DIY Big Green Egg Table with Concrete Top
My hubby bought his Big Green Egg (BGE) a few years ago and has since stopped using his gas grill completely. He loves it. LOVES IT. A few weeks ago while we were camping, he was talking with a friend and inspired to expand his grill table. At the same time, I had been itching for a project where I could use concrete. I’ve been collecting designs for outdoor tables with a concrete top or concrete base…I love the mix of materials like concrete, wood, and steel. However, my hubby had expressed concerns that we already have too many tables (is there such a thing??) and that concrete would be way too heavy to be practical (whatever… :)). Anyway, low and behold, our ideas finally matched up – a new grill table with a concrete top! It was a great solution because the grill table would be on wheels and it needed a surface material which could withstand high heat. PERFECT!
I eagerly got started by searching Pinterest for grill table plans. I found this Big Green Egg Table Plan online which were really helpful in the framing, and the below pic which gave even more measurements. My hubby however wanted a larger table with workspace on either side of the BGE and a little more space in front of it. We decided to build the table 6 feet long by 3 feet wide by the standard height of 32″.
I proceeded to build this base using cedar 4x4s for the legs, 2x4s for the framing, and 5/4x4s for the shelf top. My materials list included:
- 2 cedar 4x4x8′
- 6 cedar 2x4x8′
- 11 cedar 5/4×8′
- 4 rubber casters (3″ medium or heavy duty)
- Outdoor screws (mostly 2.5 inch)
- Two concrete square stepping stones (from the outdoor/garden center)
For making the concrete top, I also needed:
- 1 melamine board 4′ x 8′
- 1 tube 100% silicone caulk
- 4 bags 80lb Sakrete (concrete mix)
- 1 Remesh wire sheet
- 1 roll landscape edging (I bought a fiberglass edging because of it’s smooth surface)
I also bought a 14″ concrete float, mixing paddle, 5 gal bucket, and concrete filler. Altogether, my materials cost about $250.
Assembling the base was a relatively quick exercise. It probably took 2-3 hours to cut and screw all of the pieces together. I was able to finish it within a (rainy) Saturday morning.
Next, I needed to enlist my hubby for help on the concrete top. For this part of the project, I found a couple of other really, really helpful tutorials online including this one by Apartment 52B. We planned for the top to cover the 6′ x 3′ table (without a lip) and measure 1.5″ thick. We started by making the concrete form using the melamine board. Measure twice, cut once… Then we cut the strips for the sides to 2.25″ (1.5″ deep concrete + 3/4″ melamine depth). We screwed the sides in using 1.25″ screws, so that I could easily remove them when the concrete was dry. We used the landscape edge to form a 21″ circle (holding it together with duct tape!) and spacers to try and keep it perfectly round. We then used gray silicone caulk in the edges of the form to round off the edges of the concrete.
Then my hubby mixed the concrete (one bag at a time) in a 5 gal bucket and poured it into the form. Frankly, that’s the moment when I truly realized an 80lb bag of concrete plus water is crazy heavy (ok, I concede that point, honey…). And it took a total of four bags to make this top. The first bag didn’t have quick enough water and was a little lumpy. I used the 14″ concrete float to smooth it out as much as I could while he was mixing the next batch. Once the form was half filled, we put in the remesh (my hubby had cut out a circle in the wire sheet for the BGE). We finished filling the form and here’s how it looked (note, we chose to put the form on top of the base because we didn’t have another flat spot handy, but protected it with a tarp while pouring the concrete).
After pouring the concrete, we were particularly diligent about shaking out the air bubbles. We used an electric sander held up to the sides and went around the frame a few times. This vibrated the concrete enough that a ton of little tiny bubbles came to the surface and the concrete settled further into the form. After a couple of hours the concrete began to ‘sweat’ with water coming to the top. We just left it alone at this point.
We came back just over 24 hours later. It seemed solid! According to what we read online (and on the cement bag) it should be fine to remove the form at this point – so we did. And wow, that was no small task, it was HEAVY! We sanded down the rough spots along the edge and rubbed off the caulk which stuck in a couple of places. We also notice a patch of small air bubbles from that first bag of concrete (which didn’t have quite enough water). Regardless, I think the result was worth it – I liked it.
We let it sit in the garage for a few days before inserting the Big Green Egg. We wanted the concrete to cure a little. Then we filled some of the holes with the concrete filler. We sprayed the top and base with Thompson’s Water Seal. We placed the concrete blocks on the shelf and put in the BGE – and here it is.
In this last photo, you can see the air bubbles and filler I mentioned. I still need to complete the finishing details like adding hooks for grilling utensils, towel bar, and bottle opener. However, it’s already been used a few times and working well. Thanks for taking the time to check out this project!