DIY Network

How to Install a Contemporary Countertop

Use these step-by-step instructions to install a countertop, cut holes for a sink and install a backsplash.

More in Kitchen

installing odd shaped cabinets
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Inspect the Countertops

When the countertops arrive be sure to check them over for any damage.

Tip: Make sure to have plenty of helpers available to make unloading and installing easier and safer. And be sure to carry the pieces on their edge. If they need to be set aside during the installation process make sure to set them on edge on a padded surface. Lean them against something sturdy that will not move.

bring in the new countertop

Step 2: Outline the Sink and Faucet Holes

First you'll want to dry fit the countertop.

Note: A template was created early in the renovation process so the countertop pieces would fit perfectly.

Once the sink countertop slab is in place, draw an outline of the sink hole that will have to be cut before the countertop can go in permanently. Be sure to also mark the faucet holes.

Once the outline is drawn, remove the countertop slab and store it somewhere safe and out of the way.

align center of sink location onto plywood base

Step 3: Cut a Hole and Install the Sink

Cut out the marked sink outline with a standard jigsaw.

Set the sink in and trace around the lip of the sink and even everything with a router until it's level. You'll do this for the sink lip to be flush with the cabinet top.

Drop the sink in and make sure it sits flush.

Once the sink is set flush, you can lift (with help) and slide the countertop back in. And be sure to be careful so you won't damage the stainless sink top.

build up to support countertop across cabinet base

Step 4: Center the Sink and Add Silicone

Once the sink is in place, check to make sure it's centered in the cutout. Shift if necessary.

Lift the front edge and apply small dabs of epoxy on the cabinet top and edges.

Run a bead of 100-percent silicone on the inner edge where the sink meets the countertop.

Tip: Mix the epoxy in small batches because it hardens quickly. Mix the two parts on a piece of cardboard or something disposable, and use a small putty knife to do the mixing and to apply.

begin with longest section of countertop

Step 5: Install the Backsplash

For the 4"-tall backsplash, apply a thin coat of epoxy along the bottom edge and along the seams and press it into place. Any excess can be cleaned up with a scraper.

Note: The backsplash is glued to the countertop and not the wall because as the house settles over the years, you'll want to make sure there won't be a crack between the countertop and the backsplash.

back splash is slipped into place