Quickcrete tiles?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cowgirlone, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the process of making an outdoor island/grill table. I need to come up with a counter top that won't cost an arm and a leg, but will withstand heavy rain, hail and strong winds.
    Would it be possible for me to make tiles out of quickcrete? Make wooden frames 6"x6"? Maybe seal the tiles when dry with some type of weather proof material to make them easy to hose off?

    Any other materials that might work?
    Thanks for any help you can give me!!
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I tried using Quikcrete to make walking stones and hated it! Found it was cheaper to buy cement pavers and cost just about the same to purchase nice flagstone from a place down the road.

    For your project, though .... hmmm. If it were me, I'd plan for the wooden frame to be a permanent part of the structure --- that might work. One of the difficulties I ran into was the quikcrete stones weren't quite strong enough to be taken out of the molds for days. If you planned the mold to be permanent, however --- or were very patient, it might work.
     

  3. You can make tiles out of concrete but it will take a lot of time. You can make the whole table/island out of concrete if you wish. There is a book titled “concrete countertop” by Fu-Tung Cheng that gives good information on the design form and finish of concrete countertops. If you can find some white cement, some concrete pigment and have some time you can make a beautiful table top. Not to hard to do but you will need to plan ahead for the amount of weight.
     
  4. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips Countrygrrrl, I hadn't thought about them being weak enough to break when unmolding. I have only used this stuff when setting posts.
    I might just check into ready made pavers. Or rethink my overall design. Thanks for the info!! I appreciate it! :D
     
  5. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks unregistered! I like the idea of coloring the concrete. Maybe make one slab look like tiles.....I don't know about the weight though, is it possible to pour the crete right on the table top?
    Hmmmmm...now you've got me thinking. :D
     
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  7. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again!
    You've given me some great ideas! :D
     
  8. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

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    Another option.
    You can get ceramic floor tiles (1 foot square) for 50 cents apiece and use the tile mortar to attach them to reinforced concrete board available at Home Depot, Lowe.
     
  9. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    We have successfully made Quickcrete stepping stones using the molds I purchased (on sale) from one of the gardening catalogs. One sack of Quickcrete makes 8 stepping stones. We have VERY high humidity here, so getting the mix just right is a little touchy. It is handy to keep Portland Cement ready in case you have added too much water to your mix. You add ONE CUP of Portland Cement. STORE THE REMAINING Portland cement in a sealed five gallon plastic bucket or it will set up in the bag.

    I can usually un-mold the stepping stones in 48 hours. Haven't broken one in regular use yet.
     
  10. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Charles! I didn't realize that floor tiles were that cheap. The main reason I had wanted to use quickcrete is because I have several bags left over from a previous project and I thought tiles would be more expensive. Floor tiles sure would save me a LOT of work.
    Rose, thanks for the tips, I wouldn't have known about the portland cement. I might just get out a bag of quickcrete and experiment with it.
    You folks have given me a lot to think about, I appreciate it!
     
  11. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    The humidity factor may well have played into some of the difficulty I had. The first batch I made was useless :rolleyes: , but the succeeding batches were a little better.

    I think the most problematic aspect of it all, however, was the stones were downright ugly, no matter what I did. I mean, ugly!! They looked totally fake but with no redeeming qualities of at least some semblence of being nice looking.

    Of course, what I really wanted was old brick and flagstone, and my so-called money saving approach just didn't satisfy that.
    I traded my mold for a bunch of seed and am happy with that. Have since just dug around here finding big old pretty stones and old brick, purchased a few flagstones here and there and am getting ready to purchase more.

    If cowgirl uses the mold and the approach someone else mentioned adding some stuff to the batch?), she'd likely have better success. As charles mentions, though, she might be better off ($$-wise, at least) just buying the tiles.

     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The bagged mix has some large rocks that make it less than ideal for counter tops. Regular mix takes a full 28 days to completely cure. You can remove the object from your form in about 24-48 hours, but it is pretty fragile. A little reinforcement will make the top nearly indistructable. You can use window screen, hardware cloth, or expanded metal.

    I have been experimenting with this. You can see a table I made at this web site.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/125826177cKIZQl
     
  13. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    Before using ceramic tiles check the side of the carton for the symbols. Some tiles can be used outside and some can not. As suggested above you can pour a concrete top and if you want it smooth use a steel trowel for your final troweling. Adding an acrylic coating (for concrete) should make it easy to clean up.
     
