By John RihaMore in Kitchen
With the slabs flush and level on the cabinets, if you have multiple slabs, now is the time to fit them together.
First, tape the edges to protect them. Join the butt seams using color-matched two-part epoxy, which you can purchase from the fabricator shop.
Tighten the tightening screws until you feel resistance. Attach and turn on the auto pump — the tension created will ensure that the edges of the seams remain flush as the epoxy dries. A seam setter also ensures that the top edges of the seams remain flush with each other.
When the epoxy is dry, after about an hour, remove the setter. Then carefully shave away any excess epoxy using a single-edge razor held vertically. Don't hold the razor at an angle or you may gouge the epoxy. And remember to use even strokes.
Now that the seams of the slabs are joined, it’s time to secure the stone to the cabinets. The weight of the countertops themselves is nearly enough to hold the stone in place, but you’ll still want to run a bead of caulk along the underside perimeter of the counter, where the stone meets the cabinet top.
Don’t use silicone caulk; over time, silicone caulk could wick into the stone and cause staining. Stick with acrylic.
With your installation complete, finish by applying granite sealer to your countertops; this will protect the stone and prevent any deep staining. Simply wipe it on evenly with a clean, soft cloth, making sure to get full coverage. Let dry for 24 hours.
Clean your new countertops using only granite and quartz cleaner, which you can purchase at most fabrications shops. This special cleaner will leave no residue and keep your granite countertops looking shiny and new.
Installing a granite countertop yourself is challenging, but the cost-savings and enhancement to your kitchen are well worth the effort.