KENNEWICK -- If you want new countertops but find granite, even plastic laminate, too expensive, consider a durable concrete counter.
Builders and architects are putting them in some very upscale homes, so why not yours?
Even better, do it yourself with help from Fu-Tung Cheng, a well-known designer in Berkeley, Calif.
Cheng, owner of three Berkeley companies producing products and designs for the home, has just released his second book, Concrete Countertops Made Simple, along with a companion DVD.
In seven simple steps, Cheng takes the reader through the process of designing, forming, pouring, finishing and installing a concrete countertop that will look great and survive the test of time.
Cheng shows that even an amateur with simple tools can produce fantastic results the first time. This book/DVD package is all you'll need to produce a practical, personalized countertop within two weeks.
As for cost, using concrete mixes purchased locally a homeowner can build a countertop for about $15 per square foot compared to $25 to $40 per square foot for Formica and $40 to $80 per square foot for granite.
For more information on concrete countertops, go to Cheng's website, www.concrete exchange.com.
The Concrete Countertops Made Simple set is $22 and available at book stores and online book sellers.
* Loretto J. Hulse: 509-582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org.