Humans crave change. We can’t cope with the same patterns around us for ages. You’re not alone if you feel a sudden urge to replace your kitchen countertops out of the blue. Lucky for you, you won’t have to sell a kidney to get the job done- we are here to save you!
So, no, it is not hard to replace a kitchen countertop if you’ve planned everything out nicely and possess the right skills. In fact, you can get the job done without getting assistance from a professional.
That being said, you don’t necessarily have to do everything from scratch. Let’s look at the basic steps you need to follow to replace your kitchen countertop.
How to replace a kitchen countertop by yourself
First things first, you’ll need to decide what to do with the old countertop. You can easily resell it if its plastic laminate is in good condition. On the other hand, stone pieces might be a little too damaged for further use.
You will find plenty of step-by-step visual tutorials for replacing kitchen countertops. Here, we will cover the most fundamental aspects of this DIY project so you can get an idea.
Step 1: Removal of the old countertop
This is kind of obvious; you’ll have to carefully remove the older slabs to install the new ones. But it would be best to be highly cautious with the water and gas pipelines.
Most kitchens have water and gas pipelines that go under the countertops. If you remove the countertop abrasively, it’s likely that you will damage the pipes as well.
Step 2: Remove the appliances and sinks
A countertop does not just go over the cabinets below– it goes around the sink and faucets too. You will have to remove the entire sink before installing the new countertop.
The same goes for under-the-counter washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and cooking ranges. Carefully unplug the appliances and move them away from your workplace.
Step 3: Measuring the new countertop
This is where your old counter will help you if it remains intact. You’ll need to cut out the new countertop precisely the size of your installing place. Or, you can skip this step and get a professional to cut out the perfect piece for you. Using a saw on granite or marble can be a bit dangerous and should be done under proper supervision.
Step 4: Building a wooden frame
The countertop cannot go directly over the cabinets. It must be supported by a strong enough frame to withhold the weight.
Following proper instructions, you’ll build a piece-by-piece wooden frame over the installation space. Your actual countertop will sit on this frame, saving your precious cabinets underneath.
Step 5: Installing the new countertop
Once again, you might need professional guidance for this. Different material requires different techniques for installation.
Laminates will stay in place with a powerful adhesive, but stones and marbles will need some drilling and bolts. Make sure to keep your appliances in mind before installing the slabs; they’ll need to be fixed exactly in their original places.
Things to take care of before replacing a kitchen countertop
The decision to change your kitchen countertop cannot be made on a whim. It requires serious research and planning. Why? Because if it does not compliment your kitchen’s design, the entire look will be ruined. Here’s what you need to look for while making this arduous decision:
Replace or repair?
As mentioned above, laminates are easy to uninstall and resale if in good condition. They can also be repaired using new planks of the same design. Stone, however, is much harder to repair. You will eventually have to replace it with new ones if a piece is somehow broken.
So, will you repurchase laminates or invest in some hardcore stones this time? The decision depends entirely on the design you want your kitchen to have. Laminates look trendy, are easier to install, and do not cost a fortune. On the other hand, granites and marbles give a more majestic look to your kitchen.
The material’s color must be in accordance with the other appliances and the general paint of the walls. Here’s a great compilation of kitchen trends by some of the biggest names in the industry.
You may have chosen the classier-looking rock slabs this time, but are you sure your cabinets are strong enough to endure the weight of the countertops?
Laminates are lightweight and barely hurt the cabinets, but the stone slabs are different. Make sure you check your cabinets before choosing the type of material for the countertop.
Many people have now installed under-cabinet lights that help them around the kitchen without lighting up every bulb. These trendy lights are super convenient but can be a pain if you don’t know how to re-install the wiring.
To learn if you can put a kitchen stove in front of a window, read our article!
Also, the light can glare drastically upon shining on the stone surface, so you might want to consider this before choosing a stone.
A new countertop does change the kitchen’s vibe and makes cooking way more fun. However, one must always ensure that they’ve done proper research and have the right skills for carrying such a task out for the first time. If replacing a kitchen countertop seems difficult on your own, then do call up a professional!