Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Concrete Counter fit for an Egg

ColoradoCookColoradoCook Posts: 152
edited 3:11PM in EggHead Forum
Hopefully this works, first time at linking photos.

A few months back I took a stab at creating my first concrete counter. I have aspirations of doing one for my kitchen but wanted to learn first so making one to replace my wood Egg table top was my first step.

Here's the form:
Countertop_0013.jpg
All poured, matched the Egg well when it was wet:
PouringCounter_0006.jpg
Out of form prior to grinding:
Countertop_0008.jpg
Polishing:
Countertop_0011.jpg
Project Complete:
Countertop_0002.jpg
Notice the power outlet for the electric starter:
Countertop_0006.jpg
This sits under the Egg, it has vents for heat dissipation and a hole to let ash fall to a bucket:
Countertop_0010.jpg

Lots of lessons learned. You can never vibrate concrete too much. I had micro bubbles that were a pain to deal with. I'm thinking of polishing it again come spring. It's really nice have something durable and easy to clean now.

Let me now if you're interested in doing one. I'd be happy to pass on what I learned.

CC
«1

Comments

  • Congratulations! Looks very, very good.
    Well tought out and very well executed.
    Amazing.
  • Great design of the piece that goes under the egg. Very impressive.
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,091
    Great job...I bet you don't worry if the wind blows... :laugh:
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,091
    Great job...I bet you don't worry if the wind blows... :laugh:
  • Wow, that's sharp! I'm hoping to build an island before too long and may have to pick your brain on that one. Well done, sir!

    Bruce
  • EmarfEmarf Posts: 167
    That's really cool
  • Wow, that's sharp! I'm hoping to build an island before too long and may have to pick your brain on that one. Well done, sir!

    Bruce
  • :laugh: The top weighed 300+ lbs. I think the whole thing (table, top, Egg) came in just shy of 500. I had to beaf up the existing table I had and replace the rubber lawnmower tires with heavy duty cart wheels (caster???).
  • I just bought Fu-Tung Cheng's book about a month ago to make the top for my BGE table. I'm assuming you used his book based on the technique.

    Got the point about vibrating enough. Any other pointers would be appreciated. What tool did you use for grinding and polishing? Rental?

    Hope you don't mind but I'd like to copy your idea for the bottom to sit the egg on. ...and the outlet idea. I was thinking of some sort of hole to allow temp probes etc. like some computer desks.

    Great looking top!!!

    --Dave
  • No problem. Check out a book called Concrete Countertops by Fu-tung Cheng. He's the expert in the industry. I learned everthing from that book, great detail.

    They're not the cheapest things though. Labor (me) and materials it came out to about $93 per SF. I think I can get that to $80 if I were to do it again. I also had to buy the grinder/polisher off the net.
  • You did good.

    From what I've read on the subject, it is recommended to use a laminate covered material so that the concrete will easily separate from the base of the form. Is that what you used?

    Also, did you find that adding coloring to the mix made the project more difficult?

    It appears to be about 2" thick. Did you use any reinforcing material?

    Again... good job.

    Spring "Right Side Up" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    That is really nice, I am impressed. They did some cement counter tops on "This Old House" a month or so ago and it seemed like it would be perfect for an egg table. Looks like it is.
  • Thanks! Yup, Cheng's book was my bible on this one, best one out there on the subject.

    I could not find a rental on the polisher/grinder. I didn't want to spend $350 or more also. I found a single speed unit at discount from http://specialtydiamond.trustpass.alibaba.com/ for $120 and he through in the diamond pads.

    Additional tips: vibrate, vibrate, vibrate...lol. Take an old palm sander, stick in a ziploc bag and submerge into the concrete. Use a recip saw, without blade, and vibrate the form. Rent a mixer. Have a friend or two over for help. Let your silicone (use new) set for 2 or 3 days. Silicone emits gases when drying and can form microbubbles at the edges. Use car wax to seal rather than beeswax, it's outdoors, who cares.

    Copy away. I used two pieces of quarter round back to back to make those channels.

    Take care,
    CC
  • Hi,

    Yes, you use 4'x8'x3/4" sheets of melomine from your hardware store. The concrete easily separates from this stuff. You just have to be careful when assembling with drywall screws, avoiding having screws come to close to the surface and cracking the melomine. Cracks can lead to water infiltration and this causes blemishes in the final finish. The cool thing about concrete is that these can all be grinded out if that's the look you are going for. You can actually sand the top right out of the form and wax it if you want, I went with grinding and polishing to reveal aggragate.