  14. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife Well-Known Member

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    I second the floor tiles suggestion...they are often on sale, mismatched colors, etc. The are not hard to set and should give you the durability that you want.
     
  15. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Countrygrrrl, knowing my luck, I'm gonna have one downright ugly countertop! :haha: I already have the base made, (pressure treated lumber) if I mess up the top I'm gonna hafta live with it. Next I'll be asking folks for tips on how to cover ugly cement growth in yard! :haha:

    Gobug, those are GREAT tables!! Thanks! How heavy are they? Could you tell me the weight of 1/2 inch cement per square ft? The area I am covering is about 14 Sq ft.. I don't know if a cement top would be too heavy or not?

    Retire 2$, Thanks for the tips, I haven't been around much tile, I'll be sure to check the box to see if it can be used outside.


    Qvrfull, Thanks, I think tiles would be so much easier, I don't have a store close by to check the prices. My closest Home Depot and Lowes is 2 1/2 hrs away.... I guess that's part of the reason I'm trying to do without. I might have to make a trip there just to see for sure. After all, this thing is gonna be in my yard for a long time, If I don't do a good job on it, I'll sure regret it. :haha:

    Thanks folks!
     
  16. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Cowgirl, one of the reasons mine came out so ugly is that I used the reddish colorant.

    :no:

    No matter how much or how little I used, the stones came out bearing a disturbing resemblance to salmon loaf.

    :no:

    Learn from my mistakes. You don't want to go there!!! :no:
     
  17. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    :haha: :haha: Salmon loaf! AAKKK, I'll keep that in mind when I pick a color!
     
  18. Donovan K

    Donovan K Well-Known Member

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    If you don't want to make the long drive to Lowe's, get out the phone book and make some calls to area flooring stores. Tell them you are looking for overuns, opened boxes and discontinued tiles. These places often have a stack on mix matched tiles that were left over from tiling jobs and opened boxes that were mistakes and such. You can usually get a very good price on what they have. You may be able to find a single style/color that will suit your needs for a tabletop easily and cheaply as the seller has little chance of anyone else wanting such a small amount....

    Or you can get very creative and buy up a variety of colors and styles, whatever you can find and create a mossaic for your tabletop. You can use a hand tile cutter and go geometric.. or just use a hammer and a set of nippers to go freeform. A former neighbor of mine turned a bland concrete backyard kitchen table and bar into a colorful and beautiful place for relaxing with family and friends.
    He used Starbursts and varying shades of blue for sky and space, even with a golden trail of a comet across the roof over the bar. It was very nice and very easy to keep clean and if you can lay tile, you can do it.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

    Don



    "I Never Learned Anything While I Was Talking"


    "If you took every expert on economics in the world and laid them end-to-end,
    they still wouldn't reach a conclusion"
     
  19. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    cowgirl,
    1/2 inch concrete weighs about 5 pounds per square foot. Thats a regular bag of ready mix. The mix for ferrocement that I used for the white table replaced about 35% of the portland with fly ash. Although the replacement was by weight, the fly ash adds some volume because it is fluffy.

    The black table is nearly 2 inches thick. It is heavier, but not much because I added 9 parts vermiculite to the recipe.

    80 pound White portland bag ~ $10
    40 pound fly ash bag ~ $10
    120 pounds mortar sand in bags ~ $ 5
    120 pounds white swimming pool sand~ $20
    five sheets expanded metal ~ $25
    one gallon Acryl 60 plasticizer ~ $25
    one pound coloring agent ~ $ 5

    The quantities are based upon using all the cement. 360 pounds at 5 pounds a square foot would be enough cement to make 72 square feet of thin shell cement. So for about $100 you could make 24 feet of 3 foot wide counter. No special tools needed. You could use window screen if you had it available and save $25. You could also substitute regular portland for white and regular sand for swimming pool sand and save another $15.
     
  20. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Don, what a great idea! Thanks! I know there are a couple of carpet stores about an hour away. I will check them out.

    Gobug, I'm writing all of this down....Eventually I want to make an outdoor kitchen/cooking area too. Your post will come in VERY handy. I did replace my window screens last fall, so I have plenty of screen on hand. Thanks!

    Thanks for all of the help folks, if this thing turns out...I'll take a picture of it to show ya. If it doesn't...I might show ya anyway, People could learn what NOT to do! :D