You fell in love with your granite countertop the moment you saw it in the shop and it has since been one of the highlights of your kitchen. But it looks like a move is on the horizon and you don’t think you’ll ever find a granite surface quite as beautiful as the one you already have. Can you take the slab with you when you move? Good question, and our home improvement gurus have some answers for you.
Costs Outweigh Benefits?
The biggest factor you’ll need to consider is cost. Transporting a granite countertop requires skilled workers to ensure no damage occurs. That’s easier said than done. And something that will inevitably cost a ton of money.
If you’re working with a mover, you’ll find that these types of services often charge a surplus for transportation of such high-risk items, and by the time you stack up all these costs and the risks involved, topped off with the fact that it’s a tricky process that may not work out, I am always left asking, is it worth it?
Some Things to Consider
You can do whatever you want with what’s in your house, but you can’t do it after prospective buyers have viewed your home. For example, you can’t put your house on the market, have pictures posted to real estate websites, have an open house, or have showings and then remove the countertop.
Countertops are part of the house, and once they’ve been viewed, they’re part of the deal when someone makes an offer.
It’s not going to be easy to reuse your granite countertops because your new home will have to have the same kitchen countertop layout as what you have now or be smaller. If you have to add more granite, you’re going to have a difficult time matching it to what you have. It may be impossible to find a suitable match.
You’ll also have to install new countertops in the house you’re selling or sell it “as is,” which isn’t as desirable as buying a move-in-ready home.
If you have the perfect spot for your granite countertops in your new house, and you don’t mind taking care of getting new countertops installed in the house you’re selling, go for it; just make sure you do it before your home hits the market.
Granite is extremely heavy and you will likely need to hire granite countertop workers to move it for you. Your new home will need cabinets strong enough to support granite. If you need any trimming, the granite installers can probably do that for you, as well.
It’s not common to take countertops with you when you move because it rarely makes sense.
Make Sure You Have the Right Fit
Yes, you can take the granite countertop from your old home and reuse it in your new home. However, you are going to be limited to how you can use it. For instance, the piece that was around your old kitchen sink needs to fit into a similar size sink to work in the new home.
You also need to think about the countertop space in your old home versus your new home. There’s a good chance that you might not have enough for your new counters, which means you’ll have to buy new to add to it that might not be a perfect color match.
Risks of Reusing Countertop
If you love the granite countertops in your current home, then you can take them with you for use in your new home. However, you may not want to do that. The risks of trying to reuse granite include the risk of cracking when moving, the granite not being the right fit for your new space, and the granite not covering all of the new counter space.
If you don’t have enough to cover the new space, then you need to buy more to add to it and seal the two pieces together. This creates an unsightly seam where the two pieces meet, which may hurt the resale value of the home. Any granite that is cut, like for a sink basin, means that you need an exact fit in the new place, so that is something for you to consider as well.
Often just getting new granite counters is a better option instead of trying to make the old slabs fit in the new space.
Risks of Cracking, Breaking in Moving Granite Slabs
Because granite is one of the most expensive building materials, reusing the granite countertops in your home is a great way to help reduce the cost of having to buy a new one. However, doing so will often mean taking some risks, as there are challenges and problems to consider with this process.
For one, if you intend to reuse the countertop that you currently have, then the problem with that is you will end up being limited to using the existing design footprint of the space for the old granite to be able to fit into the new space. As such, if you did want to expand the counter space in your new place, chances are you won’t have enough granite to complete the design.
Moreover, the main reason that granite is so valuable is because of its durability, but the thing about it is that it can be very difficult to lift in large slabs. And while well-installed granite doesn’t damage easily, the moving process can often end up placing it at risk of cracking. It is for this reason that many professional contractors request homeowners to sign a contract exempting them from liability should the granite end up damaged in the removal process.
Naturally, should the removal process go ahead, then delicate removal techniques will need to be used to help reduce any risk of damage. For instance, several people will need to carry it along its length to avoid aggravating any pressure points that may result in cracking. In such instances, you should always carry it in a vertical position as it will help to equally distribute the pressure. You also need to consider your granite counter’s thickness, because the thicker it is, the stronger it is.
For instance, if you notice that there is plywood below the granite, then chances are it is thin, which means there is a high risk of it cracking, as the plywood is often used to help strengthen the countertop. In such cases, the contractor may sometimes opt to remove the granite while the plywood remains attached and then end up removing it later using a chisel.
Consult a Granite Fabricator
Reusing granite in a new kitchen is often possible. It does depend on the size and layout of both the new and old kitchens, which could make it complicated. I recommend that you consult with a granite fabrication shop first. They would be the experts best suited to tell you the feasibility of the project and the best-equipped team to work with to do the move.
Don’t be surprised if they want you to sign a disclaimer. Granite is a heavy stone and in moving it, there’s a risk of breakage. While often possible, you may find that this type of project is more trouble than it is worth.
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