Easy DIY recycled glass countertops

Easy DIY recycled glass countertops

Concrete is a daily part of our life and has been for some time. Isn’t it odd that it is often poured and left to cure in its normal state of drab gray? With almost the same amount of work, you could make your own DIY recycled glass countertop or use it for a patio or driveway.

Where to purchase recycled glass

At most places, you can find a manufacturer of crushed recycled glass. If not, it could also be ordered online as “decorative crushed glass” or something close to it.

You will find that some of these manufacturers are created as entities to provide jobs for people with disabilities. These enterprises sort bottles by color before running them through crushers.

The glass can typically be purchased in 5- to 50-pound bags. Ordered from the internet can be as little as 1.5 lb. Usually, they are separated by granule size and color.

You should be able to find glass for around $5-$10 per 50 lb bag. Ordering online is more expensive as it’s sold as a decorative item, not recycled. You might have to soak your glass in water to remove any labels that made it through the crushing process.

The remnants of paper will float to the top and can be skimmed off, and you’ll be left with the glass at the bottom.

It should also be worth doing as you can get extra dirt off. Depending on the way that it’s used, it might matter.

Pick your size and color for your project.

Recycled glass is typically brown, green, blue, red, clear, and mirror. These are the colors of bottles and such that usually get crushed.

The decorative glass comes in a greater variety of colors, so if you have some specific plan for the countertop, you should check those out, too.

You can purchase the glass in sizes ranging from sand granules to quarter-size segments. It can be handled safely with your hands, but gloves are recommended to reduce the risk of minor cuts.

Many homeowners and institutions find that crushed glass provides a tremendous stand-alone landscaping element. The glass can be arranged around flower beds and walkways.

Make your concrete countertops with glass for unique surface

How to make a recycled glass countertop

For making countertops, read this article here. I’ll concentrate more on the use of recycled glass here.

Adding decorative glass to your concrete DIY glass countertops, patio or walkway is easy. It requires only a few steps more than your typical pour.

When you have poured your concrete into the countertop form (or whatever else you’re doing), use float for the entire surface once to make it smooth. It is essential not to float too much as you may mix the water and cement ratio too much. This can weaken the top of your slab.

Next, let the concrete stiffen up just a bit, but take your time. If the curing process continues for a while, the cement in the concrete won’t adhere to new objects well anymore. That’s why we want to use the moment when it’s hard enough for the glass to sink into the surface but not to go to the bottom of the form.

This can be tricky if you’re not accustomed to working with concrete. If you have any doubts, find someone to help before you start. Another good way is to experiment. Make a little concrete pad the same thickness as your countertop and test how much you must let it cure.

When the concrete is not dry, sprinkle your recycled glass chips over the surface at whatever density you desire. You can also add small colored pebbles to give your patio a textural and color variety.

After sprinkling the glass, you will need a finishing trowel or plastic float to press the chips beneath the surface of the concrete. Work the finishing trowel or float back and forth across the slab until the glass is no longer visible.

The next day, when the concrete has cured enough, you will need to take a stiff wire brush, preferably one with a handle, and remove the top layer of cream. Use a water hose with the brush to remove the cement residue as you work. This is the most labor-intensive part of the job but also the most satisfying.

If you’re working inside, you could try different concrete diamond sanding discs if you have the tools or can rent them. It would also help if you had a good vacuum, as you don’t want the dust to get everywhere. Also, you could use water when you grind, which could help with the dust problem.

Using a diamond disc will help the glass come out better than a wire brush, removing more concrete around it. You should do the final surface with a diamond wet polishing disc to get the smoothest surface possible. You won’t have any grinding marks on it.

You will have complete creative control to expose as much glass as you desire. Before the glass exposition, you may find some of it flaking away. Don’t be alarmed. This is normal. Make sure to sweep it away frequently before sealing your pad.

Adding the sealing coating for your DIY glass countertop

Depending on your countertop thickness, it might take up to 4 weeks to cure completely. It’s usually advised that you let your concrete cure before using the sealing coating. Some advertise that they can be used two days after pour. I’d recommend checking with the manufacturer.

For countertops, you also need a safe sealer when preparing food. You can handle everything else in the kitchen, like cooking heat and kitchen tools. These sealers also need a day or two to reach a complete cure.

After the sealing, you can show your unique countertop to your family and friends.

Conclusion

Creating recycled glass concrete countertops involves using pieces of recycled glass as an aggregate in the concrete mixture. The process is quite similar to making regular concrete countertops, but with an added element of caution.

When mixing the concrete, the recycled glass is added in with the other aggregates and binders. However, once the countertop is poured and begins to harden, the top layer of concrete needs to be carefully removed in order to expose the pieces of glass and create the desired effect.

This is where extra care must be taken to avoid breaking the glass. An experienced craftsman will use specialized tools and techniques to ensure that the glass is properly exposed without compromising its integrity.

The result is a stunning, eco-friendly countertop that is both durable and beautiful.