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Unread 03-23-2002, 09:14 PM   #1
Cami A
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There were some questions about these not too long ago. The book is out now- you can check it out here.

If you decide to order it, don't forget to sign up for your 20% discount.

Coincidentally, there's also an article in the new issue of Fine HomeBuilding. I might just try this. Maybe. (That's the wifely I, of course. It means I'll pick out the colors and leave Jack the messy, physical parts.)
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Unread 03-23-2002, 09:50 PM   #2
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Hot damn, ol' Fu-Tung's sure proud of that book! Even MB's book don't cost that much.

Thanks for posting that, Cami. I have been kicking that concept around for several years with various customers, but never wanted to take on the experiment from scratch. I think I'll have to invest in the book, overpriced though it may be.

Unless you want to buy it and share.

Actually, I'd probably offer to buy it and let you borrow it for your tops if you promise to send it back after - along with comments in the margin about real-life experience, of course.
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Unread 03-23-2002, 09:59 PM   #3
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Uh huh, sure....where's all that talk about books being just another tool? No, really, you can have mine when I'm done with it in another year or so... the concept will probably be out of style by then anyhow.

Went looking at kitchen cabinets today...I'm thinking concrete tops may be all I can afford!
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Unread 03-23-2002, 10:51 PM   #4
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I'm still of the opinion that books can be tools, but usually when I buy a tool, I at least know what it's for and how well it will work. Now, how do we know that ol' Fu-Tung's tool is gonna be all that useful?

I sure won't need mine before August at the earliest. When do you think you'll actually be at the counter top stage?

Does he allege that concrete tops are inexpensive, or are you just assuming that because you can make them yourself? I kinda doubt they are gonna be a real low-end product in the grand scheme of things.
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Unread 03-24-2002, 08:19 AM   #5
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Well, I'm guessing the price will be more than formica (because pretty much everything is...) and less than granite, which runs about $70 - $100 a foot around here. Countertop stage should be about this time next year.
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Unread 03-24-2002, 09:02 AM   #6
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Cami,

I haven't built or bought any laminate tops in a long time and I realy don't know the going rates today. Last I remember, the stuff (nothing fancy) was going for about $7 sq ft ($14 running foot).

I can't imagine how concrete could get anywhere near that right now.
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Unread 03-24-2002, 10:34 AM   #7
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I can't remember what we discussed the last time this came up, so I may repeat myself (a rare occurrance for sure).

There are two ways to look at concrete counters: pouring them in place; and pouring them off-site and installing them in sections. I've only seen the off-site application, but if I were going to do it, I would pour them in place and do something tricky with the surface. Looking at it that way, is should be fairly inexpensive.
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Unread 03-24-2002, 11:07 AM   #8
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John, I think that might depend on if you want the surface polished or not- from everything I've read, that is a messy chore. Right now, I'm leaning towards having Jack pour them in the garage. One of the counters will be a curved cantilevered snack bar, so it seems like it would be too hard to pour in place. All right, that's it. I'm ordering the book.

Anybody ever bought any of the pigments they talk about in this excerpt? I'd be willing to bet that's where any material cost comes in, other than the form material.
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Unread 03-24-2002, 11:50 AM   #9
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I suspect it has been a looooong time since Bud has bought any postformed formica tops.

Cami:
I frequently buy those additives in brown and black, and those colors are very inexpensive - like in the dollar a pound range, I think (I've slept since the last purchase). The only other color I've been involved with is yellow. I think it was more expensive, but we only used a tiny bit to add a little tone to some rock mortar.

Check with a supplier that deals materials to rock and brick masons. That's our best source here.
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Unread 03-24-2002, 12:08 PM   #10
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What do every day garden variety laminate tops cost now days?
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Unread 03-24-2002, 03:43 PM   #11
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Masonry tints are sort of like tile glaze pigments. Most are common and inexpensive, but some are out of sight. Cobalt blue has always been a high dollar deal, as well as all the really bright primary colors, including yellow.

Even so, I think the percentage of overall project money expended for tints would be low.

Cami, did you mean polish like terrazzo?

I just mentioned concrete tops to Patti and I got "the look."
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Unread 03-24-2002, 04:20 PM   #12
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Bud:

Last Formicas I bought were more than twice the price you indicated. It was a small job (maybe 11 - 12 lineal, two pieces), with one finished angle cut, and it ended up about $30 per lineal foot, standard vanity width. That's installed with sink cut-outs and all - TT&L.

I could go to HD and buy blanks plenty cheap (if they had the right color, which they don't), but by the time I deliver, cut to fit, cut and finish the angle, cut out for sinks, make matching splashes, etc., I can't save the customer any dinero and it takes way too much of my time at that stage of construction. Only tops I do myself any more are tile.

John:

I don't think she meant like Terazzo, that's eye-talian, I think she meant Polish, like sausage, or jokes. Didn't you, Cami?
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Unread 03-24-2002, 11:43 PM   #13
Bud Cline
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30 bucks huh, I have been out of the loop I guess.

Laminate here (raw laminate) is around $2.10 a square foot (Wilsonart), I have done some of that in the last year, now that I think about it.
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Unread 03-25-2002, 08:10 AM   #14
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Yes, John, I did mean polish like terrazzo... One of the popup windows in the link showed the difference in color when polished.

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Unread 03-25-2002, 09:21 AM   #15
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