Installing a Counter Top the Easy Way

Interested in installing a countertop the easy way? Dollar for dollar, countertops are the most cost effective way to improve the look of your kitchen. With average carpentry skills, you can give your kitchen a clean and modern look in a weekend.

Seven Steps To Installing A Countertop The Easy Way

  • Prepping your kitchen. The first step in installing your new countertop it to get your kitchen ready for action. Unhook and remove all sinks and appliances from your old countertops. Cover your floors and other surfaces to protect them from dust and debris.
  • Removing the originals. With a sharp utility knife, cut away the caulk between your countertops and walls and remove any mounting nails or screws underneath the countertops. Finally, loosen the old countertops with a pry bar and remove them from the cabinet bases below.
  • Setting up a base camp. Once the old countertops are removed, check the condition of the cabinet bases left behind. The cabinet bases should be square and level-shim as needed to correct any problems with the cabinet bases before moving on.
  • Dry fit first. Place your countertop on the cabinet bases and move it into position. Make sure the countertop fits in its intended location and that the overhang and cabinet door clearance at the front of the countertop are correct.
  • Wall meets counter. Run a scribing tool along the edge where the backsplash meets the wall. Any irregularities in the wall will be transferred to the backsplash edge. Remove excess material from the back of the countertop with a belt sander (for composite or laminate countertops) or a grinder or circular saw (for stone or solid surface countertops).
  • Making things permanent. Next, mount the countertop to the cabinet bases. Laminate and composite countertops typically are screwed into brackets that are attached to the underside of the countertop. Stone and solid surface countertops are often attached to the cabinet bases with construction adhesive.
  • Make room for the sink. Once your countertop is installed, you may have to make a cut out for a sink installation. Carefully mark the location of the sink using a paper or cardboard template. Laminate and composite countertops can be cut using a drill and saber saw, while other surface will need special tools with diamond-coated blades to cut the sink opening. You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by having your counter fabricator pre-cut the sink openings prior to installation.
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