Buying and installing granite countertops
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You'll need special supplies
Order seam filler, dye packs, a diamond
blade, a polishing stone and pad, and polishing
compound from your granite supplier.
Ambitious DIYers can now install granite countertops themselves. If you have
straight countertops with no inside corners, it's actually
quite an easy DIY project. However, if your kitchen is like
most, you'll have to do some cutting and seaming. But if you
have basic woodworking skills, that's not as intimidating as
it might sound.
The key is to find a company that provides
the granite along with most of the cutting,
shaping and machining of the sink and faucet
openings. Doityourselfgranite.com is one
online source for both the slabs and the
fabrication work. Go online and
search for “granite countertop suppliers”
for many others. Send the
company a sketch of your
kitchen layout with dimensions.
The staff will review
it, pencil in where the
seams should go and
provide the quote.
The only tricky part is cutting
butt joints wherever
there are inside corners,
which you'll have to do
yourself. That involves making
a straight cut just short of the bull nose and then cutting the miter with a special jig
that’s provided with the rest of the tools. The cut doesn't
have to be perfect; fillers and polishing will take care of
small irregularities. Don't get scared off by these cuts. Just
be sure to measure twice and cut slowly—the diamond
blade does all the hard work for you.
Doityourselfgranite.com even includes
a misting system that attaches to your
saw to keep the blade cool and eliminate
dust. After installation, you fill
and polish all the seams, making them
nearly invisible. Go to the Web site
above to find out more details.
Doityourselfgranite.com offers substantial
discounts on the tools you'll
need if you buy them at the time of
your slab order. Even after buying the
tools and paying the shipping charges,
you'll still save about $1,500 for countertops
for the average-size kitchen.
It takes about a month for the
slabs to arrive. At that point,
you install 3/4-in. plywood
over your base
cabinets and call in
favors from all your
friends. You'll need
their help to heft those
heavy slabs out of the shipping
container and into the
house. So buy beer—and lots of it.