Do it yourself granite countertops
We are pleased to help those who would like to do their own installation, and are on call if you wish to do so after ordering from us.
Types of cabinets:
There are two types of kitchen cabinets. One, the doors go up right within 1/8 inch from the top of the cabinets. This is usually on European type cabinetry. You need to use ¾' mdf for this type. If you are using cabinets that the doors extend down ¾ below the top of the cabinets, then use ½" mdf or 5/8" as underlay, so that the granite comesdown over the edge slightly. On vanities you may try not using underlay however it is best to use some if it has any seams.
MDF is the preferred material in that it lays flat and is not as absorbent as other materials.
Do not use particleboard or other materials. Some types of cement board are also okay to use. Screw this to the cabinets making sure it is flat and level.
Cutting the granite:Cutting out the sink:
Cut the bottom edge off your corner stone and miter it into the next stone. Measure the stones for cutting and try to get cuts under the sink area. Cutting can be done with a diamond blade in a grinder or saw. Always draw the blade towards you for the first cut.
Set the stones over the top of the sink area and mark the sink. Cut out on the underside by setting the granite on mdf, flat and solid, and use a grinder with a diamond blade. Small short cuts will do it and go several times before going through the stone. If you are doing the flush mount you can cut the stone on the topside first and then cut the decking.
Many find this the most difficult part if not experienced, so we can precut the granite for you before shipping if required.
Leveling and Gluing:
You may have to level the stones by using countertop laminate shims. One-inch square is good enough. After you are happy with the level, you can start to glue the granite to the decking. We use Latacrete 310 epoxy but you may use liquid nails, clear silicone or other glue. You need something that will not expand and will dry within an hour or two. Four dots of glue 18 inches apart is enough and do not use too much.
After the glue is dry and you have left 2mm (one sixteenth) of space for grouting. Seal the stone with a sealer before grouting. Then mix 50-50 of epoxy grout, any edges, which are unpolished, use a small plumbers brush and put this clear mixture on the edge. You can wash right away. After that mix in the stone grout color to a cake mix consistency and proceed to put it in the seams with your latex glove covered finger. Scrape off the excess and then wet sponge the rest. Dry with paper towels to finish. Do not be afraid of water to clean it. The grout may sink down. The next day polish with acrylic car wax and use steel wool and a razor blade to take off the haze. After that, re-grout the lower areas repeating the process as before.
Please remember that granite must be transported and handled in an upright position like you are carrying glass.
Mounting Axia 8 sinks as a simulated under-mount:
Axia 8 works well for this because it is a square corner sink and silgranite. It has a ¼ inch curve on the back you need to cut a stone and set the sink over it and re-cut for the curve.
- Trace the sink on the decking and cut out ½ inch on the inside of your mark.
- Test the sink in the hole.
- Shim up the sink higher by putting at least a 1/8 or more straight strips of masonite or other strips even little shingles under the sink. Bring it to the level you want which should be about 1/16 th or so under the height of the granite. This leaves you an angle for grouting.
- Bring the granite on each side up to the sink, which is in place. Try and use factory edges for this. Using the pre-made front piece line it up with the granite on both sides. There are different methods of flush mounting depending on how you cut the sink area. Ask which one suites for your project.
- Now glue the stone to the decking.
- Grout around the sink with the appropriate color which if black is black etc. You may want to grout the sink with a different mix to hide it better.
Again, feel free to contact us,