As part of our bathroom renovation, I did my first-ever DIY concrete countertop! In this post, I’ll be sharing the exact steps I took to pour this 6 foot vanity concrete counter that includes a 3-hole faucet and under-mount sink. This blog post is written in partnership with Concrete Countertop Solutions. Opinions and experiences are my own!
Most people start planning a project based on a specific item such as a rug or wall covering that they love.
For me, I started with the idea of a DIY concrete countertop!
I’ve loved the look of concrete for awhile now. This is not the first time working with it! The first concrete project I did was a concrete-overlay in my kitchen.
We had blue laminate counters that I wanted so badly to get rid of, and my first attempt at covering them was with concrete! We loved the look of it but I certainly learned a lot of things the hard way – specifically about the importance of sealing!
The next project I did turned out much better. I built a DIY entryway table. I’m still absolutely obsessed with that project. This was also a “overlay” type of project where I was covering something with concrete.
Never before have I actually built a form and poured the concrete though – and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try it out!
About a year prior to this project, I was gifted a vanity from my parents. Long story short, they purchased it for their new-home build and it was the wrong size. They were unable to return it so they gave it to me to thank me for my help (my dad and I did a lot of work – the build happened during the pandemic so between delays and rising costs, we really wanted to get it finished!)
The vanity IS large but overall it does fit in the space, and I couldn’t let such a beautiful vanity go! Because I had it sitting in my garage for almost a year, I was eager to put it to use! After the entryway table, I just knew the vanity needed a concrete counter.
Materials for pouring DIY concrete countertops
I had followed Concrete Countertop Solutions on social media for awhile. As I mentioned, I’ve loved the look of concrete for a long time!
While I have worked with concrete before, pouring it was a whole new experience and to be honest — I felt overwhelmed with trying to figure that out on my own! What drew me to Concrete Countertop Solutions was that they sold everything that you need to pour your own concrete countertop – ready to go!
They sell the forms, the mesh reinforcements, clips to keep the reinforcement in place, and SO much more!
I’ve been asked a lot, so here is the exact list of things that I got from Concrete Countertop Solutions:
- Chrome finishing trowel
- Lexan float
- White Countertop Mix (5 bags)
- FG50 Alkali Resistant Fiber Mesh Reinforcement
- Z Clips (1 pack)
- Vibra-Blade attachment
- Construction Screw (1 pack – 5/8 inch)
- Square Edge Countertop Form (90 inches of forms)
- Z SiAcryl 14 (Sealer – Matte)
- Faucet Knockout (x3)
I also recommend getting:
- Concrete countertop patch (used to fill any bubbles that might appear on edges) – optional
Other materials used:
- 1/2 inch cement board
- Cement board mesh taping
- 100% Silicone
What I love most is that you don’t have to figure out what exactly you need all by yourself! The customer service of this company is absolutely outstanding and they have a form you can fill out to help you determine what you need.
It’s important to note that just because these are the materials I used, doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll need for your project. Every project is different and that’s why I chose to fill out the form and work with them directly to determine what I needed especially since it was something that was new to me.
If you want to save this tutorial for later, pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!
Step one: cutting and installing the cement board base
The first step (after installing the vanity) was to install the cement board. I used 1/2 inch cement board and cut it down using my circular saw.
The easiest way I’ve found for cutting things like this is to put them on a foam insulation board on the ground (outside or in the garage) and cut them with a circular saw.
Note: It’s important to wear protection when working with cement board or concrete in general. I recommend a respirator mask as well as eye and ear protection.
After I cut the cement board, I used 100% waterproof silicone to attach it to the vanity. Between the silicone and the weight of the concrete, your countertop will be very secure!
Step two: adding the forms
The forms that Concrete Countertop Solutions (Z-Counterform) sent me were so easy to install! The outside edge forms are designed to cover the edge of the cement board perfectly. The back forms sit on the top of the cement board against your wall.
To cut the forms to size, you’ll simply use your miter saw! I did a 45 degree angle on the outside corner and then secured it further with tape and silicone to make it leak-proof.
In the photo above you’ll see how the corner comes together perfectly!
Once the forms are cut to size, you’ll screw them into the cement board. I used the 5/8 inch construction screws that I got from Z-Counterform for all of the steps in this project including this one.
Next, I sealed the area where the two cement boards came together. One cement board wasn’t long enough to cover the whole space, so I did need to connect multiple boards together.
To patch that spot, I first sealed it with silicone. Then when the silicone was dry, I applied mesh tape specially made for cement board. You can find it right next to the cement board at any hardware store.
Then, I got to work sealing everything up! I used silicone for this step as well. Anywhere that the forms met the cement board, I sealed up. I wanted to make sure once the concrete was poured, there would be no leaks.
Step three: cutting holes for the faucet and sink
This step is going to vary depending on your exact project, but for mine I needed 3 faucet holes and a hole for a sink.
