Counter Culture

The work has not stopped in the basement. A lot of simultaneous projects going on all at once, all coming to an end soon. One of those projects, I'm happy to announce, is our countertops.

For the laundry room and bar area we went with the same maple butcher block that we did in the kitchen. The look is clean and simple and matches what we have upstairs. For the entertainment center and craft room, however, we wanted something different. This led us to a difficult decision (even Richard had to agree).

The lengths of countertops needed were rather long so we needed something custom. Special order from a countertop company would take time, and a lot of money. More importantly we would have to  remove sections of walls to navigate the long slabs down the stairs and into place. Thinking caps went on and we poured ourselves a glass of creativity. After some thorough investigation we found a cement countertop system where the concrete can be poured in place. Now, normally cement countertops are poured in a mold (upside down) then flipped over when dry. The aggregate then is settled to the top and the surface is perfectly flat and smooth. Pouring the concrete in place, on the other hand, usually doesn't fare that well and the results are less than stellar. Z Counterforms have developed a very unique system that allows the mold to be built in place with some pretty awesome (if we may say so ourselves) results.

We went with the thinner "Euro" form with a 1-1/4" edge and a special white countertop mix. The system works by installing plastic edges to backboard around the area you want your countertop. Fiberglass lathing is then laid to float in the area and the cement is poured. After a lot of screeding, troweling and stressing about the final results you're done! 24 hours later the plastic edge can be removed (genius really, by bending it down to snap it off) and you are left with custom solid slab countertops in enormous pieces without seams. The final result after sanding is a bright, smooth and organic countertop that resembles caesarstone. In other words, we love it!

Now that the counters are done we can put the finishing touches on the basement. For the entertainment center, we only need mount the screen. For the craft room....well we have to have some surprises for you still (just wait and see!).

Till then, stay tuned.

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