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How thick do you guys make your Concrete tops?
Last Post 22 May 2013 04:06 AM by David Gerard. 11 Replies.
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Gene McDonald
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11 May 2013 08:50 PM
    I know you can make it any thickness you want...But I am loving this...think its gonna be my new favorite material to play with for countertops...I cannot believe how strong and durable it is...I might have got lucky but I swear my tops that I just made are almost non porous..I was shocked how tight it pops out the mold..

    anyway...GFRC baby!!! All you concrete countertop folks..I now know why youse guys mess with this stuff...thank you for keeping this chapter of countertops alive...Im gonna do my part now in about a month Im gonna do me a Luma-crunch version with a crystalized shark coming outta the top...Just when I was getting bored with countertop materials...someone put a bag of GFRC in my hand

    thank you..loving life right now

    www.RefreshInteriorsDesign.com
    Countertop Artisans
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    14 May 2013 06:08 PM
    It depends on the lenght of the fibers in your mix. The longer the hair, the thinner you can make it but I would hesistate to go under 1". Any thinner and it may have a tendency to expand more. I found that the thicker the slab, the more stable. I also found a trick for getting a glasslike smooth surface. Once you make your mold, line the center with window tinting plastic film. Actually, make the mold over the plastic. The poured surface will match the film and you won't need to polish anything.
    As far as GFRC, there are many mixes on the market, but SureKrete had a blend that worked very well for me. They also have a lightweight backer mix that cuts the overall weight.
    I'm sure things have changed since I gave up concrete a couple years ago but SureKrete always provided me with excellent customer service.
    Rick Hugill
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    Andy Graves


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    15 May 2013 01:08 AM
    That is a great idea with the window tint. I understand the concrete will take the shine of the surface of the mold. I have seen concrete poured over textured laminate to give it a natural look.
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    Tom M
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    15 May 2013 01:14 PM
    You guys make it sound like you flip the top over once you've poured it. Is that correct?

    Has anyone ever tried using polished plastic laminate as a surface smoother?
    ...those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

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    David Gerard
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    16 May 2013 07:16 AM
    Gene, how will you seal it?

    We have a pro concrete top maker here who did a nice job but in the long run porosity ruined the tops, not to mention the cracking. He went to the 2 main schools to learn the craft.   After making a go of it for a while he gave it up.    Just too expensive to make and sell.
     im still very skeptical about this material. I want to see it perform but so far not so good. I love what cool kind of objects can be put into it not to mention wild colors.
    insomnia crossed with dyslexia and atheist beliefs may lead one to lay awake all night wondering if there really is a "Dog"
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    18 May 2013 08:03 PM
    Yes, the slab gets flipped over. You can also use a 1/8th inch of plexiglass as a base to pour on also. Make sure you use heat blankets for a couple days for curing. I also use to use a product called NPS.. (No Polishing Necessary) on the plexiglass. The film is cheaper, but if you get one small wrinkle in the surface the whole surface will need to be ground and polished. It works well when it works, but the plexi works better but it is a bit pricier. I would hesitate using a sheet more than once.
    I was like the last post. I was into it for a while but dropped out since it was expensive to make, heavy as hell to move, and there wasn't enough of a market to make a go of it in this area. (DC Metro).
    Rick Hugill
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    Tom M
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    20 May 2013 01:25 PM
    I'm missing something here. I thought that made in place concrete was set with forms right on the cabs and did not need moving or flipping. Am I wrong on this?
    ...those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    -C.S. Lewis
    JasonCarr
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    20 May 2013 08:21 PM
    gfrc you can give it the build up appearance of any thickness you want. but don't go less than 3/4 or an inch or you may run accross some cupping and shrinkage problems( answer mix design)

    @ Rick Hugill NPR is nothing but really expensive rainex... and If you look at those NPR youtube videos they are casting on Lexan...
    Also If you polish the surface past 200 grit any topical sealer you use will not adhere and thats what will ruin your tops. Most people don't want concrete to be that shiny.... using melamine on a decent built casting table you can get 2 pours out of each sheet.

    @ Tom M theres two ways to pour tops depending on your application and the finished look your going for. The cast in place look gives you a trowled finish or you can use it when the customer has spec'd a large piece for a bar or something with no seams. When you do this you can't control your humdity or the temperature that the concrete is going to cure at.

    Cracks and sealing you need to get away from using canned mixes and find a mix receipe whether its wet cast or gfrc and make use of the admixes to get your concrete as dense as possible so the sealer will accent the concrete vs having a pourous concrete and trying to make your sealer do something its not designed to do.. Also promising a customer champagne and caviar and then feeding them beer and pretzels doesn't help anybodys cause...

    Something else not helping the cause Is Chenga big concrete school guy on the left coast telling every tom dick and harry that with a couple of tools and a few bags of pre mix from home depot you can sell countertops for 100+ psf... I'm lucky If I can get 50
    Tom M
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    21 May 2013 01:06 PM
    Thank you for the reply, Jason. Every time I look into fabricating concrete I keep finding reasons not to.
    ...those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    -C.S. Lewis
    Gene McDonald
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    21 May 2013 10:59 PM
    Tom you'll love it..I would never ever do it on site..I would basically make my own manageable sizes and put the seams where i want them. Its amazing...They sell sheets of plastic which are probably a window tint. But its a adhesive plastic..mist some plastic on it and the bottom of the mold is shiny then when ya pop out your top sealer will bead right off it..I would have to rough it up like jason said to seal it...and just like Solid surface talk to bunch of corian guys they will tellya Avonite sux..and vice versa...its just something to offer in case one of those multiple material people walk in your shop...do the out door kitchen..


    David..try it..I wouldn't listen to that DIY and HGTV concrete tops ads...but order a bag of GFRC in basic white..make a mold..mix first batch thick like mash potatoes..and swerve it in the mold..then throw some baking soda on that curvy seam line..brush on some stain then wipe off...then mix up some soupy concrete in lets say bright red with Avonite scraps cut up in that...pop it out the mold and sand it down with your FESTOOL ROTEX sander with some black metal paper...you'll love it...dont listen to other people because there are people out there that wouldn't do what you love...at least remove the curiosity so ya never hafta wonder...BTW HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUDE!!!!
    www.RefreshInteriorsDesign.com
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    22 May 2013 01:00 AM
    Jason,
    I tried Rainex but it didn't work as well as the other stuff.

    Check out the photos of concrete on my profile. I have one that really surprised me. I took white and gray GFRC and mixed them by hand several time on several slabs to try and get a Carrera Marble look. No way a pro at it but it is fun to do.
    One slab had a cat, an alien and a ghost. all unintentional.
    Rick Hugill
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    National Tub and Tile
    Easy Restore Vinyl Restoration
    Northern Virginia
    David Gerard
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    22 May 2013 04:06 AM
    is that like Jesus  on a potato chip or english muffin?  You just have to believe.
    insomnia crossed with dyslexia and atheist beliefs may lead one to lay awake all night wondering if there really is a "Dog"
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