip in the process. Take into account that the end part and place under the edge is taken from 605 mm. The length is measured according to available basis.
To make it clearer, it is first necessary to display on the paper a sketch of the future countertop, while without technological holes for pipes, sinks, Z clip and slabs. Next, a desktop layout is created in real size. To do this, it is better to use hardboard strips or a solid sheet, from which you will get a full size layout. The perimeter of the table top is glued from the strips; it is cut from the sheet. It should be checked that the layout is exactly in place using Z clips and is snug against the walls, nowhere mowing and not appearing more laid. So the installation of concrete countertop with your own hands will pass easily and without any finishing work in place.
Next, the layout held with Z clip is cut into separate parts, if the form of the countertop is not a simple rectangle. Further on the models you can start making the countertop.
Concrete has long gone beyond simple building material. Now quite often there is a variety of products made of concrete not for building, but for the formation of garden furniture, statues, ornaments, etc. Various additives allow you adjust and control both mechanical properties of concrete and its appearance.
For the preparation of concrete the following materials will be required:
- Cement grade 400 or higher (best portland cement 500)
- Fine filler (river sand, granite flour)
- Large filler
- Plasticizers for liquefaction
- As a large filler it can be ordinary gravel, granite or marble chips
- Z clip for holding concrete solution
In addition to the described components, a variety of colors and dyes can be added. If you add them directly at the moment of pouring concrete into the mold and distribute it sporadically using Z clip for better form of it, you will get a concrete countertop with a peculiar ornament. Simply put, using imagination you can get the most incredible coloring and drawings.
So, you need a solid base, preferably with a glossy surface. A sheet of laminated chipboard or plywood is suitable. The surface must be moisture resistant. Based on the layouts, the outline is drawn. On the contour, “screws are screwed with screws”. If you know in advance various technological holes location, the layout of the holes is also mounted on the base so that they are not filled with concrete. Otherwise, you can make holes in the finished tabletop. Here you may use Z clips.
To reduce work on the finish, you can use a plasticine to form a facet around the perimeter of the base, semicircular or at an angle of 45 degrees. Use a narrow spatula to level the strip of plasticine in one level.
Despite its structural simplicity, concrete countertops look great when done properly.