Installing the beast: the 500+ lb master bathroom countertop with integral sink. Our plan involved building a platform on top of a dolly, and then getting some strong men together to maneuver the sink on and off the dolly into place.
Once inside the master bedroom, we raised the countertop on 2x4s so that it could be slid onto the supporting studs nailed to the master bathroom walls. Then we could knock away the supporting pieces and let the sink hang.
All went surprisingly smoothly. No cracks so far!
For the bathroom countertops, we were interested in preserving as much of the raw concrete look as possible. We did minimal sanding with an orbital and 60/120-grit paper--enough to smooth the top surface and sink and expose a tiny amount of aggregate. We filled air holes in the top surface with Rockite, but left the sides exactly as they were poured--we like that the open air pocket texture really emphasizes the materiality of these pieces.
The Rockite fill is substantially lighter than the Quikrete, so we also rubbed a diluted white stain over the surfaces. This didn't change the overall color noticeably, but it did even out some of the texture by filling in tiny imperfections in the surface with white.
Then, after we caulked the vanity surfaces, two fellas lifted these pieces into place (the vanities below them will be painted white).
Overall, we're pleased with the results. We love the look of these big block of concrete, and since we weren't aiming for a completely polished look, the imperfections (many of which are at corners and edges) add great character. When we make the kitchen and utility countertop pieces, we'll potentially test out more aggressive sanding methods and staining the fill color to achieve different effects.
All of the tile installation is complete. The master bath white and silver/grey looks good in the morning light, especially now that we can see the floor tile continue outside.
The loft bathroom has more of a cool-grey, stone-like tile. The tile is the same on the floor and walls in order to create a slightly different (more zen-like?) feel for the guest bath. This photo is not so good but imagine tiles that look like concrete with a hint of metallic silver texture in them..
Paint and doors coming soon.
The tile in progress. Most of it is in place; hopefully by the end of today we will be seeing grout as well.
This smaller, silvery-white tile is in the master bath. The same tiles will continue from end to end, emphasizing interior-exterior continuity and better reflecting natural light into the room--especially in the morning.
A similarly silver-grey but more solid-colored tile will serve as the floor for the other bathrooms. In the downstairs bathroom, a slightly more playful tile with blue streaks will surround the tub and the tub bench.
Hardie-backer was first applied to the walls and floors in these areas, followed by thinset as the tile is put into place. We're starting to get a much more complete feel for the rooms. Cabinetry, counters, built-in shelving and fixtures are all to follow...!