Concrete Overlay Island Part 2 - How its holding up after a year - behind the diy



Concrete Overlay Island Part 2 - How its holding up after a year

- Monday, July 1, 2019. to read...

Its almost been a year since we started our Island project and did our concrete overlay! And we actually just finished the last details on the island itself last weekend. We designed and created the whole island ourselves. If you would like to read about that and see how we did the concrete overlay, see my blog post here.

So lets get down to the details everyone wanting to do a concrete overlay counter is wondering... how is it holding up after a year? DISCLAIMER: we built our own substructure for this counter top, we did not do concrete over an existing counter top!

This is a hard question to answer because its all about preference. If you prefer a perfect flawless surface, this is absolutely not the project for you. If you like the industrial modern farmhouse look of flawed concrete, it just may be for you!

When I designed our Island, I designed it to have the counter "table" at the end that we would use for our family of 4 daily dining. We have a formal dining room that I wanted to keep pristine and pretty all year round and with 2 littles, that wouldn't happen if we were using it regularly. Plus it just made things simple and easy to be so close to the kitchen. After deciding to do the concrete overlay on the island I knew that my little grubbers wouldn't be able to keep their table space clean enough to not cause oil and grime spots on the concrete on a daily. So we bought a silicone table cover from amazon just big enough for the "dining" part of the Island. Now a year later you can see the difference where the counter protector was versus where it was not. This is the best way to show you how its held up over the year. There is a clear defined mark where the silicone ends. With the silicone on you cannot tell how much lighter it is underneath so thankfully its not noticeable without pulling it up. To me the darker part just looks like normal concrete marks and my husband and I do not notice it as a bad thing or an eye sore. And we still to this day get so many compliments on it!

We also have not seen any areas that have cracked, except the original seam areas I talk about in my Blog about building the island, pictured above. In the picture you can also see the seam tape which to no avail every time I sanded poked through! It once again goes with the industrial look so it all goes together with the rest of the top. The right picture is of the end of the counter closest to the oven and where I do a lot of meal prepping and preparing so it gets a ton of use, and its definitely has shown the most imperfections or marks where things have slowly stained the concrete. I would say this part is a part that i'm worried looks "dirty" when in fact its truly just stained... but 1. I almost always have a pretty cutting board on the end and 2. I am pretty sure that nobody has had those thoughts. Its only slightly more stained than the rest and it almost looks "planned out" to just look like concrete.

These pictures show that unless you are up above (I was literally on a stool above it in the first 2) because of the sheen (from the sealant) Its really not that noticeable how different the stain pattern is. But its a good way to show the difference in the most used area and gives the obvious truth that the areas most used will get stained. 

Things I would change if I did it over again

1. Do not rush the layers of concrete, I wish I would've added 2 more layers!
2. Do not rush the layers of sealant! 

We were trying to get this done before my sons birthday party so we really didn't have a choice to add more layers without our house being a disaster (I know poor planning on my part!) I would allow 2 weeks of nobody coming over (at least not the judgmental ones ;) ) to give yourself break time and the ability to add more if needed. 

All this to say, we still love our island! We saved a ton of money doing it this way, we can always change it without guilt of wasting money in the future and we can even just put on more coats of concrete every few years if we desire. I am however pretty sure I'm forgetting the pain of sanding this bad boy in between coats, just like you forget labor pains :) 

 How we built our concrete overlay island and sub structure link:

Concrete Overlay Island Counter Top

How we sealed our concrete overlay Island link:

Sealing our Ardex Concrete Counter

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