Granite countertops are elegant features of every homeowner’s kitchen and bathroom. Aside from amplifying your house’s appeal, they also boost your property’s value. And if you’re planning on renovating your home with granite countertops, knowing how to install them is an excellent first step.
Of course. It might seem like a task for a professional team to install a new granite countertop, but you can accomplish this DIY project yourself with the proper equipment and a tested process.
Although most would hire a professional granite contractor, you can learn and install your granite countertops. It is grueling, though, and involves a comprehensive set of tasks that require precision, strength, and some level of tool mastery. It will also be best to have about two or three people to help you handle the granite slabs.
Granite countertop installation is an arduous task that involves detailed techniques and precise measurements. Most of the time, homeowners employ professional contractors who have enough experience and skills in handling granite slabs appropriately. But if you’re looking to take on the job on your own- and maybe save some budget-, here’s how to install granite countertops effectively.
Every successful endeavor starts with careful planning. This stage of the project involves taking accurate measurements for the installation and selecting the right granite slabs. You must carefully approach the planning stage to guarantee that the slab you get will fit perfectly, avoiding additional expenses.
Measure the cabinet where you plan to install the granite slab. To create a more accurate template, you can use cardboard and carefully trace the countertop on it while marking the holes and sink. Also, take into account the size of the overhang when finishing the template.
Be careful and take your time in assessing every dimension of the countertop. Repeat the process if necessary to ensure correct measurements before submitting them to a granite fabricator.
In granite countertop installation, choosing the kind of granite for your kitchen or bathroom is a vital part. It also means you will have to select and deal with the right granite fabricators to ensure that you get only the best. But before that, you have to decide on the style you would like to see for your kitchen or bathroom area.
Now here’s the exciting part. Choosing the perfect granite for your countertop requires a lot of considerations. You can try to match the room’s color scheme in general, or you can go for what complements your furnishings. But to help you decide better, here are some of the factors that come into play:
Most of the time, people consider the room’s color scheme as the primary factor in choosing the granite slab they will use. Some match the shade with the walls and pieces of furniture to create a harmonious vibe. However, others decide to have stark hue contrast between the walls and the granite slabs to accentuate the latter and make it stand out more.
Room lighting is an essential factor for those who prefer to have a countertop that “glows” and stands out. There are granite colors that go well with particular types of lighting and enhance the room’s vibe.
People always choose the best quality when purchasing products, and the same is right for granite slabs. You can match your kitchen’s colors or your bathroom’s style, but the whole process can fall apart with cheap and low-quality slabs. Try to visit granite stores and compare different granite types to get a more precise valuation of the quality.
It would be best if you cleared up how much you are willing to spend not just throughout the project but specifically for the granite. Better kinds will always cost more. The rarity of the color and style also dictates granite pricing, so be sure about what factors you prioritize.
Before getting down to work, several tools are necessary to perform the tasks smoothly. Here are some of the equipment and materials you may need:
It is also best to prepare your workspace to be able to work without a hitch. Clean the counter area and keep it free from clutter and obstructions. Here are some more steps to follow for a smoother procedure:
Before working on the counter, remove everything that may obstruct your work- ranges, dishwashers, and other appliances. Turn off the electrical switches and water, then disconnect the tubes connected to the sink. Also, detach the faucets and the sink, the latter, by carefully prying it with a screwdriver.
First, search for any screws that may be in the cabinet and take them off. Then, cut the caulk and slowly pry off the countertop with your preferred tool until it is movable enough to remove. To make it easier, you can use a caulk softener and spray it on the adhesive around the countertop.
Granite countertops weigh much more than standard laminate, wood, or tile, so if you are to install them on old counters of those materials, your cabinet is in for a treat. You may need to reinforce standard factory cabinets to ensure that they can carry the slabs’ weight.
Using the template you made earlier for the granite slab, cut 0.75-inch plywood to fit your counter. Be sure to mark the edges and sink, similar to how you created the pattern, and remember to account for the overhang. You can use the circular saw to cut and trim the plywood, including the sinkhole.
Lay and level the plywood atop the countertop accurately, then attach it with screws drilled through the cabinet. A gap of 8-10 inches between screws helps keep the reinforcement remarkably stable.
