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  1. #1
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    Apr 2010
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    Butte, Montana
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    Default DIY countertop with epoxy grout only - no tiles!

    renovating kitchen & I've searched the internet for inexpensive but quality countertop ideas. found information on epoxy grout countertop - the entire countertop is the epoxy grout, no tiles - very little information except to use cement board as the base, thin the epoxy grout and use some sort of non-stick material to create forms. I've contacted a manufacturer of a sanded epoxy grout & asked them about this type usage & was told they felt like it would work but would not give any ideas on how to go about doing it.
    So here are my thoughts & questions: I'll use 1/2" plywood & 1/2" cement board - level it out - I'm using painted roof flashing metal as a backsplash & will mount that before pouring out epoxy grout - I'll use some left over FRP (fiberglass reinforced panel) strips & coat them with petroleum jelly to create the form at the front edge of the countertop and around the cut-out for the sink and seal the edge where the FRP meets the plywood/cement board with an acrylic caulk - I'll pour out the epoxy grout & use a regular trowel to level it out - after it has set for 15 minutes or so I'll come back in with a steel trowel to smooth out the top surface.
    Questions: I want a white countertop, can epoxy grout be dyed or a surface product be applied that is white? Can epoxy grout be thinned? If so with what? If the surface is not as smooth as I am hoping to get it with just the steel trowel can it be sanded? I'm thinking of going about a 1/2" thick with the epoxy grout - should I go thicker or thinner & how much longer might it take to dry? What can I do about a front edge treatment?
    So far I have spent less than $5,000 to purchase new sub-floor & flooring, cabinets, appliances, sink/faucet, paint & so on and am hoping to keep it below $6,000. At some time in the future will look into a different type of countertop if this material won't last as long as I am hoping it will.
    Any advice/ideas/help would be appreciated! Thank you so much - Kate in Butte, Montana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Boston
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    Default Re: DIY countertop with epoxy grout only - no tiles!

    if you want my honest opinion read on.....

    sounds like a nightmare to me. #1, epoxy grout is expensive, i once spent about $700 on it just to tile one shower, installing 1/2" over an entire kitchen countertop sounds like you'll spend at least a few grand on grout. #2, thinning the grout out will drastically reduce the durability of it and void any type of manufacturer warranty. #3, expoxy grout can NOT be sanded, if you try it, i'm quite confident that it will make the surface very uneven. #4, why not install a concrete countertop, you can get the same colors and different textures.

    if you do decide to try this, please take plenty of before, during and after pictures and keep a log of what you do and what happens during the process. i would love to hear how it goes, good or bad.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2010
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    Butte, Montana
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    Default Re: DIY countertop with epoxy grout only - no tiles!

    Quote Originally Posted by MLB Construction View Post
    if you want my honest opinion read on.....

    sounds like a nightmare to me. #1, epoxy grout is expensive, i once spent about $700 on it just to tile one shower, installing 1/2" over an entire kitchen countertop sounds like you'll spend at least a few grand on grout. #2, thinning the grout out will drastically reduce the durability of it and void any type of manufacturer warranty. #3, expoxy grout can NOT be sanded, if you try it, i'm quite confident that it will make the surface very uneven. #4, why not install a concrete countertop, you can get the same colors and different textures.

    if you do decide to try this, please take plenty of before, during and after pictures and keep a log of what you do and what happens during the process. i would love to hear how it goes, good or bad.
    Hi MLB Construction, thank you for such a swift response. I'm so glad I decided to seek advice - it seems like once I get an idea into my head & have done what I think is enough research it seems like I've already decided it's the best way to proceed ... most times it turns out okay - sometimes not so much. This idea wasn't one of my best ... not even close. Everything you pointed out was something I had been wondering about & really couldn't find any answers to on the net.

    As to #4, a DIY concrete countertop I really can't find easy, step by step instructions that cover neophytes like myself. How do I do the edges? Can I use self-leveling concrete? I was hoping for white countertops (my colors are in the brown/tan family, already have a brown sink & brown backsplash & appliances are white) and have done a search for white colorant and can't find any for concrete. I want as smooth a surface as possible, can I get that with concrete? Do I mount the metal backsplash first & pour in place? How about installing the sink? I know I'll measure out the subsurface, mount it, level it and do the sink cutout then the pour - what do I use to seal the edges of the sink? What type of surface sealant should I use? So many questions ...

    I won't be using the epoxy grout based on your advice; you've probably saved me $$$, time & a bruised ego ... so you get a star in heaven for being such a great guy! Thank You for your advice, I really appreciate it! Kate

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: DIY countertop with epoxy grout only - no tiles!

    Making a counter top with epoxy grout (not recommended) or concrete is not done by pouring it on a counter. You make a mold and pour it finished side down, with athe mold made to produce the edges. Here is a place for you to start learning http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how...top/index.html

    However there are other methods that you might want to consider such as a Granite tile counter top or perhaps a more economical solution would be granite painted counter top http://www.gianigranite.com/

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: DIY countertop with epoxy grout only - no tiles!

    As you can see, some ideas are so unpractical...

    If it were me, I'd choose a granite slab, like jack recommended. There are different types of granite slabs and they come in different thicknesses. Granite counter tops are proven, tested, durable, attractive and quickly pay for themselves. They also appeal to more buyers, if you want to sell your house.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Butte, Montana
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    Default Re: DIY countertop with epoxy grout only - no tiles!

    Thank you, thank you! Good advice from all. Can't afford granite ... looking into epoxy now. Found a site that carries bar/tabletop clear epoxy at a reasonable price with liquid colorant in white - US Composites - going to go with that. I'll be able to do all 22 linear feet for under $400. Thank you so much gentlemen for taking the time to offer your advice! Kate in Butte, Montana

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    1,768

    Default Re: DIY countertop with epoxy grout only - no tiles!

    If your decision isn't finalized yet, you can get a granite countertop at a reasonable price. You can buy granite tiles that are about 12" x 12" and about a 1/4" thick for a reasonable price, sometimes less than $1 each. You lay down plywood and follow instructions for a tiled countertop. Then use the epoxy grout for between the tiles if you like or just use regular epoxy between the seams and squeeze them tight to resemble a solid granite counter top.

    You can do the same thing in marble as well if you want, but marble, while looking better also stains easier.

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