Granite Countertops installation
Granite Countertops installation will involve more than most people expect. Granite countertop companies do not do all the work that is involved in the installation of your countertops. Most of the companies fabricate the countertops and install them, but there are other things that must be done to complete the job that you must do or hire someone to do. These extra steps usually involve electrical work, plumbing, appliance moving, removing the old countertops and discarding the old countertops.
On new construction, the base cabinets must be permanently anchored in place before a countertop template can be made. Any sinks, faucets, cook tops, or any other item that requires a cutout or a hole in the top must be on site and readily available at the time the template is made. The sink and kitchen appliances built into the countertops like a cook top or drop-in range must be on the job site before a template can be made. The fabricator may need to take some items with him to complete the fabrication. Please note that any delay in acquiring the accessories may also delay the installation.
On a remodel project, existing tops may have to be removed prior to measurement, and will definitely have to be removed just prior to installation. The fabricator will not do this work. You will have to do it and it can be quite a job. The countertops are usually screwed down to the top of the cabinets and back splash glued to the wall. You will have to remove all the drawers to get to the screws, and be very careful not to damage the wall when pulling the back splash away. If there is damage to the wall, it will have to be repaired and refinished prior to the new countertop installation. This job can not usually be done by one person, so have some help when you start. Remember that you will have to have a truck to haul away the old countertops ad it is quite a stack of rubbish. Another thing to check is to be sure the top edge of the cabinet that the countertop will rest upon is the same height all the way around. The back of my cabinets were 3/4” higher than the front of my cabinets requiring a 3/4” inch strip to be installed on the front of the cabinet to make a level resting area for the new granite countertop.
Sinks and faucets are another concern for several reasons. The first is disconnecting the plumbing which gets pretty messy and some of those old porcelain covered cast iron sinks weigh a ton. Old water pipe connections will never go back together without leaks and they are a royal pain to remove and replace. You will usually replace the old sink with a new fancy one to match your countertops and that usually requires the drain pipe connections to be changed. That means trips to the local hardware store to find the new parts. While you are there remember the new faucet connections too. The fabricator will usually install the sink if you purchase it as part of the deal, but just the sink, not the pipes and garbage disposal.
Built-in appliances like cook-tops or drop-in ranges will have to be disconnected from the electrical power and they are usually hard wired 220 volt connections that you can not just unplug. You may need an electrician and you will certainly need help to remove them. Make sure if you are replacing your old appliances that you absolutely know the correct measurements of the new appliances and do not assume they will be the same as the old ones. My new standard 30” wide range did not fit in the 29.5” hole where the old range came from, even though they were the same brand. I had to have the installer come back to my home and cut another half inch and was lucky he could do it onsite.
Fabrication will take 3 to 4 weeks to complete after measurements are taken, so be sure to allow sufficient lead time for the project to be completed. If anything goes wrong during the fabrication process, or if the top is damaged and has to be replaced, that time will be extended. Good luck with your project.