I used a hole saw attachment on my drill to make the faucet holes and my jigsaw to cut out the hole for the sink. Because of choosing to use an under-mount sink, I needed to install the sink prior to pouring the concrete.
Because this installation process is a little different than a typical under-mount sink install, I found that the template that comes with the sink was not big enough. I would have definitely benefited from simply making my own template with scrap paper or cardboard. I also added a lot of supports underneath the cement board to support the area where the sink and faucets would be.
Step four: adding the mesh reinforcement
This step is something that seemed complicated to think about but was actually insanely easy! The life-saving product here are the Z-clips. I guess what seemed complicated to me was trying to get the mesh reinforcement to be in the right space so that the counter was strong. Thankfully, Z-Counterform had a solution for that step of pouring concrete!
The Z-clips take all of that guesswork out! They are designed to snap right onto the mesh and keep it in place inside the concrete. You simple screw them directly into the cement board and that’s it!!
You’ll also notice in the picture above that I opted to make my own sink form using a foam insulation board. Z-Counterform does have sink forms but your sink will need to have vertical sides (like most kitchen sinks) for the form to work correctly and mine did not.
After the mesh reinforcement was in place, it was time to pour the concrete!
Step five: mix and pour the concrete
I used the mixing drill attachment that I had already to mix the white concrete I got from Z-Counterform. I did manage to mix, pour, and spread the concrete by myself but I do wish I had waited until my husband got home from work to have another set of hands to help!
I went in the biggest batches that I could manage by myself and slowly mixed the water into the concrete until it got to about a peanut butter consistency — then I poured and leveled it out with a scrap 2×4. I repeated this until the form was completely full.
@diy.ourhome Reply to @heathermarie866 ♬ original sound – Project: DIY Our Home
As I went, I would tap the edges of the form with the back of a screwdriver to continually try to get any bubbles out. At the end, I used the Vibra-blade attachment to vibrate the edges of the forms to further release any bubbles trapped!
Using the trowels they sent me, I smoothed the concrete using the method in their “how-to” videos which you can find here.
Step six: snap off the forms
Once the concrete was fully set, I snapped off the forms. To snap them off, you simply pry them away from the edge (I used a scraper) and then you pull it off. The front of the forms snap off, revealing the beautiful concrete edge! The bottom of the form remains inside the concrete and you don’t see it at all.
I was really impressed with the edges of the concrete! They were so smooth, it almost felt like glass! While it’s impossible to ensure that there are NO bubbles, I had very little bubbles and sanding took care of most of them.
It’s important to remember that concrete is meant to have character. It won’t look 100% perfect and it isn’t meant to. That being said, if you are worried about bubbles, you can always purchase their Z-Counter Patch kit and fill in any imperfections.
Step seven: sand your counter
The next thing I did was sand the counter. I wanted it to have character but also be nice and smooth. I purchased a variety pack of sanding discs and used my orbital sander working one grit at a time — starting with 80 and working up to 320.
This was very easy and because my orbital sander hooks up to my shop-vac, it didn’t make much of a mess at all!
Step eight: seal the counter!
The one thing I’ve learned about concrete is that it needs to be sealed and sealed well! Because of this being in a bathroom, it was extra important to me to make sure it was waterproof and durable!
The type of sealant that you use will determine how often you need to seal it. I chose the Z SiAcryl 14 sealer because I wanted a matte finish that maintained the look and feel of concrete. I didn’t want my counter glossy. Because of this, I’ll seal my counters every 2 years. Some sealers they have available are even more durable and can last the lifetime of the concrete. To see the sealer options available, click right here!
I did 4-5 coats of this sealer and then tested it by pouring a small amount of water on the counter. When the water beaded up and did not cause any darkening of the concrete, I knew that it was fully sealed and waterproof!
Here’s how the countertops turned out in the bathroom renovation!
Cost breakdown for the entire vanity:
One of the biggest questions I received was “how much did it all cost?!” so let me break it down for you!
- All the products from the list at the top of the post from Z-Counterform: $560 (gifted from Concrete Countertop Solutions as part of this collaboration)
- Vanity: Unknown, gifted from family (the brand of cabinetry is Medallion)
- Extra materials (cement board, silicone, sanding discs, etc): $93
- Under-mount sink: $70
- Faucet: $265
- Vanity hardware:
- Knobs: $17
- Pulls: $28
Be sure to check out my bathroom highlight on Instagram to see this whole project and bathroom renovation!
DIY Concrete countertops don’t have to be complicated or overwhelming!
The reason I went with Concrete Countertop Solutions is that their products made me feel comfortable with the DIY concrete countertop process — it really was so easy! Having the forms ready to go and the mesh reinforcement easy to install made me feel confident that I could tackle this project even though I hadn’t done anything like this before.
That’s a big part of any DIY – especially learning new skills – is the confidence. It makes a big difference in the success of a project! I’m so happy with how my vanity counters came out and I would 1000% do this project again and again! I’m already thinking about my next poured concrete project!