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KitchenKitchen renovations can be expensive, but one of the best ways to save money is to eliminate the costs of a professional installation by doing it yourself. Tackling it alone is not as difficult as you’d think; a bit of elbow grease and some patience are all it takes to install the countertop yourself.

Make a Plan

First, plan out your countertops. You’ll want to work with the granite fabricator during this process. They can help you decide on the material, overhang size, and type of backsplash. In John’s Creek, quartz countertops can come in a variety of colors and grains, so you’re sure to find something that fits your style.

Once you know what you want, measure your space. Measure from the front of cabinet to the wall all around the kitchen, including the overhang. Take accurate measurements, then double check them.

Template Time

To make sure your measurements are correct and to make it easier on your fabricator, make a template of your counters out of cardboard or thin plywood. Make sure the template fits against the wall along all the cabinets, and figure out the exact locations and dimensions of sinks and cooktops. Make sure the template includes holes for faucets and soap dispensers. To prevent countertop collapses, don’t allow a span of more than two feet of countertop without a fixture to a cabinet, and don’t plan for more than 6 inches of overhang of unsupported stone.

When the template is complete and your measurements are updated, you can order your stone. You can even give your fabricator the template as a guide. As you wait for your stone to arrive, make sure your base cabinets are level all the way across.

If possible, see if your fabricator will deliver the completed countertops. Many places that do kitchen remodeling in Johns Creek will help you transport the slabs for a fee. If not, carry countertops vertically—not horizontally—to avoid cracking the stone. Transport slabs in an A-frame rack, and cover the edges in painter’s tape to avoid scratching them.

Heavy Lifting

Once the slabs are safely in your home, dry-fit the countertops to ensure an accurate fit, supporting the granite anywhere it is thin. Lay slabs directly onto lower cabinet frames. If parts of it need to be adjusted, use a dry-cut diamond blade on an electric grinder to shave down the edges.

Then, all that’s left is to join any seams. When doing so, tape the edges of each slab to protect them. Then use color-matching two-part epoxy to join the seams. Use tightening screws, an auto pump, or a seam setter to make sure the seams stay flush to each other as they dry. The setter can be removed after about an hour, when the epoxy is dry.

Finally, attach the cabinets with a bead of caulk where the countertop meets the cabinet base. Once installation is complete, apply a sealant to the countertop to prevent scratches and stains. Let it dry for 24 hours, then all that’s left is to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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