Well friends here we are …Week 2! I’m convinced that no 6 weeks goes faster than during the One Room Challenge – it’s like I blink and another week is gone! Last week we shared our crazy and exciting plans to renovate our kitchen as guest participants in the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda of Calling It Home. I appreciate all the LOVE and feedback from you guys (I have the BEST readers). A lot has happened since those before pictures so let’s chat about what’s changed!
Here’s a reminder of the ‘before’ Kitchen.
While it’s current state is definitely not glamorous, there is something so exciting about the mess! It means change is-a-comin’.
Sorry for the grainy iPhone pic but I don’t where my camera is right now in this hot mess!
I’m calling this week the Concrete Jungle because thats literally what it feels like – concrete everywhere from smooth surfaces to spilled over cabinets and everywhere in between. But MAJOR kudos to Mr. Wright for all his hard work this week. Here’s what
we he’s been up to!
Our first task was to deal with our island situation. You can see in the picture above our island had a countertop overhang (which was so dumb) and the whole thing sat awkwardly close to our refrigerator. Also, I wasn’t feeling the wainscoting. So we ripped off the sides of the islands and removed the counter top and moved the whole thing about 6 inches.
Can we say EW to that floor?! But lucky for us the builders placed the island on top of the finished floor otherwise this would have been an issue since we aren’t replacing the floors. No worries – the floor will be updated – just not re-tiled….yet! But what a difference that small change made already! The new island pieces (1/4 inch smooth plywood) were cut using the old ones as a guide and installed.
And what is that on top of the island you may ask? That, my friends, is durarock cement board and is the foundation to our new concrete countertops! There is some fancy property about it that helps with water absorption when laying the concrete but that’s about all I know. It’s the gold standard as an underlayment for cast in place concrete so that’s what we got on one of our hundred trips to Home Depot this week.
So now with the island moved, new island siding in place, and the cement board installed it was time to bust open the boxes from Concrete Countertop Solutions! The way this type of countertop works involves removing the old countertop, laying cement board, adding the square edge forms, laying a fiberglass mesh with z clips, and mixing and pouring the white concrete into the mesh and then many many many other steps after that. But we’re on the ‘mixing and pouring’ step still.
For our countertop (50 sq ft) there were about 25 (8ft or so) long back countertop forms. Each piece needs to be cut to the dimensions of your space using a miter saw – much like cutting corners for crown molding. Luckily Mr. Wright is really good at this very detailed task! Once the forms were cut, he screwed them into the cement board around the perimeter of the island.
Then he added duct tape around each corner for added reinforcement and to prevent concrete seepage.
Next was to add the fiberglass mesh and the z-clips. Safety first – wear gloves!!
Once the mesh is installed it was time to mix and pour the concrete! Once we are done with the counters we promise to do a detailed step-by-step DIY but for now I’m just going over bullet points! Concrete Countertop Solutions has a super helpful youtube video that we watched many times to better understand the process!
It’s super messy and dusty so be prepared! There’s a whole lot of information about the water/countertop mix and the consistency of the cement but that’s for another post!
Using a super high powered drill with a mixing paddle blade – the mixture was made! Our island took a little over 4 bags of the cement mix just as a frame of reference. Once the island was poured we continued around the kitchen after removing the old countertops and cabinet doors and drawers.
Batch by batch the concrete is mixed and poured and mixed and poured filling out the mesh and the forms. The cement has a long drying time to allow you to continually mix the batches and smooth without worrying about it drying too fast – so that’s a huge relief!
It’s a VERY messy process friends. But hey- what kitchen renovations are pretty along the way?
Once it’s poured there a several tools used to smooth and level the concrete to ensure is dries as flat and smooth as possible. Once the concrete is dry (24 hours) the edge of the forms literally snap off revealing the smoothest surface – it’s so cool both literally and figuratively!
Now this is far from finished! There is a lotttttt of sanding that needs to be done and then sealing and all that fun stuff but that’s all for week 3! But I’m SO excited about how things are looking.
Not having a stove or dishwasher is proving to be challenging though ….
Until next week friends! Oh, and don’t forget to follow along with all the other amazing guest participants here! So much talent!
Thanks again to our One Room Challenge Sponsors!