As part of our bathroom renovation, I did my first-ever DIY concrete countertop! In this post, I will give you a step by step tutorial on how I poured this 6-foot vanity concrete counter that includes a 3-hole faucet and undermount sink so you can do it too! I wrote this blog post 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. Not me! I started with the idea of making my own concrete vanity top! It’s go big or go home around here, haha.
I’ve loved the look of concrete for awhile now. And this was not my first time working with it! My first concrete project was a concrete-overlay in my kitchen to create new concrete surfaces for my countertops.
We had blue laminate counters that I wanted to remove so badly, and my first attempt at covering them was with concrete. We loved the look of it, but like so many first-time DIY projects, 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 using concrete. I’m still absolutely obsessed with that project. It was also an “overlay” project where I covered an existing surface with concrete.
Never before had I actually built a form and poured the concrete, though – and I thought this bathroom countertop surface was the perfect opportunity to learn this new skill!
About a year before this project, my parents gifted me a vanity cabinet. Long story short, they purchased it for their new-home build, and it was the wrong size. They could not return it, so they gave it to me to thank me for my help. My dad and I did a lot of work, and so I accepted the gift with zero guilt! I was very excited to do this project and get my own amazing bathroom!
The vanity is large, but it does fit in the space, and I couldn’t let such a beautiful vanity go! I was eager to put it to use because I had it sitting in my garage for almost a year. After the entryway table success story, I just knew the vanity needed a concrete counter, and I felt up for the challenge.
Materials for pouring DIY concrete countertops
I had been following Concrete Countertop Solutions on social media for awhile before we partnered together to do this project. As I mentioned, I’ve loved the look of concrete for a long time and have been obsessed with the unique looks that can be achieved with it!
Learning how to pour concrete from scratch is very different than just using it as an overlay for an existing surface. To be honest, I felt overwhelmed with trying to figure that out on my own. What drew me to Concrete Countertop Solutions as a partner was that they sold everything that you need to pour your own concrete countertop – ready to go, one-stop shopping!
They sell the forms, the mesh reinforcements, clips to keep the reinforcements in place, and SO much more!
You guys have asked me so many times about what exactly you need to pour a concrete countertop, so here you go!
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 I used:
- 1/2 inch cement board
- Cement board mesh taping
- 100% Silicone
What I love most about Concrete Countertop Solutions is that you don’t have to figure out what you need all by yourself! The customer service is absolutely outstanding, and they even 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 you’ll need the same stuff 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 new to me. I recommend you do the same!
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 as a base for my countertop. I used 1/2 inch cement board and cut it down using my circular saw.
Note: The instructions from the company state to use 1/2 inch cement board. After living with it for awhile I would recommend that if you’re installing a heavy sink (like a porcelain one), use 1/2 inch plywood instead. Cement board was not thick enough, and it resulted in cracks. If you are pouring a countertop that does not have a sink or you’re doing a tabletop, cement board should be fine!
The easiest way to cut 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.
Another 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
You need a good concrete form for this part of the project. The Z Counterform forms that Concrete Countertop Solutions 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, 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, screw them into the cement board. I used the 5/8 inch construction screws that I got from Concrete Countertop Solutions.
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 needed to connect multiple boards.
To patch that spot, I first sealed it with silicone caulk. 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. I wanted to make sure that once I poured the concrete mix, 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 not one faucet hole but three! I also needed a hole for the 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 I chose an undermount sink, I needed to install the sink before pouring the concrete.
How do you pour a concrete vanity top with a sink?
The installation process is a little different when pouring concrete than it is for a typical undermount sink install, so I found that the template that comes with the sink was not big enough.
Next time I would make 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. Ensure you think through what will be needed for your finished product!
Step four: adding the mesh reinforcement
This step seemed complicated before I started doing it but was insanely easy! I guess what seemed complicated to me was trying to get the mesh reinforcement in the right space so that the countertop was strong. Thankfully, the Z Counterform line of products has a solution for that: Z-clips.
The Z-clips take all of that guesswork out! They snap right onto the mesh and keep it in place inside the concrete. You simply screw them directly into the cement board and that’s it! These clips make concrete DIY for a beginner much easier.
You’ll also notice I made my sink mold using a foam insulation board. Z-Counterform does have sink forms, but your sink needs 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 for the vanity top
I used the mixing drill attachment I already had to mix the white concrete I got from the Z Counterform line. Follow the instructions on the product packaging for this step. I managed to mix, pour, and spread the concrete by myself, but I wish I had waited until my husband got home from work to have another set of hands to help! The bag of concrete was heavy, and I had to mix smaller, manageable batches at one time.
