First, we hope that all who celebrate Thanksgiving had a very memorable celebration. It was our first in this house, so we might have gone a bit overboard with the food (OK, we totally did, but the leftovers are amazing!).
We are thrilled to announce that it actually worked!!!
It was not easy – and we never could have done it without our awesome friends (John, Michael, Rachel, Kate, and Ken – you are all rockstars!).
Prep for The Great Concrete Pour had begun earlier – purchasing the concrete, fiberglass reinforcement mesh, and dye, the plastic forms that contain the concrete, and the tools necessary. We also had to create forms for the sink and faucet so that the concrete would be poured up to (but not in!) those fixtures.
John quickly realized that battery-powered drills would not be up to the task of mixing the concrete fast enough (or consistently), so we pulled out our small cement mixer for the tasking. Lucky for us, he had experience with mixing, so he took on the difficult job of getting the concrete to just the right consistency while also managing the dye that we used in the water to darken the concrete.
Once mixed, Michael and Ken hauled the concrete up to the second floor before pouring it on the island. Since we only had an idea of how much concrete and dye we would use, we started on the largest project first to make sure we could complete the island. Luckily, our calculations were pretty accurate.
After the wet concrete had been poured, it was time to screed the surface area. This is the first step in leveling the concrete. At the same time, a mallet is used against the concrete forms in an effort to release as many air bubbles as possible (thanks Rachel and Kate!).
The next step is called floating, where you use a special magnesium float to really start smoothing the final surface. Apologies, but your photographer failed to get that step. 🙂 Finally, it’s time to use the trowel to smooth the final surface.
We then repeated the process for the two smaller kitchen countertops.
The whole process took about 2.5 hours – much less than we anticipated (and all due to our volunteers!). This week we will be sanding the tops and deciding which final preparation to apply to seal the concrete (there are a couple of options depending on the final look we want to achieve). We’ll have another update next week.
There’s still a lot to do, and we’ll get to making that list after we’ve enjoyed our holiday weekend. We don’t take many days off, but this weekend was sorely needed. We did take time to start decorating for the next holiday…
On that note… if you would like to purchase a gift certificate, we are happy to announce that we now sell them in any denomination. Gift certificates do not expire, so there’s no rush to set your travel dates. We’ll see you or your giftee when you are ready to travel!
One word to the wise… if your gift certificate is a surprise, please enter your email address in place of your recipients – the system will send out an electronic gift certificate as soon as the transaction is done, and we wouldn’t want to ruin any surprises!