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Table surfaces (Wood, granite, concrete etc.) need input for new build

I am in the process of building my 4th table at the moment.  My first table was for my large egg, second was helping a friend for a medium egg, and my third was home to my large and minimax eggs.

Fewer mistakes with each one lol, and while this one might be a little over engineered to support the weight of two large Kamado's I haven't been able to make up my mind on the table top.

The first two had cedar planks which as they aged twisted and warped a little bit and naturally got pretty dirty.  The third table I laminated cedar 2x4's together to make a solid board which was nice at first but over time has started to separate at some of the seams and is also very dirty.

So as I near the end of construction on this new table I need to make a decision between:
  1. Live edge black walnut (wood).  pro - less seems, beautiful, seal the heck out of it.  Con - expensive AF, charcoal will make it dirty
  2. cheap and cheerful, laminate boards (wood) again but dress them properly with a jointer and thickness planner.  Con - might separate again, dirty 
  3. Granite.  Pro - beautiful, easy to clean.  Con - expensive, I am worried it might crack in the dead of winter being cold when I put something hot on it.
  4. Concrete - Cheaper than granite, can take the heat but still might crack around narrow spots at the front/rear of holes.  Never done it before so there's that as well.

Anyone with experience using granite or concrete would love to hear from you if these fears are misplaced or real things to be concerned with.  thanks 

Two Kamado Joe Classic III & a Kamado Joe Jr.  Large BGE, Mini BGE 
Instagram: @smokingdadbbq  
YouTube - Click here 

Comments

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,397
     I'm going with 3cm granite for my table build. It's pricey, but YOLO 😀 

    I would have tried a concrete top if I had close to any idea how to make one. Didn't consider a wood top because I want to be able to set hot things on it. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • I'm no pro but I'd worry about the granite outside. I recently went granite in the kitchen and was warned about how pourus it is. I have no clue how big a deal it is but after being warned about it indoors I wonder how bad it would be outside. 

    I'll be building a table for my medium soon and plan on a concrete top. Very low maintenance and seem pretty easy to build (I hope). There a couple good threads with step by step pics here on the forum for reference you could check out. 
  • Kent8621Kent8621 Posts: 808
    i did a concrete top and i am very happy with it.  i have had it for 3 years-ish and it shows no signs of wear and tear.  it was fairly easy to do honestly, if you want tips or help i can send you some stuff of what i did and lessons learned.  i know alot of folks do the granite outdoor but if i do it again (if the wife approves the new layout at the new house) i will be doing concrete again no question.  

    2 Large Eggs - Raleigh, NC

    Boiler Up!!

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,397
    @BugFreak72 @Kent8621could you post links to past concrete top builds you found? It would make this thread a handy reference.

    I didn't know that granite was that porous. Our kitchen granite hasn't been sealed or treated in any way for 10+ years and still looks the same as the day we moved in. Its also used to face buildings, walkways, etc. and seems to hold up well. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,531
    caliking said:
    @BugFreak72 @Kent8621could you post links to past concrete top builds you found? It would make this thread a handy reference.

    I didn't know that granite was that porous. Our kitchen granite hasn't been sealed or treated in any way for 10+ years and still looks the same as the day we moved in. Its also used to face buildings, walkways, etc. and seems to hold up well. 
    some granite is more porous than others,  i know my granite shower will stay wetter on the lower tiles longer and even with just a sponge for cleaning im seeing some wear on the bottom rows.
  • I made one with beautiful Jade Green granite.  It did require sealing about every 6 weeks, or would grease stain.  It also got a lot darker (almost black) from exposure to hot sun, as customer didn’t have a covered awning or roof.

    KANSAS+++Land of OZ

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Weber 26" kettle

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,448
    edited October 2019
    So many stones are sold as a granite that are not actually true granite.  Do your research.  True granite is not an issue outside. Most issue with any kind of breakage is either structure or install related. 

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,448
    edited October 2019
    caliking said:
    @BugFreak72 @Kent8621could you post links to past concrete top builds you found? It would make this thread a handy reference.