    Coloring wasn't that big of deal, it's just making sure you have the ratio right so that you don't create a weak top prone to cracking. Mix the color with your water ahead of time and add to into mixer with concrete (Quikrete Countertop Mix).

    Yes, I did had rebar and remesh, I don't have a picture of that though. I didn't follow Cheng's instructions on that one. I had my reinforcement hanging in the form then poured my concrete. I would follow his instructions though: pour concrete, vibrate, then submerge reinforcement.

    I went with 2". That leaves an inch or so of concrete between surface and reinforcement. You want to avoid ghosting.

    CC
  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    Great job.Looks as if Mr. frog under what appears to be a light with a shade the is waiting for some food to come out.Again very well done.
  • Thanks, that's what I thought too. I thought of tile but too much of a chance of cracking in winter. If you put a hot plate setter on a cold tile...crack!
  • Thanks! He gets the flys for me. :laugh:
  • I just had concrete counters done for my outdoor kitchen. I didn't do them tho. My guy used broken glass in the concrete. Looks awesome. He also used a triangular trim in the form and bevelled the edges of the counter. Takes the edge off when you bend over and bump your head getting another beer from the cooler. My counter has the bubble pits as well. We're still deciding how to fill them in, maybe polyurethane.

    Your counters look awesome! Great job!!
  • I don't mean to rain on anyones parade and the counter looks very nice. ;) That said concrete counters have some inherent problems. :( Concrete has very low tensile strength meaning the top will probably eventually crack apart, probably sooner then later. Some reinforcing bars cast in the concrete would help but won't take on the tension until after it cracks. My advice would be:

    Use a latex modified concrete mix with poly-fiber reinforcement. Place the concrete into the forms with as little water as possible, almost appearing dry. Vibrate well and cure the concrete in water for 5 days. Support the concrete counter well underneath so it does not go into tension. It will still probably crack but you did everything possible. :angry:
  • Try using unsanded grout in a color to match or accent your top. Unsanded grout is like toothpaste and should fill nicely. I didn't go down the path of poly on my top, I was trying to avoid any burn marks from putting hot items on the top. I went with carnuba wax.
  • Nice looking table. How many levels of polishing did you go to? B)
  • Six I believe. I think everything up to 600 was classified as grinding and above that was polishing.
  • Very nice, looks good.
  • You are THE MAN!
  • i am impressed .. i have the chang bood and dvd as as well as the started pack of color.
    i had trouble finding exactly what grinder you bought from the link.. could you be more specific so i can find it..
    also where did you buy the counter top concrete?
    thanks
    bill
  • Real nice project. Looks great.
  • Fascinating project, CC, thanks for sharing.

    Really audacious for a first effort, too--I think I'd be shooting to make concrete drink coasters or something. ;)

    I defer to the Civil Eggineer regarding concrete limitations, as they are the experts, but my understanding is that it's a remarkable substance. After all, there are college competitions in concrete canoe-making, so it will be interesting to see how yours holds up.
  • golffergolffer Posts: 144
    What a job! Been in the concrete repair business for 25 years (never done countertops) and that looks fantastic. Gonna have to order that book. Also, my wife is a frog fan (gottem all over the house). Did you order or buy locally?
  • Concrete canoes are often less then a 1/4" thick but are made with highly specialized concrete, modifiers, plasticizers, and special aggregates. They are more chemical then concrete. You can also stick your leg right through them if you are not carefull getting in and out.

    The counter tops may hold up better then I predict and I hope they do. Just wanted to pass a long a little advice to try and minimize any future failures. Water is essentially the #1 enemy to strong concrete. Some is needed for the chemical reaction with the cement but to much will cause weakness, increased shrinkage cracks, and surface defects.
  • DrZaiusDrZaius Posts: 1,481
    BuffaloChip wrote:
    I just bought Fu-Tung Cheng's book about a month ago to make the top for my BGE table. I'm assuming you used his book based on the technique.

    Got the point about vibrating enough. Any other pointers would be appreciated. What tool did you use for grinding and polishing? Rental?

    Hope you don't mind but I'd like to copy your idea for the bottom to sit the egg on. ...and the outlet idea. I was thinking of some sort of hole to allow temp probes etc. like some computer desks.

    Great looking top!!!

    --Dave

    Do some web research and get creative, the techniques that Cheng use are very basic. He is a great source for the how-to information. He is not a great source for equipment and supplies, he is roughly 7 times more expensive. Plus once you research you will find that the other countertop techniques out there make his seem very basic. Colorado's top look great though and I hope mine turn out well.
    This is the greatest signature EVAR!
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.