Minimize Your Cost for Granite Countertops

Keep down the costs of high-end countertops by doing some of the preliminary work.

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Contemporary Country Kitchen

If you're getting ready to update your kitchen, or if you're just tired of your existing countertops, it might be time to consider installing granite countertops. You might think they're too expensive, but you can minimize the costs by doing some of the preliminary work yourself. The fabrication and installation of the countertops should be left to professionals.

Materials and Tools:

putty knife
utility knife
pry bar
safety glasses


1. First, you'll need to remove your sink and faucet. Shut off the water supply at the valves underneath. Then disconnect the water supply lines from the valves and remove the drain lines. Be sure to have a bucket handy for the water that's still in the P-trap.

2. Underneath the sink, loosen the clamps holding the sink to the countertop. Be sure to loosen all of the clamps.

3. Use a putty knife to cut through the caulk seal between the sink and the countertop, and pull the sink out. Some heavier sinks, such as cast-iron sinks, just rest on the countertop without being secured with clamps.

4. Remove and disconnect any appliances from beneath the countertop.

5. From underneath the countertop, remove the screws holding the countertop in place.

6. Lift the countertop off the base cabinets. You may need to use a pry bar to lift the countertop off the cabinets.

7. When the old countertops have been removed, the granite countertop installation team can come in and make measurements to fabricate a new countertop. In many cases, they'll create a wooden template to use in making the new countertop.

8. The templates are returned to the shop to mark the granite for cutting. Then the granite is cut with a diamond-bladed bridge saw. Finally, an edge treatment is carved into the stone, and the granite is polished.

9. The installation crew will bring the countertop to your home and install it, placing shims where needed until all the adjoining pieces are level and match perfectly.

10. To finish the installation, the crew will apply silicone sealants and colored fillers.

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