How to Use Glass in Decorative Concrete Countertops

ASG glass countertopToday, artisan crafted, decorative concrete or terrazzo countertops are growing in popularity, because each creation is not only unique, it’s also a masterpiece of design. The use of glass aggregate introduces a third dimension to the surface that plays off of light and color, creating a richness and depth worthy of its glorious shine.

Seeding Glass for Countertops

In this article, we’ll explore one of the most effective applications for creating unique and colorful countertops: seeding. Glass chips are sprinkled, broadcast or spread onto the surface of the concrete countertop (this application can also be used on a floor, slab or other surface). Even though it can be tricky to spread the glass uniformly onto the surface, artisans can use this technique to create customized, personalized or one-of-a-kind glass designs using less glass relative to other types of applications. Seeding can be accomplished in seven steps:

  1. Prepare and place your concrete as you normally do.
  2. Bull float the concrete to smooth out the surface, but don’t rough trowel or finish trowel your project.
  3. Spread the glass out evenly – or in a pattern – on your concrete surface using any quantity, colors and mixes of glass that you desire.
  4. Lightly trowel the glass into the still-wet concrete, gently pushing the glass into the surface, taking care not to push the glass too far in, or your finishing, grinding and polishing process will take longer. For a bolder finish, leave Pea gravel, compacted substrate, even some of the higher glass tips on the surface or sticking out of the concrete.
  5. Cure concrete for about seven days, enough time to avoid damaging the surface by finishing too early, or damaging your tools by finishing too late.
  6. Begin grinding the concrete surface with a 50-grit diamond grinding pad. Increase to a 100 grit, then 200 grit and continue increasing the grit until you achieve the finish and polish you’re looking for. Avoid scratching or scarring the concrete by wetting the surface during the entire grinding process to reduce friction between the pad and the concrete.
  7. Sweep, vacuum or wash the surface (often with muriatic acid) to remove dust. Apply a sealer of your choice, carefully following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

seeding glass diagram

When you’re looking for quality glass chips for use in decorative concrete countertops, count on Runyon Surface Prep. We carry American Specialty Glass products. ASG recommends adding an acrylic fortifier to the concrete mix to help with the adhesion of the concrete to the glass and other aggregates. Using a retarding product on your concrete surface before spreading the glass chips can also increase the working time.

*photos courtesy of American Specialty Glass
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