** UPDATE: We have had lots of readers asking where to find ARDEX products. The first place you should check is the ARDEX Preferred Partners Site. You will be able to search for distributors and contractors in your area. If you can't find one near you, you can contact our local distributor. We have talked with them and they are willing to ship ARDEX. **
Professional Flooring Supply
3751 South 73rd East Avenue
Tulsa OK 74145
3751 South 73rd East Avenue
Tulsa OK 74145
Happy Friday Friends! I hope you have exciting plans for this weekend, maybe you're even hoping to get a project in! If you're looking for a way to spruce up your house, Tim and I have a great suggestion for you today!
It's no secret that Tim and I are concrete lovers. Sidenote- Our next DIY Concrete Class in coming up on August 11th. You can find more information here if you're interested. Anyway, Tim and I have been using concrete products for a long time. Many of those products have come from a company called ARDEX, which just recently became a blog sponsor of ours! Yay!
ARDEX has a number of products, most of which are centered around concrete flooring and refinishing. However, if you like to think out of the box and be a little more creative, there is so much more you can do with AREDEX's amazing products! We figured if the ARDEX overlays were meant to withstand the wear and tear that floors receive, it could certainly hold up for a countertop installation. And when we were creating a plan for Heather's bar area, it seemed like the perfect place to use ARDEX's Feather Finish product.
As you can see in the photos below, there were 2 countertops in Heather's bar area: wood, laminate, and a wood/marble combo.
Here's the great thing about ARDEX- you can apply it over the top of almost any surface. You just have to make sure to prepare the surface correctly. Any smooth finish will need to be roughed up to provide a surface that the ARDEX can grip onto. You also want to make sure the surface you are covering is structurally sound. If there are cracks in the surface, this indicates that movement is occurring and your concrete may crack if the problem is not addressed before hand.
For this particular project, we sanded the wood and marble surfaces and opted to remove the laminate layer from the main countertop. When we removed the laminate, particleboard was revealed underneath. Because of its rough texture the particleboard provided a great surface for us to overlay onto. Tim lightly sanded to remove any remaining adhesive.
Here are the materials you will need:
- ARDEX Feather Finish
- a bucket for mixing
- A drill attachment mixer (or you can mix by hand with a small trowel
- a drywall "knife"
- a drywall mud tray (if desired, not essential)
- a trowel (not pictured below)
First, mix up the concrete by simply adding water to the Feather Finish product. Add water and continue to stir until you get to a thin pancake batter consistency. Next you will want to allow the mixture to "flash set." That means once it is mixed, allow the product to sit for 5 minutes, then stir again for a minute or two. This helps the product to stay workable for longer.
Now you can apply the concrete to your roughed up countertop. Simply trowel it on in sweeping strokes. You will do a couple of coats, so don't try to put too much on in the first coat.
Use a drywall knife when you are up against a wall, in a corner, or doing edges. It is easier to control in these areas than the trowel.
It is better to put too much on the edge at this point. The feather finish sands really well and the added thickness will allow you to refine your edge shape by sanding.
After each coat, you will want to lightly sanding the surface to knock down any rough spots that could mess up your finish on the next coat. The surface should be smooth to the touch after each sanding.
I really like the artisan look of hand troweled concrete so I like to see the trowel marks in the surface. However, if you prefer a smooth surface, you can achieve that look with more sanding.
You may find that some product makes it's way up onto the wall surrounding your surface as the photo below shows.
To remove this simply wrap a small putty knife in a towel (to give you a strong edge) and wipe along the surface to give you that nice clean edge!
Once you are happy with the coverage of the product (usually 3 coats) and have completed your last sanding you'll have countertops that look something like this. . .
If you would like to stain the countertops, you can do 2 coats of the Feather Finish product and then 2 coats of ARDEX's SD-M product. The Feather Finish will not accept stain evenly, but the SD-M will.
Now it's time for sealing. The process is super simple. You simply wipe the product on with a sponge, allow to dry, and repeat a number of times. We used this concrete sealer (below), but where ever you buy your ARDEX should supply a product that works the same way.
And here's how the countertops will look when you're finished. . .
You can find your local ARDEX distributor right here!
Now, this process is doable, but there are some things that you just learn better with hands-on experience. To get some of the that experience and individual instruction, you can attend our next concrete class on August 11th! Click here to learn more!!
*Disclaimer- We choose to do projects that we believe will enhance homes and be lasting. However, sometimes our applications are not specifically suggested by Ardex. If you are concerned with warranty policies, please refer to the ARDEX Feather Finish technical data sheet for instructions and warranty information. ARDEX only guarantees recommended and approved applications outlined in the ARDEX Feather Finish technical data sheet. For more information, visit www.ardexamericas.com.