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New Cast-in-Place Countertop System Keeps Reinforcing Mesh at the Right Height
Fiberglass mesh is a great way to reinforce cast-in-place concrete countertops. But for many contractors, the problem has been coming up with a foolproof way to keep the mesh at the just the right height when pouring such a thin slab.
Now there’s an easy, practical solution. The new Z Liqui-Crete System from Concrete Countertop Solutions combines a highly flowable fiber-fortified concrete mixture with a heavy-duty 1x1-inch reinforcing grid of fiberglass mesh. To keep the mesh at the optimal height during the pour, it is held in place with the easy-to-attach Z Clip, which is simply screwed down to the cement board substrate and clipped onto the mesh.
Z Clips are designed to work with Concrete Countertop Solutions’ 1 5/8-inch Z Counterforms, holding the mesh exactly one-third of the way below the surface. There is also a longer leg on the clip that allows it to be used with taller commercial forms.
In addition to ensuring proper positioning of the reinforcement grid, the system is also designed to achieve high countertop strengths and perfect finishes. “What really sets Z Liqui-Crete apart from other fiber-reinforced mixes is the consistency achieved,” says Dario Baldoni of Concrete Countertop Solutions. “You are able to add enough water to the mix to achieve a pancake-batter consistency without sacrificing any of the 7500-psi strength. This fluid consistency allows you to pour the mix right through the small 1-inch grid of fiberglass mesh. It also makes removing air pockets from the edge forms, which cause unsightly voids in the concrete, very easy.”
Along with this new system, Concrete Countertop Solutions has introduced a new Roman Ogee edge profile. Because of the large horizontal surface on the ogee profile, it has been difficult in the past to pour without trapping too much air in the form. When the Liqui-Crete mix is used, this is no longer a problem.
The cost of the Z Liqui-Crete mix (when purchased in a package of six) is about $4 per square foot. For the entire system (including forms, clips and mesh), the cost is $10 to $15 per square foot, says Baldoni.
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