DIY Guide: Kitchen Granite Countertop Installation
To fruitfully DIY finish granite countertop installation, you will need the required granite installation tools and materials. Some of the granite countertop installation materials include painter’s tape, acrylic caulk, and shims. The tools include a seam setter, a level, and a diamond-bladed angle grinder.
Plan your Granite Countertop Installation
When planning your kitchen granite countertop installation, working with a local stone fabrication outlet is important. Granite is heavy. It must be cut using specialized tools. It is difficult to transport. Although known for its hardness, when not correctly handled or installed with suitable support, might crack or even break. Broken slabs of granite have few fixes. This makes it critical to work in close collaboration with a local stone fabricator. The first step is deciding the type of granite countertop you want from the various grain patterns, colors, and different edging pattern available. You might need a kitchen visit by the fabricator. They will check if anything might affect the formulation of your countertops, such as exposed pipes. You also need to decide on countertop overhang length, size, and type of backsplash.
Once you choose your granite and remove the old countertops, accurately measure your base cabinets. Start with the tops of your base cabinets. Include the length of the front face frame to the wall along the entire cabinets’ length.
Creating a Template
The most accurate method to acquire measurements is through the use of a template. Scribe your model to fit snugly against the wall of the entire cabinet run. Do this before tracing onto the template your front edge. In the model, accurately measure out the exact locations of faucet and soap dispenser holes. Also, measure the sink and cooktop cutouts. Take special care not to allow more than two feet between cabinets such as over the dishwasher. Allow less than 6 inches of unsupported overhang for a two centimeter stone and 9 inches for a three centimeter stone.
Make a note for the fabricator, of an under-mount sink on the template. He should then cut a groove along the underside sinkhole edge. This will allow a securing of the sink clips. Insist on rodding the cutouts with fiberglass or steel reinforcements. This will effectively strengthen narrow areas around cutouts. If you feel comfortable with the stone fabricator’s install granite countertops cost, you could negotiate an itemized price for your measurements, ensuring accuracy.
Prepare for Installation
Check and ensure your base cabinets are all level across the entire length. If not, unfasten all of the base units and level it using shims. It is not recommended to use shims directly under granite countertops. This would create small voids that might cause granite cracking. Use shims underneath the baseboard.
Getting the cut granite countertops safely home can be quite tricky unless they are being delivered. Always carry granite countertops vertically. This way you’ll avoid cracking or breaking the slabs. To efficiently transport granite slabs, carry them the same way glass is carried, on edge in an A-frame rack.
Installing the Slabs
Start by dry-fitting the granite countertop. This is to ensure it accurately fits. While lifting, take extra care to support the thin areas, such as along cutouts. Lay the granite slabs directly onto the frames of your lower cabinets. It’s not necessary to support granite by an additional subsurface, like solid plywood.
If the wall-facing edge of your countertop is not flush and needs adjustments, mark all the areas of the granite slab to remove. Then gently lower the piece back down. Using granite countertop installation materials, in this case, the dry-cut diamond blade, carefully shave off the edge to your desired level. Always wear protective gear that guards your eyes against dust and grit. Refit the slabs. Make sure all the edges securely fit into place, including the seams in-between plates, in case you have more than one.
Join the Seams
Once the slabs are flush and level on your cabinets, it is now time to fit them together. Tape all the edges to protect them adequately. Then use color-matched two-part epoxy purchasable at your local hardware store to join the butt seams. Tighten the screws until you feel sufficient resistance. Then attach and turn the auto pump on. The tension created should ensure all the seams edges remain flush while the epoxy dries. Utilization of a seam setter additionally ascertains the top edges of all seams remain flush against each other. After at least an hour and once the epoxy is dry, remove the setter. Then carefully shave off any excess epoxy with the use of a single-edge razor. Hold it vertically. Use even strokes.
Attach to the Cabinets
Now that all the seams are joined, attach the slab to the cabinets. The heavy weight of granite countertops is almost sufficient to hold the tile in place. You still should run a bead of caulk on the underside perimeter of your counter where it meets the cabinet top. If you use silicone caulk, it could over time wick into the stone causing stains.
Apply a Sealer
Once your installation is complete, applying granite sealer by evenly wiping it with a clean, soft cloth onto the countertops. This way you’ll protect the stone slab from deep staining. Let it dry for about 24 hours.
Only granite countertop cleaners should be used for your new kitchen countertops maintenance, leaving zero residues. They will keep your granite countertops shiny and new.
For a broad range of granite countertop finishes and colors, contact Aqua Granite. We offer a lower granite countertop installation cost compared to other providers, and a quick and reliable delivery within Wayne Township and North Caldwell, New Jersey.