There’s nothing quite as exciting as a kitchen remodel … and nothing quite as stressful, either. One of the biggest pieces of a full remodel will be your brand new granite countertop and naturally, you have some questions and concerns. We asked our remodel gurus to share with us a few of the more important things to keep in mind during the process of selecting and installing your countertop and here is what they said:
Consider Time, Preparation, and Price
A countertop installation project can take about 2 to 3 weeks, from the time the countertops arrive to the final result. Generally, installation can take between 2 to 5 hours to complete, depending on the size of the kitchen and the complexity of the countertop.
If you are replacing the countertops, you can expect part of the installation time to go toward removing the existing countertop, which can take from 30 minutes to several hours, again, depending on the type and size of countertops. In case the existing countertop is too heavy or difficult to dispose of, you might have to pay a fee from $50 to $200 to remove it. When replacing countertops, you will need to make sure your cabinets are leveled and, in some cases, they might need to be reinforced.
If you need help coordinating things like your granite and cabinets because you’re going to install both things at the same time, use an interior designer or kitchen designer for advice. This will help you a lot! Also, always check the stone before it is installed to ensure it is the slab and section you chose (granite is a natural stone, and no two countertops are the same), and the edging and other options are correct.
Make sure the installation cost is included in the price of the granite countertop. Countertop installation costs range from $10 to $30 per foot.
Good Planning Can Reduce Project Stress
It’s important to keep in mind that granite is a heavy stone. With a qualified installer, it should not be a stressful experience for the customer. However, we advise that before having a granite countertop installed, the homeowner should make sure there is a clear path from the doorway to the installation point, moving furniture out of the way. There’s always the risk of damage to walls, either in moving the granite slab through the home or as it is being installed, but it should be easy enough to fix, especially if you are adding a backsplash around the granite counter or are planning to paint after installation. The installation team will typically do a walk-through first and will come up with a game plan with the best approach to bring the stone indoors.
The time of installation depends on the size of the project. Our team recently installed a granite countertop in a small bathroom and the project took a little more than an hour. A larger kitchen might take several hours. After the stone is brought to the project site, the crew should check that the cabinets are level and secure. The stone will be set and then caulked. If there is a cooktop or sink involved, some adjustments may be made on site.
In my line of work, the installation of a granite countertop in a kitchen is a sign that a kitchen renovation is getting closer to the finish line. After taking a kitchen down to the studs, the countertop installation starts to make the room look and feel like a kitchen again. Instead of being a stressful time for the homeowner, it is often an exciting time.
Bill Samuel, Full time residential real estate developer (Since 2013) that specializes in rehabbing houses and renting/selling them in the Chicago area. Find him at blueladderdevelopment.com
Have a Clear Vision of What You Want
First, you should expect the installer to meet you onsite when you have all of your cabinets installed to take measurements for cutting the stone. During the measurement, you should be prepared to make decisions on how you want the edge finished, if you want a backsplash, and the type of sink you will be using.
The installer may bring samples of different stone choices to your house, however if you want to see the widest variety of choices, they may send you to your local granite yard to choose your preferred stone. On the day of installation, you should have the faucet you will be using so that they can drill the appropriate number of holes in the right location.
Stress Is in Selection, Not Installation
When it comes to installing a granite countertop, the stressful part is picking the right counter type and style. The other stressful part for many is paying a professional to do it because you’re going to want a professional to do it.
Once you’ve decided on the style and you’ve booked the job, you don’t have to worry about time too much. It’ll take 3 to 4 hours once the pieces have been measured and cut if installing on new.
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