A New Approach to Concrete
A glass-fiber-reinforced concrete mix creates an elegant, lightweight counter and sink.
In recent years, concrete has become a popular substance for countertops and sinks. Despite its popularity, the fact remains that concrete is heavy. Taking a cue from the world of commercial concrete, craftsman Buddy Rhodes started making a lighter concrete countertop by reinforcing the concrete with glass fibers. In this “Master Carpenter” article, he explains how he does it. First, he molds the sink. The mold, made of plywood tightly wrapped with polyester cloth and coated with fiberglass and polyester resins, represents the inside, rather than the outside, of the sink. After he makes the sink mold, Rhodes makes the counter form, making sure to leave spaces for the faucet and drain, and attaches the sink mold. He uses lots of wax to ensure that the mold releases from the finished sink. Rhodes sprays on the counter’s finished surface with a large spray gun, also known as a popcorn gun. Then, he mixes concrete, fiber, and mesh, and loads it onto the sink mold. After curing overnight, the sink and counter are ready to be popped out of the mold. This article includes sidebars on forming an overflow drain, coaxing a stubborn sink out of a mold, and making a special beading tool.
Also watch the companion video series: