Kitchen is starting to come together. We have a fairly large kitchen island that we decided to pour a concrete top for. It’s been a few years since we’ve gotten to do one, so it was exciting to go through the process.  Of course, I say this before having to lift it off the floor into place.

Like most people that have done a diy concrete countertop, I just  bought Fu Tu Chengs Concrete Countertops and followed the instructions. This was pretty easy as there were no sink cut outs or anything fancy.

I just love the texture and tone of finished concrete. It’s such a great material as it take the form of whatever you use to make your mold out of. We used melamine board, which is perfectly smooth, so hopefully when we flip it the top will be completely smooth to the touch.

The only thing I’ve really come up on my own is how to vibrate the concrete to get out any air pockets and voids. They sell mini portable concrete vibrating snakes, but their really expensive. So, I just use a palm sander with no sanding pad and put a plastic bag over the concrete so it doesn’t get on the sander.

I’d like to think I’ve made a lot of progress in terms of thinking about passive solar design on this house. Besides the window orientation, great insulation and large roof overhangs, we have gone with a concrete floor on the first floor as a way to capture that solar gain in the winter time, such that it can be released at night.  In the kitchen, we have a large south facing window, but the combination of the height of the window and the cabinets in the kitchen will probably prevent a lot of the sun from striking the floor.

Now, I’m not just saying this as I actually believe the concrete countertop is large enough and properly placed to actually capture heat from the sun and radiate heat.