Bathroom Vanity & Countertop

Posted by | May 14, 2015 | Building with Wood, Concrete projects | No Comments

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Here’s the installed vanity and the counter top I made for it. I made two backsplashes too, which aren’t in this picture. I used metal brackets (that I made in a welding class) to secure the vanity to the wall. I measured how high I wanted the vanity, allowed for an additional 1.5 inches of countertop, and then cut out the sheetrock on the studs to just fit the brackets. I then screwed the brackets (I had drilled holes into them) into the studs with two big ass lag screws each. As it happens, the partial back of the vanity completely covers this up, so I didn’t bother to patch it or anything. I used a “countertop” mix I found at Lowes, which is the first time I’ve strayed away from the Quickcrete 4000. It’s four times as expensive, has smaller rocks, and seemed less heavy than the 4000. The base color is also lighter – more white than grey. It seems more vulnerable to hairline cracks, which I’ve never had a problem with before, but maybe it cured too quickly. At any rate, I didn’t want to spend much time finishing it, and I don’t think this mix is meant to be ground down much, if at all. Probably you could even hand finish it with wet/dry sandpaper. I used a wet grinder on it, though, and the edges are a bit rough, and some grinder marks remain on the surface. I rather like it that way, though, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time trying to get it perfect.

 

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Poured forms

Here’s the poured shapes. The cat shape was for extra concrete, and is now used as a doorstop. You can also see bolts sticking out, which would have worked great for clipping the sink in, had I accounted for the lip of the sink better. I only could use them on one side in the end, and had to saw two of them off. Otherwise they would have made installation of the sink dead simple, and super secure.

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Empty mold with knockouts for sink, faucet and leaf shapes for backsplash.

Here are the empty forms, which are nearly ready to pour. You can see they are pretty sloppy – the silicone is messy in places. I don’t think I even masked to caulk these, which I sometimes do. Most of the forms are held together with brads, with a few screws just to be safe. I also didn’t use any sort of reinforcements to the sides of the forms, which Cheng recommends. (I generally use his methods, though, and his products.) You can also see small pieces of carbon fiber that I used instead of wire mesh or rebar. I wanted to try it, as the rebar and mesh really adds a lot of weight – and I managed to score some on Craigslist. In general it’s hard to find, though. The big piece I used isn’t seen in this picture.

I should have sprayed oil on the foam leaves, they were a pain in the ass to get out of the concrete. I used spray adhesive to stick them down, which also was a mistake – I think a think layer of silicone would have worked better. I had a lot of seepage underneath, which messed with the leaf shapes in places.