I made the biggest batches that I could manage by myself and slowly mixed the water into it until the wet concrete had a peanut butter-like consistency, and then I poured and levelled it out with a scrap 2×4. I repeated this step until the concrete reached the top of the form and was completely full.
@diy.ourhome Reply to @heathermarie866 ♬ original sound – Project: DIY Our Home
As I went, I tapped the edges of the form with the back of a screwdriver to get any bubbles out. At the end, I used the Vibra-blade attachment to vibrate the edges of the forms and release any bubbles trapped. This is an important step, since you want to get as much air out as possible.
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), then pull them off. The front of the forms snaps 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, almost like glass! While it’s impossible to ensure that there are NO bubbles, I had very few 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 isn’t meant to. That being said, if you can’t get all the bubbles out and want to fix any large issues around the edges, you can always purchase the 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 to be nice and smooth. I purchased a variety pack of sanding discs and used my orbital sander one grit at a time — starting with 80 and working up to 320.
This was very easy, and because my orbital sander hooked up to my shop-vac, it didn’t make much of a mess at all!
Step eight: seal the concrete vanity top!
The one thing I’ve learned about concrete is that it must be sealed well! Especially because this countertop lives in a bathroom, ensuring it was waterproof and durable was extra important to me.
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 complemented the look and feel of concrete. I didn’t want my counter glossy. Because of the product I chose, I’ll need to seal my counters every two years. Some sealers available are even more durable and can last the lifetime of the concrete.
I did 4-5 coats of this sealer and then tested it by pouring a small amount of water on the counter. The water beaded up and did not cause any darkening of the concrete, so I knew that it was fully sealed and waterproof!
Here’s how the countertops turned out in the bathroom renovation!
FAQ about my DIY Concrete Vanity Top
All products gifted from Concrete Countertop Solutions as part of this collaboration: $560
Vanity (It was a gift from family! The brand of cabinetry is Medallion): $0
Extra materials (cement board, silicone, sanding discs, etc.): $93
Undermount sink: $70
Vanity hardware: Knobs: $17
Some of you might wonder if concrete is a good choice for a bathroom. Fair question! The biggest concern people have is usually moisture. But as long as you seal it properly (I covered this above), moisture is nothing to worry about!
Besides the logistics of it, a concrete countertop in a bathroom is a trendy choice that is also classic enough to stand the test of time. It’s budget-friendly, fairly simple to do (with the right support and materials and tools), and it looks beautiful in any bathroom regardless of style. Particularly if you have a minimalist or ultra modern look going on in your house, concrete for your bathroom countertop is an excellent design choice.
And because not everyone is a DIY master like you and I and can just whip up their own, concrete is a major plus when selling your home because it is often considered a “premium” and desirable surface material!
Concrete countertops are very long-lasting, and there’s no reason they wouldn’t last forever if they are made and maintained properly.
Ensure that your forms are built correctly, that you seal up every single edge and seam with waterproof silicone (detailed above), seal the surface correctly when finished, and do regular re-sealing as per the product instructions. If you do this, your countertops will last a lifetime!
The standard is about 1 1/2 inches thick, similar to other countertop materials. Any thicker than this, and the weight starts to be an issue. There are fancy ways to “fake” a thick concrete counter, but to keep it simple (especially for your first attempt), I would stick to 1 1/2 inches.
Yes! Do NOT use regular concrete for countertops. Countertop Mix is specially formulated for high flow rate while you are pouring it and high strength once it’s dried. The concrete used for the pad in front of your driveway just won’t cut it for delicate indoor projects like these! As for all DIY projects, use the right materials to get the results you want. You will not be happy with the look or durability of your countertop if you don’t use the right stuff.
Be sure to check out my bathroom highlight on Instagram to see this whole project and bathroom renovation!
A DIY concrete vanity top doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming!
I went with Concrete Countertop Solutions because their products made me feel comfortable with the DIY concrete countertop process — it really was so easy! The forms were ready to go and the mesh reinforcement was easy to install, so I felt confident that I could tackle this project even though I hadn’t done anything like it before.
A big part of any DIY – especially one where you have to learn new skills – is confidence. It makes a big difference in the success of a project! I’m so happy with how my vanity counter came out, and I would 1000% do this project a second time and then again and again! I’m already thinking about what my next concrete creation will be.
Have you made a concrete countertop or other concrete DIY? I would love to hear about it! Tag me @diy.ourhome or comment here with your project pics!