Installing granite countertops is easier for the do-it-yourselfer than it has ever been. Granite manufacturers are now producing pre-shaped granite for countertops. Installing granite countertops is a good way to go if you want to save on installation charges or just have that satisfaction of accomplishing your own home improvements! However, the risk of disaster is imminent if you do not follow installation tips and instructions to a tee. No skipped steps, no curse words! (Well not as many!)
Before You Purchase Your Granite
Before you even purchase granite, the first step you must take is to measure your counters. Approximations will not do, the measurements need to be exact! If you are doing a full kitchen make-over, this would be the proper time to install any cabinets. New or old, be sure to check that they are properly and securely anchored to the wall and the floor. It should be noted that the walls that your counters nestle up to have a ninety degree angle. If they are not square, you will have to make some alterations to your measurements.
The next step to take before purchasing your granite is to take some opaque paper substance and draw where the sink (using exact measurements for that) will go. Also on the same paper, mark off the kind of overhang you want, as well. Next, is the fun part! Pick out your granite! However, check and double check your measurements before spending any money on a purchase. You want to make sure you order what you need. Once you are two hundred and ten percent confident with your measurements and template, order that granite!
Now That You Have Your Granite, Here are the Basic Steps
Granite is much heavier than other surfaces, so you want to make sure that the countertop can support it. This can easily be done by installing a plywood plank about a three quarters of an inch wide. The plywood should not hang over the cabinets, but be cut exactly to their end. Using a level, make sure the plywood is level and straight. The plywood will need to be secured to the tops of the cabinets with screws, however, it is highly recommended that pilot holes be drilled into the cabinets themselves to prevent any splintering or breakage of the wood.
Granite slabs are heavy and breakable, so you may want to have a helper. Next, slide the granite on top of the plywood to make absolute sure it fits properly. Mark the exact place to cut the hole for the sink onto the plywood. The template you made will have given the manufacturer the ability to already have the hole for the sink cut out of the granite. Remove the granite and use a Jigsaw to cut the hole out of the plywood for the sink. . You have an eighth of an inch of room to go outside your line, but should attempt to keep it precise. Install the sink. Once you make sure the granite slab fits well, you can again remove it. Apply sealant to the sides of the plywood, just a glob every half a foot to foot. Press into place. Apply sealant to both sides of the sink, the side that attaches to the plywood and the side that attaches to the granite. Lay the granite back on the counter and make sure it is level one last time. If it is, glue it down to the counter.
After You Have Installed
After the countertop has been installed, covering it with a hardener and a resin coating is the next step. That will keep your countertop stain proof and more durable. A sealant and marble polisher is also a good idea.
Installing granite countertops doesn’t sound too difficult, but it certainly doesn’t sound easy. However, if you are careful and do not cut corners, you can make this a DIY project to admire for years!