"The Kitchen" - Stained Concrete Countertops
In this project we were asked to install stained concrete countertops in a home in Cedar Hill, TX. This was a cast in place countertop project so we built the molds directly on the kitchen cabinets after removing their existing Formica countertops. Depending on how complex a mold is, it can take between two to three days to get it ready prior to pouring the concrete.
Our Cedar Hill homeowner was looking for something a little unique, something with a little more pizzazz so she decided to go with stained concrete countertops. She wanted something that would pull colors from both the floor and the cabinets.
After some discussion we decided to go with an umber acid stain that does both. The staining process creates a lot of variation in the surface color of the countertops.
One thing we get asked a lot about is whether to go with a countermount or undermount sink. We almost always recommend going with the undermount sink installation.
It’s a tougher build for us as the sink’s edges are exposed which means we need to make sure they look great (countermount sinks always hide this edge) but I think it’s a more elegant and practical selection. With the undermount sink you can push any spilled water right into the sink as there isn’t an lip to go over.
But before staining we had to pour the concrete mix into the mold. We mixed up the batch, added a little color to it and then filled the mold. The concrete doesn’t usually need too much time to set up, but it all depends on the ambient temperature, cooler days will require more time.
We left the countertops alone until the next day where we stripped the mold away and did some small touchups which are almost always necessary. They were now ready to be turned into stained concrete countertops.
First we diluted the acid stain with water and then used a manual “ragging” technique instead of spraying it like we normally do for floors. By “ragging” we mean taking a sea sponge, soaking it with a little acid stain, then lightly blotting the concrete countertops to create an overlapping pattern. The “ragging” process creates much more color variation on the concrete’s surface than spraying but it’s such a labor intensive process that we normally only do it for countertops, a floor would take us forever to do.
These stained concrete countertops came out beautifully! As always, we finished it off the job with a protective sealer and wax coat. I think you can agree with our Cedar Hill homeowner that acid staining creates a very unique look that really stands out from other countertop options.