A waterproofing membrane prevents moisture from permeating and potentially damaging the plywood. To apply the membrane, pour it into a paint tray and use a small paint roller to spread it over the plywood. Paint it all over the fitting and let dry overnight, or for at least 12 hours.
This phase of the project can either go as smoothly as possible or as challenging as can be. It all depends on whether you made accurate measurements of the needed granite slabs. To install the granite countertops, you will also need about two or three other people to lift the slabs since they are cumbersome.
Lay the granite slab on top of the counter to see how it fits. If it does not, check if the size matches your template to ensure it is what you ordered.
Put the granite slab on the counter and be extra careful in handling it to avoid any damages. Granites tend to crack and scratch easily if not handled well. It will also be best to carry the granite in a vertical position, not horizontal.
Using a painter’s tape or white pen, trace the slab for any adjustments you may need to make. You may use your cardboard template or readjust it for the sinkhole and then lay it on the granite slab for marking. Note that granite slabs with pre-finished edges are also available but for a higher price.
Using a wet circular saw, which is best for minimizing dust build-up, cut the granite slab according to the adjustments you made. Place the circular saw just outside the markings and lightly drag it across the slab until you get the right cut. That position will allow for enough space in the edges to grind and smoothen.
You and your helpers should wear proper protective gear, like goggles, gloves, and face masks, to ensure your safety. In cutting for the sinkhole, have someone hang onto the cutout to prevent it from falling to the counter and breaking.
After completing the adjustments to the granite slab, you can then affix it to the countertop. With your helpers, lift the slab and carefully apply some latex caulk around the counter and granite. Let it dry for about 12 hours or overnight.
Smooth the edges of the granite slab using a wet grinding wheel- because, like a wet saw, it helps avoid excessive dusting. Place the grinding wheel next to the granite’s edge, then carefully drag it back and forth along the edge until you get the desired result. Wipe the corners with a wet cloth to gauge their smoothness.
After this step, you may install the sink in your granite countertops. Put some caulk adhesive on its perimeter as well as under it. After affixing the sink, you may let the caulk adhesive dry for 12 hours to guarantee the best result.
Now that you got basic knowledge of the granite installation process, you may start to plan for your next home renovation. But to ensure that you install your granite countertops properly and successfully, you will need the appropriate safety gears. And since this task is no joke, you should protect as much as you arm yourself.
It is always best to wear complete protective gear like safety goggles, gloves, and face masks. They should guarantee you and your team are safe from any injuries that may happen during the process.
After reading this, you may feel like you’re ready to take on the job of installing a granite countertop, but the actual thing isn’t as easy. Some DIY ventures will flow flawlessly without any bumps or unnecessary problems along the way. But since you’re dealing with a costly project, you cannot underestimate the challenges along the way.
If you have already performed this in the past, you might be able to do the job. Still, if you are like most homeowners and have no prior experience in the matter, it might be better to employ a professional to ensure that the granite top is correctly fitted. Here’s how these two ways of installation match up:
Professional installation generally means faster completion compared to DIY efforts. They understand the appropriate procedures that have to be executed to complete the process and proceed quickly. When it gets down to the pros, you never have to be anxious with delay or frustration. Also, there will usually be a crew performing the granite countertop installation.
A skilled installer has adequate training and experience to perform the job they do to achieve excellent industry standards. It means that they will not leave your home until they effectively install the granite slab, the best possible way. This much experience also ensures they are going to recognize any problems that a DIY may overlook.
Granite countertops are valuable investments for homeowners. Their beauty and elegance enhance the aesthetic value of every kitchen and bathroom. Pair those qualities with their innate durability, and you have the most functional areas in your home.
Installing granite countertops is challenging, though, and it demands a lot of effort. Inexperience can instantly turn your task from promising to disastrous, and disaster here can be costly. You can risk doing it or stop pushing yourself and employ the service of professional granite installers.
You can hire an expert granite installation company to work on your kitchen and bathroom renovation. Sit back and relax while granite countertop professionals perform the procedure seamlessly. The right granite installers can guarantee a successful result with skillful handling, efficient execution, and complete experience. Get that stylish kitchen and bathroom for you and your family without breaking your back and risking more expenses.