Throughout the operation of moving the slabs, countertop spe- cialists might also stabilize the material with strategically placed angle-iron bracing during transport so the slabs don’t deflect, which can lead to cracks or beaks. The tricky nature of handling the stone material is why many contractors who don’t install granite for a living leave the big jobs to the experts. (Note: Compare this aspect of granite to solid surface material, where if two people lift a 12-ft. solid surface sheet from each end, it will deflect about 12 to 18 inches.) This article will show how the pros install a granite countertop, and why you'll be glad you called them.
HIGH DEMAND FOR
GRANITE COUNTERTOPS Since the earliest times granite has been used as a building material, and its polished stone surface remains highly popular for countertops. When polished and sealed, it resists staining and is very easy to clean and sanitize, and its extreme hardness means most knives won't scratch it (but it will blunt knives). It makes a hygienic surface for not only coun- tertops but backsplashes, bath- room vanities, even matching sinks and basins. Granite's ability to withstand the outdoor environ- ment also makes it suitable for exterior projects like garden paving, benches and more. From an aesthetic perspective, this natural stone's quarried origin guarantees its uniqueness. It typi- cally has a coarse, granular and evenly flecked pattern available in many colors, from beige, brown, black and gray to an array of reds, greens and blues. It is considered a luxury material, however, and the effort required to mine it from the ground and manufacture a finished countertop means you can expect to pay a high cost to purchase it.
OUT WITH THE OLD Once you've made your pur- chase, the granite installers will arrive with all materials to not only install your new top, but to remove the existing backsplash and countertops as well. This generally requires disconnecting all appliances like the electrical cables of your stovetop and the plumbing connections to you sink basin. The installers will remove these items and set them aside safely for reinstallation later. The next phase is to remove all fasteners that secure the existing countertop to its cabinet base.
The granite slabs are transported on special racks that reduce vibration on the road.
Once on location, the installers use wheeled carts to move the heavy slabs around the site.