DIY Network

How to Install a Marble Sink and Countertop

DIY expert Paul Ryan shows how natural stone can transform a kitchen.

More in Kitchen

dated kitchen is renovated into spacious space
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty

    Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Build a Frame Support for the Sink

Measure the exterior depth of the sink. Transfer the sink measurement to the inside rear and front walls of the sink cabinet. Add 1/16" to allow for caulk between the cabinet and countertop.

Cut two cross braces of 2x4 lumber to fit the cabinet width. Drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting, then use screws to attach the braces to the front and back of the cabinet (Image 1).

Measure and cut 4x4 legs to support the braces. These supports will help carry the weight of the heavy marble sink (Image 2).

Position the 4x4's, and use angle brackets to attach them to the cross braces (Image 3).

Step 2: Install the Sink

Carefully place the sink into position. It should rest securely on the wood supports (Image 1).

Dry fit the countertop section over the sink. Check to be sure that when the countertop is in position, it provides a 1/4" reveal, or lip, around all four sides of the sink (Image 2).

Step 3: Epoxy the Countertops in Place

Drape plastic sheeting over the cabinet fronts to protect them.

When installing multiple countertop slabs, place end pieces first, then insert the middle section between them. Shim the front edges of the slabs to ensure they are flush and level (Image 1).

Apply strips of tape along both sides of the seams (Image 2). This will prevent excess epoxy from oozing onto the marble surfaces.

Mix small amounts of pigment into the epoxy until the adhesive closely matches the color of the marble. When the color is right, add hardener to the epoxy. Pour the epoxy over the seams and use a putty knife to “squeegee” the adhesive into the seams. Overfill the seams with the epoxy – the excess can be sanded away after it dries. Voids or gaps are harder to fill, and color-matching a second batch can be difficult.

While the epoxy is drying, caulk between the cabinet tops and the bottom of the countertop. When the epoxy is dry, remove the tape and scrape or sand away excess glue.

Step 4: Cut Out the Sink and Range Holes

Finish cutting any holes such as those for the island trough sink and cook top. Professionals use special suction cup tools to support the heavy scrap pieces as they are cut away.

use special suction cup tools for heavy marble

Step 5: Install the Island Sink Countertop

With the narrow island sink in place, dry fit the countertop. Be sure to have help lifting the slab into place – this one piece of marble weighs in at a daunting 557 pounds. This is the largest countertop section in the kitchen.

Once you are sure the countertop fits correctly, lift it out of the way, apply a bead of caulk along the tops of the cabinets, then replace the counter to its intended position.

dry fit  countertop

Step 6: Seal the Marble

Apply an enhancer-sealer to the countertop. The enhancer brings out the color and the sealer protects the stone. You will need to apply the sealer every one to three years (once you notice that spills aren't wiping up as easily).

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