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How to Install Granite Countertops

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Granite countertops can be a great investment for your home. In addition to providing your kitchen or bath with outstanding elegance, they also are extremely durable and easy to care for. However, installation is not a simple process and requires a level of skill that is best left for someone with expertise. That being said, understanding the installation process can leave you better prepared to ensure an overall positive experience.

Whether you have already decided on your color palette or not, you should begin by visiting your contractor’s showroom to view samples of stone. One of the many advantages of granite countertops is that it comes in a variety of colors, with numerous variations in veining, swirling, and speckling. In addition to these color choices, you will have several options in terms of how the edges are cut or rounded. You can avoid feeling overwhelmed by having an idea of the characteristics that you are looking for. Either way, viewing the samples is an important first step to learning what options are available as well as determining how prices will fit into your budget.

It is very important to have a clear design plan before you take any action. Do not expect that you will be able to make decisions as you go. With installing granite countertops, accurate measurements are crucial. So, once you have decided upon the type of granite that you intend to use, you will still need to select what type of edge you’d like on your countertops, the thickness of the slab, and the backsplash that you will use. You also will need to select from the outset if any other appliances are to be integrated into the countertops. You should even have selected which sink you will have installed and where holes will be placed for the faucet.  It is true that some of these considerations may affect the cost in the long run. More importantly, these decisions need to be made upfront because each countertop is custom made to your specifications.

Once these design decisions have been made, the contractors will come to your home to create a wooden replica of the countertops.  This step helps to ensure that accurate measurements are made of the space where the countertops will be installed.  This replica will take into account the overhangs and any seams as well as the location and cut outs for the sink and faucets.   Then, this wooden model will go to the fabrication shop, in preparation of cutting the stone for installation.

Prior to cutting the stone, you will need to communicate with the contractor to select the slab that will be installed into your home and to determine which parts of the stone to use. Even when you have selected a color and type of granite, the internal patterns can vary drastically from piece to piece. Rather than relying on email and photographs to make these determinations, it is easiest and recommended to view the granite slabs in person to help ensure your satisfaction.

Once the granite slab has been cut to the appropriate size and dimensions, it will be time for installation. On installation day, you will want to make it as easy as possible for the contractors to carry the piece of granite by clearing out any furniture or clutter that might serve as an impediment. Appliances, such as the stove and refrigerator will need to be pulled away from the walls before installation can begin. Cabinets will need to be emptied of their contents, and drawers will need to be removed. To prevent the cabinets from being scratched or damaged during installation, the cabinets should be covered with cardboard or paper.

During installation, the contractors will secure your granite countertops to your cabinets by first installing a wooden sub-counter with screws to hold it in place. After installing the sink and other integrated appliances, the granite slab will then be laid over the sub-counter and adhered with a powerful glue. Finally, your new countertops will be sealed around the edges or at any seams with an epoxy to prevent any moisture from sneaking through and causing damage to the sub-counter or cabinets down the line. Once these finishing touches are complete, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful new countertops.

Granite countertops can add great value to your home. However, as you can see, the installation is not a simple process. It requires great attention to detail that is best performed by an experienced contractor. When making this type of investment into your home, you will want to be certain that the job is done correctly. That is where hiring a professional can help.