Introduction

a hypertufa table next to a deck chair on a patio
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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If you've never heard of hypertufa, let us explain why this concrete look-alike is the perfect material for an outdoor table. Made from a mix of cement, peat moss, and perlite, hypertufa has much of concrete's strength and durability, but it weighs a lot less, doesn't require sealing, and has a more textured, organic appearance. Senior technical editor Mark Powers cast a tabletop with a recess for adding easy-care sedum and designed a notched cedar base that can be taken apart and stored flat. Hypertufa requires a few weeks to cure, so get started now and you'll be able to show off your handsome new table before summer draws to a close.

Download a cut list to build this hypertufa table.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver to assemble the form.
    • utility knife
      utility knife for cutting the foam.
    • aviation snip
      wire snips
    • mixing tub
      mixing tub to make the hypertufa mix.
    • masonry hoe
      hoe
    • Natural-bristle chip brush
      chip brush to spread petroleum jelly on the interior of the form before casting the tabletop.
    • finish hammer
      hammer
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      pneumatic nail gun

    Shopping List

    1. 1x4 scrap lumber for the form.

    2. cedar 1x4s for crosspieces and stretchers.

    3. cedar 1x2s for legs and support blocks.

    4. 1¼-inch and 2-inch deck screws

    5. perlite Get two bags.

    6. peat moss Get one large bag.

    7. portland cement Get a 47-pound bag.

    8. acrylic fortifier for the hypertufa mix, to prevent cracking. 9. ¾-inch rigid-foam insulation

    10. petroleum jelly or cooking spray to coat the interior of the form.

    11. ¼-inch hardware cloth

    12. plastic sheeting to cover the form while the tabletop cures.

    13. polyurethane glue, such as Gorilla Glue.

    14. 1-inch brad nails

    15. dust mask and protective gloves