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Question DetailsAsked on 8/14/2013

can one put an overlay of manufactured glass on a concrete countertop?

we installed concrete counters in a remodel. they are beautiful but it is a nightmare to maintain their appearance.

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My first impression is that they were not properly sealed - they do dirty easier than true stone, but should not be more work than say ceeramic tile grout.

Generally, putting one hard surface over another is not done, for two main reasons.

One, the weight - a normall hard surface weighs about 25#/SF, which with the cabinets is about the floor loading capacity, so adding weight of another layer would cause bowing and sagging of the floor, and might also cause cabinet breakage as they are not designed for 50 psf top load.

A second factor is a little harder to explain. The countertop is laid on the cabinets with wood shims to level the bearing surface, and good contractors also put in a load distribution pad of rubber or foam so if the floor or cabinets settle a bit, this pad crushes down thinner rather than creating a point load that can crack the countertop. Placing another layer on top means it would have a hard surface under the top layer, and any settlement would result in a hard point underneath it that would promote cracking - like breaking a stick over your knee.

Two other problems you would have is you would require a specially high front lip to cover the front of the lower layer and this would stick out an extra inch or two beyond the esxisting, which would look funny. Also, any water that made it in between the two layers would cause mold and odor.

Just not a good practice to do this.

Suggestion - if you do replace the concrete, consider having them build a wood frame or cheap cabinets (even recycled ones from another job) and install the pieces of concrete countertop in a hobby room as a sewing or craft table, in the garage or greenhouse as a workbench, or even on brick or steel or treated wood frame along the outside of the back wall, along the edge of the patio, or in the garden as a work bench, seating bench, or barbecue table - that way at least you recover some of its value and retain some resale value from its cost.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD




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