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How to Install Natural & Engineered Stone Countertops

Installing stone countertops is simple when you know what to keep you eyes out for. That is not to say it is easy. In fact, it can be very hard work and often times requires a professional. However, even professional countertop installers need to have the right equipment and workflow to get great results. Furthermore, whether you are installing engineered stone or natural stone surfaces, the workflow is similar. Let's look at a guide that can help you to install stone countertops and get great results.

Having the Proper Tools

In order to get a great stone countertop install, you must start with the proper tools. Therefore, the first step in our how to recipe is to gather all the tools you will need to do the install. Our list includes the following:

Measuring the Stone

Begin your countertop installation by measuring your countertop area. Measuring the space may sound simple, but there are some things that are easily overlooked. For example, do not forget to take into account the size of the backsplash when you measure. Measuring out the amount of space ensures that your slab is large enough to produce the countertops and the backsplash if you are adding one.

Cutting Your Stone

This step is where the power tools come into play. Once you have measured out where your cuts will be, you will need to make your cuts. Our list of tolls at the beginning included a bridge saw for making the cuts in the stone. Of course you can use a different kind of saw for cutting stone, but there are good reasons for using a bridge saw for cutting stone slabs prior to and during the installation process. However, be sure to use the bridge saw according to the manufacturer's guidelines for the best results.

Another tool that you cannot afford to skimp on is the blade. Choosing a quality blade for cutting your stone slab is imperative. Before you select a diamond blade for your project, be sure you know what kind of stone you are going to install and select the proper kind of diamond blade for the install. Some stone is harder than other types so you may need a blade that is designed to cut harder stone. The idea is that you do not want to just blindly select a diamond blade and begin cutting.

Although cutting the sink hole can be done with a router, some installations do not require such a cut out. If yours is an installation that does not require a profiled edge inside the sink hole, you can simply create the opening using an angle grinder and the proper diamond blade. Just like with the bridge saw blade, you will want to choose a blade for your angle grinder that is designed for the kind of stone you are cutting.

Setting the Countertops

This is where you will appreciate the straight cut that a good quality bridge saw provides. Place your countertop pieces on the surface and line them up. This step will allow you to verify that the pieces of stone have been properly cut before securing them. Once you have verified that the stone is cut properly, apply your countertop adhesive to the surface and lay your stone in place. Also, use your level to verify that the stone is level. If you need to adjust the surface to make it level, shimming the stone is a good technique.

Add the Backsplash

Depending on the type of backsplash you are installing, the process might vary. Follow the proper steps for installing the kind of backsplash that you have chosen for your install.

Natural Stones Installed

Getting a great install for natural stone materials is achievable by applying the process above. And there are a number of materials that you can use with the process we just covered. Some of the natural materials are very hard and others are softer, but the system is the same. Additionally, the key steps are the same as well. Here are some of the natural stone materials that you can use when installing stone countertops using the steps above:

Quartz Brands Installed

Just like the natural stone surfaces, quartz stone can be simple to install as well. The only difference is that the material is engineered and not naturally occurring. Because quartz is engineered stone, there are more options. A number companies manufacture and produce quartz stone surfaces. Nevertheless, installation according to the above process will give you, the fabricator, the same great results. Here are some of the brands of quartz that can be installed:

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