To DIY or Not? A Guide on How to Do Your Own Kitchen Countertop Installation

By 2021, the DIY industry is expected to be worth at least $13.9 billion.

The rise of the DIY industry is no surprise with 880,000 viewers tuning into HGTV in 2016.

With more people turning toward DIY for garage doors, countertop installation, painting, and other home improvement tasks, the how-to information has become more available online.

Many people opt to work on their home on their own because of the cost savings. Not only is it less expensive, but if you’re handy with home improvements, you might feel safer doing the work on your own.

Continue reading to find out how to install countertops for a beautiful new look for your kitchen.

Countertop Installation for a Gorgeous Kitchen Makeover

If you want to give your kitchen space a makeover, one of the quickest ways to do this is by putting in new countertops. This simple change will make you feel like you’ve got a totally new kitchen.

When we say simple change, let’s look at what that means in the steps below.

1. Plan the Installation

You’ve heard the saying about measuring twice and cutting once, right? This should be applied when you install kitchen counters.

Planning out the process and figuring out who you’ll use as your countertop material supplier, who will transport heavy materials, and more will make your DIY project much easier.

Plan to use a reputable supplier that knows how to help you through the process. For example, Garden State Soapstone explains the differences between soapstone and other materials for countertops. Having helpful information about your materials will make it easier to decide which is the best material for your home.

2. Measure Before the Installation

After you’ve picked out your materials and take out your current countertops, measure the space carefully. Even a small difference in your measurements can cause big problems for your project.

Once you have proper measurements, give these to your fabricator. When measuring, begin with the tops of your base cabinets. Be sure to include the distance from the front of the face frame to the wall through the entire cabinet length.

3. Create a Template

Creating a template out of cardboard or another material is the best way to make sure you get the right measurements. If you aren’t comfortable creating a template or doing measurements on your own, you can speak to your fabricator and see if they’ll come out and measure for a fee.

4. Prepare for Installation

Prepare for installation by checking if your base cabinets are level all the way across. If they aren’t level, undo them and put shims underneath until they are.

You don’t want to use shims underneath the countertop because it will create small voids which may cause your countertop to crack under pressure.

5. Transport

If you can’t get your countertops delivered, remember that these are heavy pieces you’re going to pick up. You won’t be able to pick them up on your own.

Also, note that you should never carry the stone horizontally flat but instead carry it vertically, so you don’t damage it.

6. Install the Slabs

Now the exciting part of getting the slabs installed is finally here. You can see how beautiful your countertops look by doing a dry-fit. Make sure it’s going to sit properly before you start the actual installation.

Make sure to support the countertops in any thin areas like around the cutouts.

If there are any adjustments required, make sure to mark each spot, so you don’t miss any of them. If you have to make any adjustments, wear eye protection throughout the entire process.

7. Join the Seams

If you have more than one slab, it’s time to join the seams. If you only have one slab, skip this step.

The slabs must be level and flush on your cabinets. Tape the edges for protection and join the butt seams with color-matched two-part epoxy. You can usually find this as your fabricator.

Now tighten the tightening screws until you feel resistance. The auto pump is now attached and turned on. This tension ensures the edges of the seams stay flush as the epoxy dries.

A seam setter should also be used to make sure the top edges stay flush. After an hour, you can remove the setter. If you can see any epoxy, use a single-edge razor to remove it from the counter.

8. Attach to the Cabinets

After the slab seams are joined, you can secure the stone to your cabinets. Run a bead of caulk along the underneath of the counter where the stone meets the cabinet top to ensure it is secure.

9. Apply a Sealer

Now you can step back and admire your installation. Great work!

Don’t let all of that work go to waste. Grab your sealer and cover the surface to protect it. Let it dry for 24 hours before you put anything on it.

10. Prepare for Maintenance

Clean your countertops with the appropriate cleaner. Make sure you ask your fabricator which cleaner you should use for the material that you bought. Many fabricators will have the cleaner on hand so you can buy it when you’re there.

If you use other cleaners on your countertops, you’re likely to ruin your countertops or at least decrease its lifetime.

You’re a DIY Pro

Now that you know how to install kitchen countertops, the sky is the limit. Who knows what your next project might be now that you have this project under your belt. Being able to fix up your home without someone else’s help can be a great feeling but isn’t always doable.

If you need the help of a professional, don’t feel bad if you have to give them a call.

Finding the Right People to Do the Work

If after you’ve read this information, you’ve decided you weren’t the right person to do a countertop installation, you might be looking for professional help. On our site, we help you find professionals for any job that you need work done on.

Browse our providers and find someone that can help you get the results that you want.