Small changes in your kitchen can transform it and make it a centerpiece of your home. Learn how to install a granite countertop and save some money.
Granite, or any kind of stone countertop, can make any kitchen look like a million bucks. The size of your kitchen will determine how much it costs, but don’t let that scare you off. The right cut of stone, the right color of paint on the walls, and the right cabinets can transform your kitchen in a day. You can either hire a professional or learn how to install a granite countertop yourself.
Prepare the Cabinets
A big slab of granite is incredibly heavy, so you will need to add some extra support so the whole thing doesn’t cave in. Install heavy-duty right-angle brackets on the inside of the cabinet to provide the extra support they need. There are mounting holes on the bracket, so the screws can anchor the bracket to the slab and prevent any slipping. If you want to paint or refinish the cabinets, do it before you install the top. For added strength, install sheets of plywood before the granite.
Dry fit the Countertop
Not every wall is square and level in every home, so you want to check your kitchen. Any bad angle will mean your new tops won’t fit snuggly against the wall. Take large pieces of cardboard and do a mock-up of your countertops to make sure everything will fit.
Cut the Sink Hole
The tops should arrive with the sink hole already cut, but you will need to cut out the space in the plywood underneath. Trace any holes with a pencil and remove the slab. Use a jig saw to cut the plywood and make the cut out about a ¼ inch wider, so it doesn’t interfere with the sink.
Level the Surface
Never assume that a surface is level. Check every part of the countertop with a level to make sure. If there are any spots that aren’t level, use wooden shims to adjust it.
Attach the Countertops
This is a three-man job; two to lift and one to apply, so you’ll need to enlist some help for this step. Apply small beads of silicone to the perimeter of the plywood. Gently put the slab back in place and repeat the process for every piece of granite.
Caulk all the Seams
After all the hardware and basin have been installed, you now need to caulk all the edges. A caulk that dries clear is the best for most tops. You don’t want water or food getting under or in any cracks, as it can lead to damage, so make sure your edges are sealed well.