DIY

How To Make A DIY Kitchen Island With A Concrete Countertop

Because every man (/woman/human) needs an island.

Posted on
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Concrete countertops are popular design options and kitchen islands are one of the most common remodeling projects. Here is an easy way to make your own itchen island with a concrete countertop. Making your own instead of buying a premade one like this can save you hundreds of dollars.

Supplies + Tools

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Quikrete Countertop Mix (in grey)

Available at Home Depot

QUIKRETE® Countertop Mix is a super high-performance mix that is worth the price. It has no large pieces of gravel or aggregate, which makes it great for small intricate pieces such as lamps and vases. It’s easy to work with and comes in different colors. Most stores don’t carry it in-stock so call ahead to your local Home Depot to have it ordered for pickup.

36" Long 1 1/4" Square Fir Balusters

Available at Home Depot

These square balusters are straight, smooth and easy to work with. I used them to make block supports for the concrete form.

3/4" Melamine Board

Available at Home Depot

Melamine board is particle board with a smooth laminate surface. It's a great product for making concrete formwork. I bought two 2' by 4' sheets and had four 2 1/2" strips cut at Home Depot.

2x4s and 1x4s

Available at Home Depot or Lumber Yard

Because the island was planned as an outdoor piece, I used cedar lumber. Cedar and Redwood weather well and are great for outdoor use but cost a bit more than other soft woods. The same design could be made using standard 2x4s and deck screws for a little less money.

3", 2 1/2" and 1 5/8" Stainless Steel Screws

Available at Home Depot

These stainless steel screws have a small head, a nice appearance and won't rust. If you're building the island for indoor use, cheaper coated screws can be used.

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This project can be made with hand tools...

RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill

Available at Home Depot

RYOBI 18 Volt Circular Saw

Available at Home Depot

...but is easier with bench top tools:

RYOBI 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser

Available at Home Depot

3. Screw On the Supports

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I screwed pieces of the fir baluster around the edges of the 2x4 melamine board. I then placed the long 2.5" melamine strips and took a field measurement for the short side pieces. I cut the short pieces and screwed in the remaining wood blocks.

4. Glue Down the Formwork

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Normally, I screw melamine strips to the wood blocks, but I didn't have screws with the right length, so I tried using a hot glue gun to glue down the melamine strips. It worked quite well and also created a waterproof seal around the outside of the form.

5. Seal + Clean the Form

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Use latex or silicone caulk to seal the form. Squeeze a bead of sealent in the corner and then smooth it out with your finger. Once the caulking is dry, wipe the form to remove dust and dirt before pouring in the concrete.

7. Mix + Pour the Concrete

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Quikrete Commercial Grade Countertop Mix is easy to work with and has no large pieces of aggregate. This mix is easier to work with, but sets up faster, so you need to work quickly. I used about 2 1/2 bags. I filled the form about two-thirds of the way full and then put the rebar in place before filling the mold the rest of the way.

9. Let the Concrete Cure

Let the concrete cure for at least 48 hours before removing the form. The manufacturer suggests covering the concrete to control moisture.

15. Screw In the Bottom Tray

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Flip the legs and top frame right side up and slide the bottom tray between the legs. Use scrap 2x4s to raise the bottom tray 3 1/2" off the ground. Use a square to make sure the legs are in the right position and then screw through the legs into the bottom tray with four 3" screws for each leg.

17. Field Measure + Cut the Top Trim Pieces

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Measure the width of the base and then cut two pieces of 1x4 that exact length. Screw them into place and measure the length for the long trim pieces.

18. Put On the Top

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The concrete top is quite heavy and doesn't slide, but I put a couple screws up through the wood and into the concrete about 3/8" anyway. You can also use a construction adhesive as well. I prefer screws because they allow the top to come off for transportation.

Good luck making your own Wood + Concrete Kitchen Island and please email, tweet or hashtag photos to @benuyeda, ben@homemade-modern.com or #homemademodern. For more DIY ideas, visit us at HomeMade Modern.