Installing new countertops in your kitchen is a project that happens in stages. First, select a stone that you love. There are many types of stone and each type is maintained slightly differently.
Once you’ve picked the perfect stone for your countertop, the next step is installation. Countertop installation is a complicated process that takes anywhere from 2 hours to 7 hours total, depending on the size of your kitchen and the complexity of its design.
Preparing the space comes first. Once you’ve done your part to get ready for your stone installation, your fabricator will send in their team of experts to get the work done quickly and efficiently.
How to Get Ready for Installation
Make room. Clear a pathway to your kitchen to allow the stone installation team easy access to your space. Countertop stone can weigh hundreds of pounds, and the stones are wide as well as well as long. Your installation team will need a walkway clear of obstructions to ensure safe access to your kitchen. When you’ve cleared a path, remove all the top drawers from your kitchen cabinets.
Protect surfaces as needed. Removing old countertops can be a messy process – especially if your current countertops are laminate. We’ll have to cut into your countertops to take them out, and that can create a lot of sawdust. Cutting through natural stone can be messy as well, by creating a lot of dust. Either of these things may happen in your home during the installation. If you’re concerned, lay down plastic over any nearby surfaces that you’d like to protect from debris.
Make arrangements for the little ones. If you have children or pets, make arrangements for them to be out of the pathway of the installation team when they arrive. While they can definitely be in the house while countertop installation takes place, it’s best to ensure they won’t be underfoot while the workers are carrying around heavy slabs.
What To Do During Installation
Have someone onsite. Someone needs to be onsite to approve the installation when it’s finished. This person may be you or your general contractor (if you’re remodeling your entire kitchen). If you’re present during installation, you’re welcome to ask the team any questions you may have.
Removing Old Countertops
We’ll remove your old countertops and dispose of the waste. If you’d like us to dispose of your old sink, we’ll do that as well. We’ll shut off the water supply to the affected areas while this is happening, but we won’t shut off water to your entire house.
Carry the stone inside. First, the stone is carefully carried inside by experts who know how to handle your stone without causing it to crack or chip. Your installation team will be very careful not to damage your home’s walls with the heavy slabs.
Level the installation surface. Your cabinets must be as level as possible in order to ensure a level countertop surface once installation is finished. If your cabinets aren’t level, your installers will use shims to create a level surface.
Install the stone. Once the surface is level and ready for the stone to be installed, your team of installers will lay the stone down and secure them to the counters. They’ll use an epoxy to cement the stone slabs together and fill the seams between the stone. The epoxy will either be clear or neutral colored to match the slabs.
Install the backsplash. If you’ve ordered a matching stone backsplash to be installed in your home, your installation team will put that in place now. The stone backsplash will help cover any gaps between the stone countertop and the wall, for a highly attractive finished product.
Create cutouts. Some cutouts (like for the cooktop) may need to be performed onsite. Cutouts may be notched in the fabricator’s workshop, but the finial cutout will be performed onsite in your home. This step can create some dust.
Once the stone is installed, the installation team will clean up the countertop to remove excess caulking, epoxy or dust. The counters will be sealed as well, if sealing is required. Only some types of stone need to be sealed (granite and marble). Sealing helps waterproof the stone to prevent it from absorbing liquids that could stain the surface.
Your stone countertops may come with care instructions and a warranty. Read these instructions carefully and follow them, to avoid damaging your stone countertops or voiding the warranty. Stone can last for centuries, but it can be damaged if not used or maintained properly.
Hire the Right Fabricator for Your Stone Installation
A good stone fabricator will communicate with you throughout the stone selection and installation process, so you’ll know what to expect from start to finish. Good fabricators sell quality stone and warranty their work, to protect their customers. Find the right stone fabricator for your stone countertop installation.