    I didn't know that granite was that porous. Our kitchen granite hasn't been sealed or treated in any way for 10+ years and still looks the same as the day we moved in. Its also used to face buildings, walkways, etc. and seems to hold up well. 
    some granite is more porous than others,  i know my granite shower will stay wetter on the lower tiles longer and even with just a sponge for cleaning im seeing some wear on the bottom rows.
    Fish it sounds like you might have a water barrier issue that might be letting water get behind the tiles and accumulating at floor level.  Could be a grout issue.  If you have access to the area/crawl space below you shower I would definitely check it for moisture.  

    Your comment about the sponge makes me think the tile is retaining moisture and slightly drying on the surface and doesn’t take much water to make it go dark again. Water retention will cause spalling on stones.   I’ve seen this before.  

    Sorry for the derail OP 

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 32,344
    If I did it again I would make a concrete top.  Takes some work but cost is mostly your labor.  It will last forever.  will it crack?  definitely, but you should have enough rebar and mesh in it where it just adds character.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 6,632
    Stainless steel is worth a look. Better in every way than the four materials you mentioned.
    @Tspud1 could likely make up something custom for a very fair price.


    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • HeavyG said:
    Stainless steel is worth a look. Better in every way than the four materials you mentioned.
    @Tspud1 could likely make up something custom for a very fair price.


    A friend has that and the glare and heat I don’t like as I am in a high sun spot 
    Two Kamado Joe Classic III & a Kamado Joe Jr.  Large BGE, Mini BGE 
    Instagram: @smokingdadbbq  
    YouTube - Click here 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,397
    HeavyG said:
    Stainless steel is worth a look. Better in every way than the four materials you mentioned.
    @Tspud1 could likely make up something custom for a very fair price.


    A friend has that and the glare and heat I don’t like as I am in a high sun spot 
    Ditto here in Houston. SS gets friggin’ hot in the sun here. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 6,632
    HeavyG said:
    Stainless steel is worth a look. Better in every way than the four materials you mentioned.
    @Tspud1 could likely make up something custom for a very fair price.


    A friend has that and the glare and heat I don’t like as I am in a high sun spot 
    That is true, on a bright sunny day they can blind your eyes and burn a bare arm mistakenly rested upon the surface. That's what a patio umbrella is for tho. Especially one where the table has the pole stand built in.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,531
    caliking said:
    @BugFreak72 @Kent8621could you post links to past concrete top builds you found? It would make this thread a handy reference.

    I didn't know that granite was that porous. Our kitchen granite hasn't been sealed or treated in any way for 10+ years and still looks the same as the day we moved in. Its also used to face buildings, walkways, etc. and seems to hold up well. 
    some granite is more porous than others,  i know my granite shower will stay wetter on the lower tiles longer and even with just a sponge for cleaning im seeing some wear on the bottom rows.
    Fish it sounds like you might have a water barrier issue that might be letting water get behind the tiles and accumulating at floor level.  Could be a grout issue.  If you have access to the area/crawl space below you shower I would definitely check it for moisture.  

    Your comment about the sponge makes me think the tile is retaining moisture and slightly drying on the surface and doesn’t take much water to make it go dark again. Water retention will cause spalling on stones.   I’ve seen this before.  

    Sorry for the derail OP 
    that seems to be whats happening and im not sure why. it is in the pan area thats heavy plastic, i put an aluminum drip barrier in top under the cement board and up behind it and over/ under the plastic pan and mudded it in good, then mudded the floor to drain better. floors fine but the 4 inch up the pan stays wet.  i dont see any grout problems

    httpsfinpancomwp-contentuploads201603finpan-preformed-5jpg

  • what is your backer board material?
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,448
    edited October 2019
    caliking said:
    @BugFreak72 @Kent8621could you post links to past concrete top builds you found? It would make this thread a handy reference.

    I didn't know that granite was that porous. Our kitchen granite hasn't been sealed or treated in any way for 10+ years and still looks the same as the day we moved in. Its also used to face buildings, walkways, etc. and seems to hold up well. 
    some granite is more porous than others,  i know my granite shower will stay wetter on the lower tiles longer and even with just a sponge for cleaning im seeing some wear on the bottom rows.
    Fish it sounds like you might have a water barrier issue that might be letting water get behind the tiles and accumulating at floor level.  Could be a grout issue.  If you have access to the area/crawl space below you shower I would definitely check it for moisture.  

