Your granite countertops most likely cost you a considerable chunk of change, so it’s understandable to want to cut costs where you can. However, installation isn’t an area where you should be trying to shave off a few bucks. In fact, proper installation can make or break how beautiful your entire kitchen looks and how well the granite holds up over the years. Below are just a few areas where professional installation is well worth the money.
To some extent, a homebuilder’s skill and workmanship determines how level the flat surfaces in the home are, but other factors can influence the “levelness” of your kitchen countertops. The age of the home, foundation settling, water damage, warped cabinets – all of these things can cause an uneven surface where your countertops sit.
Most kitchens will need shimming somewhere along the countertop, but unless you know what you’re doing, you could do more harm than good. The way you shim determines a lot, and an inexperienced installation could create small pressure points that could hurt the granite over time. A skilled installer will know how and where to place the levelers in order to keep the granite safe and your carrots from rolling away from you.
The vast majority of countertops will need a seam at some point, whether or not they are natural stone countertops in the kitchen. There are some countertop options – laminate and solid surface being two examples – where seams almost disappear even with amateur installers, but unfortunately, granite is not one of them. An experienced installer will know how to match up and adhere granite pieces together to minimize the appearance of seams while also creating a sturdy, lasting joint between the two slabs.
It’s no surprise to anyone that granite is heavy – really heavy, in fact. We’re talking between 10 and 30 pounds per square foot! With the average kitchen countertop ringing in around 30 square feet, that means the cabinets and other support systems could need to hold up close to a thousand pounds of igneous rock.
That much weight needs special handling and support if it’s going to keep everything (and everyone) in their original conditions. An inexperienced installer could hurt themselves while installing the granite slabs, but they could also damage the cabinetry or flooring underneath. Additionally, some long stretches of countertop or areas with multiple cut-outs might require extra supports within the cabinetry. Without those supports, an inexperienced installer could unknowingly create stress fractures that lead to expensive cracks and repairs in the future. On the flip side, a professional installer will know what kinds of supports the granite needs, dependent on its weight and dimensions.
The Right Skills and Tools
Granite is a beautiful and durable stone, and because of those two impressive qualities, it can be challenging to install correctly. People who install granite professionally will have the correct tools and experience to keep the granite countertops in your Denver home looking gorgeous for years to come.
Unlike other countertop materials, granite requires special blades and cutting techniques to get good seams, and it’s not a very forgiving material once it has been cut. Accidentally cutting too much can render a beautiful stone slab almost useless – a costly and incredibly frustrating problem to have.
Additionally, the cutting process can cover your home in very fine stone dust if the installer isn’t careful or experienced, and that can be stressful to clean up. A professional installer will likely have a wet blade to help keep dust to a minimum or have the skillset to easily move the granite slab outdoors during cutting.
A professional installer will also know the kind of adhesive to use at the seams to prevent cracking or separating later on and will know where to place the seams and supports to minimize stress and other potential damage. Don’t forget that your time is worth something, too, and while you may be saving a little money doing the work yourself, it’ll likely take you significantly longer to complete the install. A professional installer will know how to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Lastly, one of the most obvious signs that an amateur installer did the work is the quality of the final caulking. There should be a thin, even bead of caulk against the wall that creates a flawless finish, and inexperienced installers often leave behind a fat bead that travels up the wall and onto the countertop.
Your granite countertops are one of the busiest places in your home. Between making school lunches, helping with homework, and preparing family dinners, your countertops need to be able to hold their own. Hiring an inexpensive, subpar installer or trying to DIY your own installation may seem a good way to save some money, but it can cost you more in the long run. Professional installers will know how to install your granite so that it lasts for years and looks gorgeous the entire time.