We’re proud of the fact that property owners looking to upgrade their interior and exterior spaces and care for their beautiful new countertops look to our team for practical, valuable insight into the countertop process, including everything from countertop maintenance tips to shedding light on how marble and granite are mined. Now, in the spirit of telling the next chapter in the granite countertop installation process — or really any of our material countertop installations — we’re here to pull the curtain back when it comes to the big day: when our installers bring your countertop to its forever home.
What to Know: The Ins and Outs of the Stone Countertop Installation Process
When shopping for and purchasing new stone countertops, it’s important to understand the installation process ahead of time so you can fully be in the know about what lies ahead. A professional fabricator is typically hired to install stone materials such as granite, marble, quartz, and other heavy or specialty materials to ensure a proper fit and design. The challenging nature of countertop installation requires proper tools and equipment as well as knowledge and experience.
Let’s explore the ins and outs of professional countertop installation, including how granite countertops are installed and if this differs from the marble and quartz countertop installation process. Once the materials are chosen and the kitchen surfaces have been accurately measured, here’s what you can expect from the countertop installation process.
During the buying and hiring process, ask whether the kitchen or bathroom countertop installers will remove old countertops and disconnect plumbing and electrical fixtures. Unlike some other installers, Colonial Marble & Granite installers will take care of all action items, so it won’t be necessary to make an outside hire.
If removal of the existing countertops is included, clear the surfaces of appliances like coffeemakers, soap pumps, decor, etc. Keep in mind — you will not have access to your kitchen for several hours, so you will want to remove the items you need for the day like silverware, plates, etc.
Clear a pathway to the kitchen so the countertop installers have easy access. We recommend keeping pets and small children away from the work area. If you don’t have a contractor coordinating the process, ensure all new sinks, faucets, and cooktops that are to be mounted in or on the countertops are on-site.
The amount of time it takes for professional granite, marble, or other stone installation will depend on the size of your project, design details, and material. For example, marble countertop installation will often take less time than tile considering the intricacies of the latter. The installer’s timeframe will depend on the complexities of the space, including accessibility, custom design features like sink and cooktop cutouts, as well as countertop disassembly and removal. For the installation of natural stone, such as granite, plan on the installers being in your kitchen for anywhere from four to eight hours.
There is a general process for natural stone countertop installation. Slabs are either cut off beforehand or on-site by skilled fabricators to fit pre-taken measurements. This includes crafting custom edges and making cutouts for under-mount sinks and cooktops. Regardless of where the slabs are cut and prepared, once finished, they will be laid upon the bare counters, leveled, and secured. Seams (where the two pieces of stone are put together) will be joined with epoxy that is mixed with the color that matches the stone. Then, the joined area is smoothened so that only a very thin line is visible. To further secure the stone to the cabinets, attachment blocks are used.
Note: It’s important that your cabinets are level and secured to the wall or anchored to the floor. If they are uneven, shims might be placed under the new countertops to level the surface areas.
Our installers should have essential tools on hand to face many of the challenges that might occur.
Quartz vs. Marble and Granite Countertop Installation
You might ask: How is quartz countertop installation different from marble and granite countertop installation? The truth is that the difference between marble and granite installation and engineered (manmade) stone installation is not too substantial.
Installing Quartz Kitchen or Bathroom Countertops
Since quartz is engineered into the same-sized slabs (including jumbo-sized), there is often less of a need to align and seal seams. Additionally, quartz is nonporous, so it never needs to be sealed or waxed to be protected against stains and mildew, whereas granite and marble should be sealed upon installation and once each year after that. While quartz can hold up to just about anything, your countertop installer will consult you on best practices when it comes to cleaning and maintaining its beauty.
Installing Marble or Granite Kitchen Bathroom Countertops
Once our kitchen countertop installers have ensured the space is ready to put everything in place, they will carry in individual pieces of marble and granite. Since marble and granite are natural materials and extremely heavy, most kitchens will have multiple sections of stone that will be seamed together when installing the granite or marble countertops.
Our marble and granite kitchen countertop installers will recommend sealing the new natural stone countertop after installation. Granite, like many natural stones, is porous. With proper sealing, liquids and oils will bead on top of it rather than seep in the stone. Sealing a granite countertop upon installation can also prevent etching caused by cleaners or acidic foods. Our marble and granite countertop installers will consult you on exactly how to care for your natural stone countertop to preserve its beauty and functionality.
Cutouts and Sink Installation
With Colonial Marble CNC technology, we can perform any sink or surface unit cutout with computer-aided design files. Under-mount sinks (sinks mounted under the countertop to avoid showing any rim) are fully cut out, and the inside of the hole is polished. The countertop is then flipped over and fitted with special grommets for your plumber to fasten the sink.
Some instances will require cutouts to be made on-site. This includes those for cooktops, specialty sinks, faucet holes, and more. Self-rimming cutouts are cut 6″ into each corner off-site, leaving some of the straight sections to be cut in the field to facilitate safe shipping.
If in-home fabrication is necessary, our team will take the greatest of safety measures to minimize dust and mess. Consider covering any nearby furniture to protect it from dust.
Your under-mount sink will be mounted to the new stone countertops with clips and sealed with silicone. Allow 12 hours for the watertight seal to dry.
Once everything is in place, sealed, leveled, dried, and quality-control checked, your countertop installation is complete! Our kitchen countertop installers will reconnect fixtures and wiring as needed. Remember, other installers may not be qualified to reconnect wiring, so it will be necessary to hire an electrician. The lead installer will review the specific ongoing care and maintenance information for your particular countertop material. Granite varies from quartz which varies from marble, so be sure to know what use and care considerations you should take.
Colonial Marble & Granite: Countertop Installation Like No Other
The investment you put into countertop installation, whether it be marble, granite, quartz, or any other stone, deserves to be met with specialists that not only factor in your circumstances and preferences but have an intimate understanding of the materials themselves. With Colonial Marble & Granite, you can rest assured that our kitchen and bathroom countertop installers go above and beyond to ensure the process is as painless as possible, so you can spend more time enjoying your countertop.
Are you considering granite countertop installation? How about marble? Have you thought about engineered stone? Not sure which option is optimal for your space? We have you covered! We invite you to visit one of our showrooms to discuss how we can make your new countertop smooth and stress-free from beginning to end. You can also get a feel for how any of our products will look before you make any decision with our state-of-the-art bathroom visualizer and virtual kitchen color designer, as well as kitchen countertop and backsplash ideas.
Contact us today to get started on your new kitchen and bathroom countertops, vanities, jacuzzi surrounds, fireplace surrounds, and other custom designs!
“We have only positive comments to say about our experience with Colonial Marble. From the date we placed our order, everything went as planned. No delays or issues. We absolutely LOVE our countertops and the workmanship of the installer, Danny, is impeccable.” – Linda A.
“The installation crew was very attentive to detail, and the fit and finish of the countertop, sink, and backsplash met my expectations.” – Jeff J
“A great experience. From the sale through the measurement to the install the process went exactly as it should have. Very satisfied – Eugene L.