dramatic change in décor. The granite gave the space a nice, luxurious appearance while complementing the kitchen's existing color scheme. And with granite's low-maintenance character- istics, the upgrade was a success for both looks and everyday living.
Small cuts can be made to granite backsplash material using a grinder with a diamond-grit blade. The countertops are held in place by weight, friction and beads of silicone sealant.
EHT ran a feature in the July/August 2016 issue showing in detail how DIY'ers can build a countertop made of solid surface material (see Extremehowto.com). Here’s an extremely abbreviated breakdown of those steps to give you an idea of what you can expect.
1) Select the material: Solid surface (think Corian®) is popular for DIY for its workability with standard woodworking power tools. Other options like laminate (think Formica), or stone (think granite or engineered Silestone®), do not share this ease of workability.
2) Gather the tools & equipment. At a minimum you’ll need a circular saw & carbide blade, a router & correct bits, matching adhesive & dispenser (if gluing), sink (optional), straight edge, and random orbit sander & discs.
3) Planning and templating. Save yourself time and headaches with some simple planning by creating a well-thought out design, strategically placing any seams, and building a template for peace of mind for odd angles and uneven walls.
4) Make the cuts. Cuts can be made by several different methods using a circular saw and/or router with the proper carbide-tipped blades and bits.
5) Glue it up. Use color-matched solid surface adhesive and a dispensing gun to glue up all the seams. The magic happens when you sand it down to reveal invisible seams, or darn near close to it depending on the cut and glue color-match.
6) Edge buildup and shaping. Because the material glues together seamlessly, edges can be built up as tall and thick as you desire. Once glued-up, then use the router to shape the edge to your liking.
7) Install your sink (if you have one). There are several sink-types using various installation techniques. Manufacturers typically offer installation advice, or instructions can be found online (see link below).
8) Finishing the surface. Using multiple grits of sandpaper and a random orbit sander, one can achieve one of several finishes, including matte and semi-gloss, both being the most common, as well as glossy.
9) Installation. With a little cabinet preparation, several daubs of silicone, and some muscle, the countertops should drop right into place and all your planning with have paid off.
10) Get cookin! Congrats, it’s time to invite your friends and family over to show them what an incredible job you did, and how much money you saved doing it!
For even greater detailed instructions, as well as sources for material and tooling, be sure to visit the “Solid Surface 101” guide at solidsurface.com/solidsurface101.
DIY COUNTERTOPS IN 10 SIMPLE STEPS