Countertop installation is a good project to test your skills and accuracy in assembling things and creating your own masterpiece. The main key for a successful DIY method of countertop installation is having the right tools, accuracy skills, and at least one helping hand for the entire project.
Indeed, you get to save a few bucks from DIY countertop installation, but if you do not have those main ingredients, better hire a professional countertop installation contractors to save yourself from the hassle.
Today, we are going to share some important information about granite and quartz countertop installation. These details include average cost, process, and countertop installation contractors. Stay tuned until the last part of this article to find out more.
Countertop Installation Process
Whether you will be using quartz or granite, the entire process of countertop installation for any material is similar and straightforward. The main difference is the handling of the material and the cost of its installation.
The typical tools you will need for this project include the following – kraft paper, markers, goggles, work gloves, wet grinder, caulking gun, circular saw, drill, and push-pull rule.
Before starting the process, make sure you are wearing your personal protective equipment, that is, goggles and work gloves. Wearing a mask is optional, particularly if you are asthmatic. However, you will be using a wet circular saw and grinder, thus, there will be less dust flying in the air.
Planning and Measuring the area of the kitchen cabinet where you will install your countertop is the first step. Once you have established the accurate and correct measurements, order the appropriate size of the material from the supplier. You can either have a modular slab system or a large slab then you will be the one to do the cut-out.
After, you prepare the kitchen cabinet counter. It is optional to have a plywood sub counter on top of the kitchen cabinet for structural reinforcement. Then, you need to install your faucet and kitchen sink before laying down the material for the countertop. It is easier to install these two first and lay the granite or quartz on top, rather than doing the reverse.
After installing your faucet and sink, work on the cut-out of the granite or quartz slab using a wet circular saw. You can also smooth out its edges using a wet grinder. Buying a prefab smooth-edged slab will be more costly.
The last step for the installation process is gluing the material down the counter. You need to use a caulking gun for this process. Likewise, if seams are visible, you can prepare a putty mixture that has a similar color and design with the material.
Kitchen Countertop Installation Cost
Kitchen countertop installation is a major part in remodeling your kitchen to increase the overall resale value of your home. To make this successful, you need to choose the right material for your countertop remodeling.
In the market, two popular materials are dominating the field of kitchen countertops, granite and quartz. These two materials are known to increase the overall resale value equivalent to 90 – 100 percent of the overall cost of the kitchen countertop. Moreover, we cannot deny the huge elegance and functionality of these materials in your kitchen.
Before making any decision, make sure to do some market research on the various prices and quality of materials for your kitchen countertop. Regardless of any material, the average cost of material for kitchen countertop is $40 to $100 per square foot installed. Variables that can influence price includes material, size, thickness, current labor cost in your place, and the supplier.
Granite Countertop Installation
Installing granite countertops is an excellent project you can add for your DIY portfolio. This material has a heavyweight, so an extra hand would be really great for this project. The entire installation process is very similar when installing other materials for your countertops.
The first thing you need to do is get the accurate measurement using kraft paper of the kitchen cabinet counter where you will install it. It is optional to prepare the countertop of your kitchen cabinet by installing a layer of plywood as sub-counter. This would serve a reinforcement structure for your granite counter.
Cut the exact measurement of the plywood needed for your sub-counter. After, fix the plywood by drilling pilot holes on the underside of the cabinet frames, and insert screws upward. Cut out the section of the plywood where you plan to install a drop-in kitchen sink. You can install the sink after, considering it is easier to place the granite counter on top of the sink rim rather than doing the reverse.
The next thing to do is cut out the exact dimensions of the material needed for the countertop. Use a wet circular saw for making the cut-outs. Smoothing the edge of the granite can be done using a wet grinder.
The last process is gluing down the granite countertop. Run a bead of caulk on the perimeter of the kitchen counter, then slowly laid down the granite countertop. You can also seal the visible seams of the granite counter for better aesthetics.
Granite Countertop Installation Cost
Granite countertop installation does not come cheap, but the investment is worth in appraising the resale value of your home. The average estimated cost for installing granite countertop is between $45 to $200 per square foot installed.
Quartz Countertops Installation
The process of installing a quartz countertop is not very different from installing a granite counter. The main difference is the material used for the countertop.
The first thing you need to do is to prepare the kitchen cabinet and measure the exact dimension required for the countertop. You can use kraft paper in creating a replica of the exact dimension. Bear in mind that the measurement for the overhang is around 1″ to 1.5″ only. If longer than 1.5″, you need to install a metal frame as a support structure for the overhang.
After, you can install your faucet and drop-in sink before placing and gluing the quartz countertop. Once completed, you can now make the cut-out for your quartz counter by placing the kraft paper on top of the quartz slab. Use a wet circular saw in trimming the slab. For smoothing its edges, use a wet grinder.
To protect your kitchen cabinets from excess glue or adhesives, cover the edges with duct tape. Now, you can lift your quartz cut-out and lay it on top of the kitchen cabinet. Run a bead of caulk around the perimeter of your kitchen cabinet. Slowly lay down the quartz countertop.
You can clean out visible seams but applying a small amount of clear silicone on it, and remove the excess. You can allow your new quartz countertop to sit for a couple of hours to cure its adhesives and sealants.
Quartz Countertops Installation Cost
The price for a quartz slab varies depending on the size, thickness, and quality. A good estimate for the cost of a quartz countertop is between $50 to $100 per square foot installed.
The average price of quartz slab based on quality and per square foot are the following
High quality – $72.50 per s.f.
Middle quality – $67.43 per s.f.
Low quality – $61.50 per s.f.
Looking at the labor cost of the installation, that is around $6 to $9 per square foot installed.
Countertop Installation Contractors
There are many countertop installation contractors in the United States from which you can choose from. However, do not easily hire any contractor without checking their credentials, track record, licenses, and rates.
Before hiring a particular professional countertop installer, here are a few tips you can adapt.
1. Check for any hidden cost on the rates quoted from the contractor. Do not be easily fooled by the cheap cost per square foot.
2. Check for the quality of the material used by the contractor. If the price per square foot is cheap, it could mean the contractor is using low-quality slabs.
3. Conduct an ocular inspection of the entire slab before making any cut-outs. This ensures you have bought the right quality of slab for your counter.
4. A credible countertop installation contractor will never focus on cost, rather provide you with substantial details on how you will get the best results for your countertop.