Installing Countertops - Granite, Granite Tile & Laminate
Quick Tips to ensure an excellent job of your countertop
The technique for installing countertops is different for every type of surface material. While it is possible that accomplished do-it-yourselfers could make an excellent job of installing a kitchen countertop all by themselves, it is recommended you call on the services of a professional. After all, you don’t want to spend thousands on a the raw materials – only to cut it wrong or seal in incorrectly.
The following installation examples are intended for informational purposes only, and are not a complete guide to installing a countertop.
Solid Granite countertop: Because granite is very heavy, it is advised that you have at least one other person helping you fit the countertop. First, do what is known as a “dry fit” to be sure the countertop is the correct size for the space. Then apply a trail of silicone along the whole top edge of the box which the countertop will be placed on. Place the countertop in the exact position it needs to be and allow the silicone to set.
Laminate countertop: Carefully clean and then sand the surface (such as plywood or particle board) where the laminate will be applied, taking care to remove all paint or varnish. Cut the laminate to the pre-measured size required using a circular saw or utility knife. Be sure to cut the laminate slightly oversize to allow for trimming later on. Roughen up the surface to be covered with coarse sandpaper and ensure all sanding residue is brushed or blown away. Apply either contact cement or epoxy adhesives evenly to both the laminate and the counter surface with a brush. Allowing the surfaces to dry for the recommended time. Position the laminate sheet over the countertop surface, being careful not to let them touch until the alignment is perfect. Use a roller to apply even pressure to the top of the laminate to bond the two surfaces together. Trim the surplus laminate with a router or a file. Remove extra cement with a solvent designed for this purpose.
Granite Tile countertop: Place a slip sheet on top of the backing surface to allow for expansion and contraction variation of the tiles. Use a thinset epoxy to affix the granite tiles to the backing surface. Be sure to use either a 1/16 or 1/32 inch spacer to create the gap between each tile on your countertop. These gaps are then filled with an epoxy grout. Once the granite tile countertop is completely installed and cured you should seal the entire surface using a natural stone sealer.