This continues the report from August 13, 2008 about the Crafts III bathroom concrete countertop. Planning coordinator Jenn Epstein and planning intern Alex Dixon executed the finishing process with great skill and ingenuity. First, after opening the formwork, they used sandpaper to remove sharp edges from the surface. Next, Jenn put a slurry coat that would fill in small holes. These holes could be avoided if more vibration is introduced to the concrete mix during the pour. In this case, the small holes were quite desirable, since Jenn wanted to introduce another color that would tie the concrete with the color of the beautifully inset tiles. After a period of 24 hours allowed for hardening of the slurry, Jenn and Alex removed the top extra layer of slurry film. In a few hours, they returned to the countertop with a polishing grinder. Since the procedure demands a wet grinder in order to avoid burns on the concrete surface, the team combined efforts and while Jenn used the grinder, Alex sprayed water on the surface. The last finishing procedure involves the application of a couple of layers of water based acrylic countertop sealer.
Finally, Jenn and Alex are ready to install the countertop in its future home. With great caution over the safety of the exquisite piece, Alex, Jeffrey Michael, and house residents Tyler Scott and Rebecca, carry the countertop from its place of birth – the Arcosanti Lab building, to its final destination – the Crafts III northeast apartment bathroom.
The following day, Alex and Jenn caulked the edges between the countertop and the walls and installed the sink faucet. Seeing the remarkable result of their first concrete countertop, the planning team walked away with smiles on their faces.