"Too Tall" - Concrete Countertops For Grills
This unusual project is a combination of both style and function and shows why we like to use concrete for grill countertops. It all started when we received a set of plans showing a grill countertop with a very tall edge, almost 12” tall.
They also wanted it to have a 45 degree chamfer all along the top edge. And if that wasn’t interesting enough, it had to be flush with the tile base that had been installed, no overhangs. Ah, before we forget, no seams either.
We knew concrete would be the best candidate for this grill project located in a newly built apartment complex in Dallas but that doesn’t mean that it was easy.
We always prefer precast countertops (we build them in our shop) versus cast in place (built on site) but due to the size and weight of this piece and the very tight tolerance of a flush mount to the base we decide it would have to be cast in place.
Even so, we might have been able to do this as a precast countertop if it had not been for the fact that the tile base was not straight, it had a slight curve to it and matching that would have been very difficult.
Flush mount projects are the hardest to do, if there is any curve you’ll see it right away if you don’t match it as either the countertop or the base will stick out further than the other. This is why we recommend having overhangs, it always covers up slight differences.
After building an interior base to support the concrete we built an exterior mold all around and supported it with bases going directly into the concrete floor and the mulched area.
We were nervous about the loose mulch as the mold must be well supported or it can sink when it is being filled, throwing everything out of level. We had to put some bricks down first on the soft mulch to stop this from happening.
Once we got that squared away, we installed some chamfers along the top edge of the mold, mixed our natural gray concrete, filled it, and then troweled the surface to give it that semi rustic look that the clients were looking for.
After allowing it to harden, we pulled off the mold, did a light sanding, then sealed it with a matte polyurethane to give it the protection it needs.
Concrete offers tremendous versatility when it comes to making grill countertops, it’s our “go to” material for these projects.