Creating a custom lighting countertop means to completely, change the look of your kitchen, a transition from an obsolete look to a modern kitchen, a true work of art.
An illuminated countertop has surprising and incredible light effects, achieved by fiber optics (thin acrylic fibers) that are embedded beneath countertop surface.
More than that, these optical fibers do not require connection to a power source and there are no burnt bulbs to replace. The fiber optics will bring color to your countertop and consequently to your kitchen.
Materials & Tools
– Counter Mold (laminated plywood, foam or plastic)
– Fiber Optic Cables; Light-Pattern Stencil; Illuminator
– Rebar or Welded Wire Reinforcement;
– Polymer-Fortified Concrete Mix; Concrete Sealer;
– Wood Shims; Plastic Zip Ties; Making Tape; Sawhorses;
– Power Drill; Concrete Vibrator; Razor-Blade Scraper;
– Wet-Stone Polisher; Hot Wire Cutter; Polishing Pads;
Concrete Counters Can Make a Huge Impact (video)
Steps to Take
1| First, you need to prepare your working area. Start setting up your sawhorses so that the countertop mold to be supported at both ends and in the middle.
a) Tape the stencil design to the inside bottom of your mold;
b) Place carefully the mold on your sawhorse supports;
c) Using your drill you should drill a tiny little hole for each acrylic fiber in part and a larger hole for multiple fiber optics; Make sure the optical fibers are long enough to reach the illuminator plate;
d) You can remove your stencil once the design is done.
2| Place the rebar (or welded wire reinforcement) inside your mold. Be sure it will not be an interference with the pattern of your light. Insert each optical fiber in part through the holes so that to stick out down through the mold bottom at a height of about ¼-inch.Pull from an end to be sure they are fixed.
3| Gather, bundle and mark the free ends of the fiber optics in accordance with the color and your chosen pattern. In fact, these ends will be attached to the illuminator. However, you should better fix the optical fibers tying them to the rebar or wire reinforcement using plastic zip ties. All the fibers must come together at a chosen exit point. Tie them up to a support so that not to be in your way.
4| Mix the polymer-fortified concrete following the manufacturer instructions. However, the product must be sufficiently fluid to flow easily around every optical fiber. Pour carefully and slowly your polymer-based concrete and use a vibrator to be sure it is homogeneous poured into the mold volume.
5| Allow concrete 3 days to harden and then untie the bundle end of the optical fibers and then turn it over your mold, so that the optical fibers will hang bellow it. Slip inside shims between the mold perimeter and the concrete in order to loosen it. Lift the mold up and put it away. Use a razor-blade scraper and cut off the end of every fiber optic at the surface of your countertop.
6| Allow concrete to cure for at least four days more, and then using a wet-stone polish its surface. Use first coarse-textured pads and gradually smoother finish pads. When you finished wipe the concrete surface with a damp cloth. Apply the sealer and let the concrete surface to dry.
7| Carefully install your countertop as not to damage the fiber optic bundles. Attach the bundles to the illuminator pushing them through its plate. Cut the optical fiber ends with a hot wire and make sure they do not pull out of the illuminator.