Before you start granite countertop installation—or another material, such as tile—there are several important considerations to review before you begin:
1. Be Prepared
Prior to starting countertop installation, it is best to have the kitchen finished and ready to receive new countertops. If you are changing any appliances, faucets, hardware, or cabinet positions, complete your updates first or make detailed notes about specific redesign or remodeling details, including measurements and dimensions.
2. Draw It Out
Before you start with any kind of installation, make a complete drawing of the countertops. Remember to include the countertop overhang, cutout dimensions, backsplashes, seam location (average slab dimensions are about 108 x 62 inches in size), and a finished edge along all visible edges.
3. Get a Quote
Find reputable fabricators by entering your zip code on our Find a Fabricator
page. You can also find more information about determining a project cost breakdown on our Knowledge Base
. Ask the fabricator about installation per your drawing, and remember that the quote needs to include delivery time and specific prices for installation, templates, and fabrication.
4. Material Matters
Select your stone carefully. Browse our Products
to see different types of material. When viewing material, look for small or large imperfections, any markings and any other variations. Of course, all natural stone will have some inherent imperfections, especially when it comes to granite countertop installation. Remember to order extra material, as mistakes and problems are inevitable.
Note that fabrication of pre-polished stone should include beveled edges so that there is a margin of error during the installation process.
6. Moving In
When moving the countertop material, be aware that different materials require different handling techniques. A box of tiles usually has about 10 tiles per box and weighs about 60 pounds. Keep the tiles vertical prior to installation.
A forklift and boom, or an overhead crane, must move large slabs of stone. Polished-face stone slabs need to be loaded in a vertical position with the faces touching each other. Check to make sure the slabs are moved in a vertical position. The fabricators do all of this work, so you should not try to move the materials by yourself.
Since countertop material is sometimes stored at the job site prior to installation, please make sure that slabs and tile are placed away from high-traffic areas to protect against accidents. Keep polished slab sides directed towards each other and in a vertical position. Use a piece of 1 x 4 feet piece of wood to separate each piece if stacking is necessary.
8. Final Checks
Prior to getting ready to install the countertop material, check to ensure that the delivered material is your chosen material and the ordered quantity is present. Stopping mid-process to order new or more material makes the job much more complicated.
When slabs are used for countertops, you will need to verify that the seams, overhang, and sink cutout are as expected. It is very important that you make sure that the countertops just installed are cleaned and properly protected while the other tradesmen finish the project.
9. Sorting Things Out
(for tile installations)
Once you have unpacked and verified the material, mix and match the various pieces to create the look you desire before the installation proceeds.
Open all tile boxes and mix the tiles into different batches so that any variations in the tile are spread around through the entire batch, instead of being located in one area.
Examine the stone or tile for damage or other issues, and lay the material out flat to check the appearance when placed together. Consider the direction of the vein in the material when setting out the material, especially during granite countertop installation.
10. Setting Up
(for tile installations)
Divide the installation area into several smaller areas, and divide all the material equally among each section. Include a little bit of extra to help cover any mistakes or problems that may occur.
Do not begin installation on any section if there is incomplete material for that section, as new product material may look different from the original material. All material should be mixed and spread out over the entire job area before installation starts, to spread any variations in color or appearance throughout the whole surface.
11. Sticky Situation
There are different types of adhesion for stone tiles, depending on whether or not the tile is placed inside or outside. Some manual adhesive material spreads on the back of each tile before placing the tile on the final location. Other tiles use a mechanical anchoring process.
Slabs of material for granite countertop installation use a combination of adhesive material and mechanical anchors for the vertical pieces during installation. Non-staining adhesive is used for horizontal pieces.
Remember that the surface must be completely clean before grout is applied. Choose the grout color prior to starting the installation process, and test a small area to verify the color and material before proceeding.
Countertop installation can have dramatic effects. Contact us for a free consultation
to learn more.