    Your comment about the sponge makes me think the tile is retaining moisture and slightly drying on the surface and doesn’t take much water to make it go dark again. Water retention will cause spalling on stones.   I’ve seen this before.  

    Sorry for the derail OP 
    that seems to be whats happening and im not sure why. it is in the pan area thats heavy plastic, i put an aluminum drip barrier in top under the cement board and up behind it and over/ under the plastic pan and mudded it in good, then mudded the floor to drain better. floors fine but the 4 inch up the pan stays wet.  i dont see any grout problems

    httpsfinpancomwp-contentuploads201603finpan-preformed-5jpg

    Sometimes all it takes it a good quality grout sealer.  That’s where I’d start.    Did you install the floor tile first and then the walls?

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,531
    caliking said:
    @BugFreak72 @Kent8621could you post links to past concrete top builds you found? It would make this thread a handy reference.

    I didn't know that granite was that porous. Our kitchen granite hasn't been sealed or treated in any way for 10+ years and still looks the same as the day we moved in. Its also used to face buildings, walkways, etc. and seems to hold up well. 
    some granite is more porous than others,  i know my granite shower will stay wetter on the lower tiles longer and even with just a sponge for cleaning im seeing some wear on the bottom rows.
    Fish it sounds like you might have a water barrier issue that might be letting water get behind the tiles and accumulating at floor level.  Could be a grout issue.  If you have access to the area/crawl space below you shower I would definitely check it for moisture.  

    Your comment about the sponge makes me think the tile is retaining moisture and slightly drying on the surface and doesn’t take much water to make it go dark again. Water retention will cause spalling on stones.   I’ve seen this before.  

    Sorry for the derail OP 
    that seems to be whats happening and im not sure why. it is in the pan area thats heavy plastic, i put an aluminum drip barrier in top under the cement board and up behind it and over/ under the plastic pan and mudded it in good, then mudded the floor to drain better. floors fine but the 4 inch up the pan stays wet.  i dont see any grout problems

    httpsfinpancomwp-contentuploads201603finpan-preformed-5jpg

    Sometimes all it takes it a good quality grout sealer.  That’s where I’d start.    Did you install the floor tile first and then the walls?
    floor then ceiling, then walls starting from top to bottom on cement board with a coating of pink moisture bocker, and the drip edge between the cement and bed with silicone then mud. sealer once a year. i see permanent sealers now online, maybe next time i seal?
  • Kent8621Kent8621 Posts: 808
    here you go @caliking sorry for the delay i missed your question.  let me know if you need any tips or help, i am happy to give you my lessons learned.

    Here is the set up, i did it upside down.  on the melanine top then flipped it over.  it saved me from proving my trowel and float skills.


    Finished product


    2 Large Eggs - Raleigh, NC

    Boiler Up!!

  • Tspud1Tspud1 Posts: 1,200
    HeavyG said:
    Stainless steel is worth a look. Better in every way than the four materials you mentioned.
    @Tspud1 could likely make up something custom for a very fair price.


    Let me know if I can be of assistance
  • I have two carts and one cooking island with a two burner propane stove that I built. One cart and the island have matching granite. The other cart I did with concrete. What I have learned is that if it is designed to move as my carts were, and they are going to move on not perfectly flat surface. They will crack. My island on the other hand, that wont move is fine.
    I live in Fla. so cold don't happen. My Granite has been through hurricanes, torrential rain and devils ulcers hot. It takes my environment very well.Fortunately for me, my granite was free. Because my carts have only a small amount of material from edge to egg, it is the weak point. When I build another top for either cart, I will build it concrete and reinforce the narrow parts of the cutout. I used the Rapid Set structural mortar that is sold at HD. Mixed by the book, its supposed to be 6500 psi strength. I believe that the slight unevenness and the torsional change when moving the cart causes the crack.

    Having said all that, they both still cook great and work fine!
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