Kitchen and bathroom remodels can very quickly become time-consuming, expensive, and just all-out frustrating, so we love finding ways to save time, money, or sanity while we’re remodeling (although, let’s be honest — choose 2 out of 3, because it’s near impossible to keep them ALL while you’re tearing your house apart!).
The very talented Jamie and Morgan (remember them from here, here and here?) are back today to share how they turned their dated master bathroom into this beauty — plus they’re going to teach you how to make your own DIY concrete countertops!
Read below for Jamie and Morgan’s bathroom renovation details, and if you’re looking for a different look but still want to save some cash by DIYing your countertops, try one of these:
and don’t miss reading how other DIYers rate their countertop experiences and durability!
Give Morgan and Jamie a biiiig welcome back!
Master Bathroom Renovation with DIY Concrete Countertops
by Jamie and Morgan of Construction2Style
Thank you Justin and Cassity for once again welcoming us into your space online. We are so excited to be showing our full before and after master bathroom renovation, featuring our tutorial on how to make your own concrete countertops.
If you missed it, we had the pleasure of sharing our kitchen remodel in this same home and chatting about how you can build a kitchen range hood for under $40, including detailed design plans.
We purchased our second home to update to sell and make a profit on a couple years ago. Over the last two years, slowly but surely, we have been able to fix everything we need to, to get it back on the market this spring and we’ll be onto our next renovation property!
The master bathroom in this home was one of my favorite rooms that we renovated in the home. This home was built in the 70’s and as you can tell, was in need of some updates.
We started by gutted the entire bathroom. Removing the wallpaper, replacing flooring, expanding the shower, new fixtures, paint, cabinetry, countertops, you name it! We weren’t entirely sure what style we wanted to go with in this room.
One of the many things we have always wanted to try DIY has been concrete countertops. At first we were even contemplating making them for our kitchen. But then we decided, being we had never made them before, we better start out with a smaller project, so we opted for our master bathroom vanity countertop.
I had been hearing the rave on these for awhile and when I ran it past Jamie, he said he had been actually wanting to try make one. So as soon as he said he was up for the challenge, I knew it was going to be a fun project to work on together. We did some research on how to make these but in the end Jamie decided he was going to go with his own technique. So here it is!
We knew we had to start by making a base form for the concrete to be poured into. We wanted the countertop pretty thick so we went with 2″ thickness. We used melamine lumber, which already has a smooth finish and is typically used for building cabinets, for our concrete mold. We had read that plywood works too but you then have to finish the plywood with a finish to ensure no bubbles or different marks appear within your concrete. So we went with the melamine to avoid one step. For added strength it’s a good idea to use some sort of steel mesh. Cut the mesh just shy of the outsides of the mold.
We used quikrete concrete for the mix. Depending on the size of countertops you are making will depend on how much concrete you will need. The bags will have a coverage rate printed on them. For ours we used about three 80 pound bags.
TIP: USE MELAMINE LUMBER FOR THE MOLD
We added PVC piping into the mold for where the pipes would be for the bathroom sink and faucets. It is important to make sure the size is correct for the drain and the faucet. We then caulked the inside of the mold with silicone caulking. This step isn’t necessary but we wanted a rounded edge rather than a sharp edge.
Once the mold was all set and ready, we mixed the concrete and water into a large bucket using a shovel.
In our mix we also added charcoal colored dye to tint the color of our countertops . Add water for the consistency that you want and then pour the concrete into the mold.
TIP: USE PVC PIPING IF HOLES ARE NEEDED SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO DRILL OUT LATER
The mesh should be placed in the middle of the concrete. So, we started by shoveling half of the concrete into the mold before we put the mesh overlay in.
Make sure you have your mold on a level surface when pouring the concrete into the mold. Once half of the concrete has been poured into the mold, we sprinkled pebbles within the concrete along the edges to add some texture. Whether you want to use colored glass, crushed and colored stone, or other materials, it is the perfect way to add some fun to your concrete countertops so they’re not too plain.
We then set the steel mesh into the mold. Once the mesh is set in add the rest of the concrete mix.
Using a piece of wood, we scraped any excess concrete off, to ensure it was perfectly firm and level.
We sprinkled additional pebbles on top of the concrete and pushed them down into the concrete, while keeping some on the top throughout.
When the mold was filled we use a palm sander (you can use anything that will vibrate) to vibrate any air pockets out of the mix. This also works the mix into all the tight areas of the mold.
TIP: A PALM SANDER WORKS GREAT TO GET THE AIR BUBBLES OUT
And then it was the waiting game. We let the countertops dry for a little over a week before we took it out of the mold.
To remove the mold unscrew the edge melamine boards and carefully separate from the top.
We let the concrete again sit out of the mold for a few days, to ensure no shifting or cracking and that they were 100% solid and dry.
For our top we wanted the aggregate in the concrete to show, therefore we left a lot of the pebbles on the top to show. To get this look we used a 4″ angle grinder with a diamond wheel to grind off the top layer of cement once dry. For this step make sure to do it outside and wear a mask because it’s very dusty. Once it was at the point we wanted it, we picked up some sealer from our local hardware store.
Concrete is very porous so it need some kind of sealer on it to keep it clean. We used a bar top sealer. It’s most commonly used on wood but we thought we would give it a try on concrete. And it worked great! For the best finish wait 30 days for the countertop to fully cure. This will ensure no moisture is left in the top which can cause the sealer to fail.
We were both so happy on how it turned out! It was even better than we had thought it was going to be! haha!! And have since been hired to make a handful for our clients from bar tops, to bathrooms for vanities. I think for our next house, we are ready to conquer a bigger concrete project!
In the end we decided on a simple, clean and modern bathroom design. Using a neutral color scheme, asymmetrical balance, and clean lined design.
And here it is in our finished remodeled bathroom including details of where we bought our finishing selections.
Custom Vanity Built by construction2style
Vessel Sinks | Build
Faucets | Build
Mirrors | Walmart (spray painted silver)
Frames | Home Goods
I Love Us Signage | Paper Source
Towels | Pottery Barn
Herringbone Wood-Looking Tile Flooring | Home Depot
Shower Tile | The Tile Shop
Jamie and Morgan, thank you SO much for visiting again and sharing with us!
Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.