granite counter top installation

naturelleOctober 31, 2011

I bought some granite counter top pieces at a very good price, so much so that I would not mind if my plans do not work out. It's worth a try.

The main piece is a "L" with a corner cutout for a double sink. I bought the sink and the faucet also, so there should not be a problem with the cutting and fit. The other pieces are smaller and will be joined together and cut to suit the rest of the kitchen. It is a very small kitchen, so it would be I have lots of material, so I could use some for a vanity top.

What tools and blades are recommended for making the cuts? could I use a angle grinder with the appropriate carbide blade for cutting stone, or could I use a circular saw with the same type of blade? Presumably, I could use a honing stone for fine adjustments.

I realize I can't make the same quality of joints as the pros, but I am not overly concerned. The match should be easier in that the color is mostly black and there is little variation in the texture. It's not a high quality kitchen anyways. I would use clamps to pull the joints together. As long as it would look reasonable and will be smooth and tight. Could I buy the jointing kits to match the joint with the base granite color at the big box stores?

Are there any other advice one could give me, or could you direct me to any information source for this job?



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"What tools and blades are recommended for making the cuts?"

A gantry saw with water cooled diam9ond blades.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Hi brickeye,

I'm not talking about at the quarry or fab shop. This is about thin counter top material, with the nosing built up to look thicker. I've seen installers on many projects on Home and Garden and DIY shows using portable tools with carbide or diamond blades to make cuts to fit and to make cut outs for sinks on site. I want to know what blades they use. I'm not having to make complicated sink cut outs because it's already done. I probably have to mad a couple of straight cuts to fit to the length of my existing cabinets.

If anyone has any experience in DIY installation of this material, I would appreciate your comments and recommendations.

Here's a video showing angle grinder used to cut back splash to size.



Here is a link that might be useful: installation of solid material counter top

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 6:58PM
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"I probably have to mad a couple of straight cuts to fit to the length of my existing cabinets."

"I bought some granite counter top pieces"

"Here is a link that might be useful: installation of solid material counter top"

Solid surface is NOT granite.

The only thing that cuts granite is diamond tooling with water, and about the only thing done in the filed is spot polishing and occasionally hole boring if someone screwed up.

Water is needed to wash the powdered granite out of the cut and to cool the cutting tool.
Overheat it and the diamonds start to come off.

Carbide is usable for marble and solid surface material, but not granite.

Cutting those long strips to stack will need a gantry saw or you risk them cracking, and cutting the width of the counter is also gantry saw territory in granite.

You might try and find a local granite finisher that will do the cutting, but they are unlikely to be responsible for breakage.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:34AM
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TV is pretty far from real life. You cannot cut granite dry. You must use a wetsaw of some variety. I have seen topmount sink cutouts finished on site with a portable concrete wetsaw, but the major cutting was done in the shop and only a few small areas remained to be completely cut through. Polishing is a whole other set of skills as well. There is NO way you'll be able to polish granite dry. None. It's darn hard for the experts to do it wet with the right equipment. A lot of time there is a difference in sheen that is readily apparent between the top and the edge, and that's due to poor polishing.

Seams are done with two part color matched epoxy and some proprietary suction clamps.

If you can find someone willing to deal with your parts and pieces, the average fabrication costs for granite are in the $40 a square foot range. That's just the labor, not the materials. Dealing with parts and pieces is actually harder than dealing with a whole slab.

If you want to fabricate your own counters, stick with laminate, butcher block, corian or copper. Those are materials suited to a DIYer. Stone is best left to the professionals unless you are doing stone tile.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Thanks for the replies, brickeyee and GreenDesigns.

I've been out of the house today, so just read your posts. I have to concede that it's a job that I was apprehensive about attempting anyways. The more I had thought about it, I had already considered looking at bringing in an installer/fabricator.

I have the large "L" corner piece with the sink cutout, and I would want one of the other smaller pieces, which was originally seamed to that large piece cut to final length and seamed back to the large piece. I also have other shorter lengths of granite, which I can also have seamed together to form secondary counter tops. All these pieces are already fabricated to proper counter top widths and with nosings, so there is not much fabrication required.

I don't have backsplash material, so I might have some of the other pieces fabricated and installed as backsplash.

Anyways, I'll have installers look at the job.

The deal I got was $125 for the whole lot, which includes two long pieces of 100 plus inches and several other pieces, so it'll still be worth getting the work done properly.



    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 5:33PM
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Seek out reputable installers/finshers even if it means paying a tad more. Get referalls from others and check out their works from the past. Finishers and installers can make or break a project, that's why it's worth the time and money to seek out experienced and reputable ones which will save you money in the long run by not having call backs due to shoddy workmanship.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 10:01AM
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