Series: Made Simple (Taunton Press)
Paperback: 106 pages
Publisher: Taunton Press; Pap/DVD Or edition (December 2, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.3 x 10.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #75,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #11 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Masonry #152 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Design & Construction #205 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Construction
I bought this book and video combo as soon as it came out, having previously purchased his other book "Concrete Countertops: Design, Form and Finishes for the new Kitchen and Bath." I also own the DVD "Concrete Countertops DIY." I was hoping that this book would provide some more insight and more details, but instead found this to be basically a watered down version of the ones I already own."Concrete Countertops Made Simple" is a good introduction, but if you are really interested in building concrete countertops, and want a bit more understanding on the subject, I would highly recommend you skip this set and get his other book and video (sold seperatly) instead. It costs more, but you get more. They are excellent resources.
The material covered is simple and well laid out. Don't expect too much and you wont be dissapointed. None of the details of fine countertops, even countertops shown in book, aren't covered. Colors are not discussed. Recipes are almost non-existant. But if you want the basics as how to make a simple countertop, then this is a good reference source.
I found this book to be a very straight forward approach for a novice intending to building concrete countertops. Each chapter is neatly arranged, and includes a list of must have items (both tools and consumables). There is just enough detail to make the book useful, without being overwhelming. It is a little light on detailed design discussions, but that is really part of the reason it is not overwhelming. For a more in-depth read on designing great countertops, try the author's other book "Concrete Countertops: Design, Form, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath" In short, I would highly recommended this book to any novice/hobbiest setting out to build a concrete countertop. I would not recommend this book if your intent is strictly to design a great countertop, or if you are an experienced concrete countertop builder looking for advanced techniques.
This book is not an "idea" book. It does not show lots of different concrete countertops and the possibilities of using concrete. However, it does take you step by step through the process of a project. If you were going to attempt to do something like this yourself, I think this would be very helpful. It could also be helpful to get a fuller understanding of how your countertop is going to be made, if someone else is doing it. If might give you ideas for what to discuss with the person making your countertop, like the mixes and finishes they use, and how long they will let it cure, as this (I learned in the book) all makes a difference as to whether it may crack down the road. So if you by the book understanding what's in it, it could be a good book.
Using this book and included video, we created a terrific concrete countertop for our child's bathroom. We customized it by scattering glass tiles and inlaying them, and then also using the same for the backsplash. We topped the whole thing with a glass vessel sink, and the bathroom looks very high end! The whole project was made possible by the book and the available colorant options from the author's website. We are thrilled!
Good book for beginners. Could use a few more examples, it seems to go over some steps very quickly, but overall a good starting point. DVD helped compliment the book, so i suggest reading and watching at least twice.
Also get the other Fu-Tung Cheng book, Concrete Countertops: Design, Form, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath (copy/paste, see what I did for you there?) for more advanced design ideas. Get the videos get the videos get the videos. Watch several times, watch the video included with this one, THEN go start building it using this book as a reference at the build site and you'll have this book covered in slurry, dye, and dusty fingerprints in no time.Built 4 countertops (one was about 650lbs) with the Fu-Tung system, bought their mixes, dyes, slurry, etc. and saved about $35k doing it myself. They look great, too.Oh, and go to toolocity (google it) for diamond grinding stuff (yes, with the extra o). Wet grinding pads from them and a $30 Harbor Freight variable speed polisher did the trick for us. We hooked up a GFI to it in case it got wet (and it was only $30 if it did)and used a garden hose for the wet grind. Worked just as well as a $500 wet polisher.
I have two of Cheng's books and they have some overlap, but also new information. This book is very good and gives a good explanation and photos to describe the steps. I think it could use a few more, but if you re-read and pay attention, it eliminates most/all the earlier confusion. He also included a very well-done DVD that shows short clips of the various steps and these also helped to visualize some of the text descriptions. The book and DVD are Taunton Press and I've always found them to be very high quality.It does show a substantial portion of his own work, which can seem a overly-commercial turn-off in some cases, but it also is instructive and gives ideas of what can be done. I've noticed that other similar genre authors do the same thing and it is good supplemental information if they don't saturate you with it. Overall I think this is a very good instuctional reference that would give me enough confidence to start on my own project.
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