Johann and Lee-Ann Buhr write: We really like the concrete kitchen countertops on pages 37 and 40 of your August 2011 issue; how can we get this look?
Ashley Stemmett replies: Cement countertops are cost effective and a great way to add character to your kitchen. There are two ways in which concrete can be implemented as countertops: to cast your own thinner tops, construct a mould, position reinforcing steel mesh midway and pour in an aggregate mix, or you can create a thicker concrete ‘slab’ by simply plastering over concrete lintels placed across supporting walls. The countertops shown in the issue referred to are most likely constructed using the latter process. The cement is steel floated to create the smooth finish and sealed afterwards with a clear polyurethane sealer. Cement countertops (and floors) can also be diamond polished to create a beautifully smooth finish that will expose an aggregate contained in the cement mix, creating a unique appearance.