Are you planning to cut newly installed granite countertops? How could you do it? We've researched the answers for you.
Yes, you can cut the granite countertops after installation. However, there are a few things to consider before you proceed. Check the list below:
- Specify the reason for cutting.
- Find the cutting tool.
- Mark and cut the granite countertops.
With this article, you'll learn the basics of cutting granite countertops and what tools you should use. We'll discuss some reasons you'll want to do this project, and other relevant matters to know about. So, let's keep reading!
Can You Cut Granite Countertops After They Are Installed?
Granite is a durable stone that's often made to use as countertops. Granite is a natural stone formed in the Earth's crust by the cooling of mineral-rich lava. The manufacturers then modify its shape into squares or blocks.
Many homeowners have granite countertops in their kitchens. However, you should consider some factors before you could cut the granite. Check the list below.
1. Specify the Reason for Cutting
You should specify the reason why would you cut the granite countertops. Are you trying to reduce the size, or simply cut a small portion of it out?
By answering these questions, you get a better image of what the final appearance would look like. For instance, reducing the size of the countertops will require you to assess its legs or any structure stabilizing it. Cutting without assessment could cause the countertops to collapse.
Another thing to specify is the shape you wish to cut. Is it a straight line, a circle, or any other shape? For instance, cutting the countertops to give space for the stove or sink.
Further, some homeowners cut the countertops to allow the gas line to pass through. Others also have a built-in cabinet that's often used for storing the gas tank, while the tank would connect to the stove using the gas line.
2. Find the Cutting Tool to Use
Not all cutting tools are for every material. It's important to distinguish different cutting tools for granite surfaces. Check below your options.
Masonry saws or blades are used in major construction tasks such as cutting bricks or cement. Considering that granite is a hard material, a masonry saw can cut its surface.
Also, masonry saws can differ in the curvature of its blade. Some are shaped like a diamond, while some are common curves. Any curve can end up with a good cutting performance.
See this masonry saw on Amazon.
It's a handheld cutter that you can easily control to trim the edges and corners. Unlike a masonry saw that's larger, an angle grinder is convenient to hold.
However, an angle grinder might take a longer time to cut the granite. Simply because its blade might be too small. So, it's best to choose an average-sized angle grinder.
See this angle grinder on Amazon.
Cutting doesn't only mean drawing a straight line with blades. It can also mean drilling holes. You can use drill bits to cut a hole in the granite countertops. Drill bits also differ in size depending on how wide the diameter is.
Compared to drill bits, a hole saw is intended for larger holes. The drill bit is good for piercing holes for gas lines, for instance, while the hole saw has a wider diameter.
3. Mark and Cut the Granite Countertops
If you're done evaluating a reason to cut the countertops, as well as finding the best cutting tool to use, you're now ready to cut the granite. Follow these steps:
- Wear gloves and a mask for safety.
- Ensure that the countertops are clean and dry.
- Use a marker and ruler to outline the shape and size of the granite you'll cut.
- For holes, use a circular object.
- Assemble the cutting tool based on instructions.
- Plug in the cutting tool and make sure it will reach the countertops without stretching its wires too tight.
- Use tape to outline the cutting lines.
- Start cutting the countertops. You'll want to go slowly, because drawing the blade too fast may ruin the cutting lines.
- Continue cutting until you can detach the desired portion.
- Polish the edges and corners to prevent unwanted injuries.
How to Polish the Granite Countertops
Polishing is a way of making the surface shiny and smooth. You'll want to polish the granite countertops after cutting so that there will be no sharp edges or corners.
You can use a polishing solution for this task.
See this polishing solution set on Amazon.
Now, see below the steps:
- Clean and dry the countertops.
- Wear gloves and goggles for safety.
- Use tape to protect the edges, corners, and nearby objects on the countertops.
- Prepare the polishing solution. You can also make your own by mixing three cups of warm water and 1/4 cup of baking soda.
- Apply a small portion of the polishing solution to try it.
- If the polishing solution turns out good, apply it throughout the granite countertops. You should control the amount to apply.
- Scrub the surface with a soft sponge depending on the product's instruction of use.
- Let the surface get dry.
- Use a polishing grinder tool to make the surface even smoother and appear shiny.
- Remove the tape, then wipe the countertops with a soft cloth.
How to Install Granite Countertops
Even if you're planning to cut the granite countertops after installation, it's still relevant to know the best way of installing it. Simply follow the installation steps below:
- Measure the surface area where you plan to install the granite countertops
- Add at least 1.5 inches on the measurement for all sides to allow a proper overhang.
- Choose the style and color of the granite countertops. You may need to personalize the size depending on the surface area.
- Find plywood with at least 0.75 inches of thickness to reinforce on top of the surface.
- Cut the plywood, then screw it to fit on the surface.
- Spread a layer of a waterproofing membrane on top of the plywood.
- Fit the granite on the surface.
- Secure the granite in its place using tape. The tape should also be your tracing line for cutting the excess length.
- Smooth out the edges and corners to eliminate sharpness.
- Apply a silicon caulk along the edges of the granite countertops, specifically those that are adjacent to other objects like a kitchen sink.
Can You Cut Granite With Water Jet?
A water jet with a high-pressure level can cut the granite. But this is not the tool you'll want to use for home renovation projects. You have less control over the water pressure, compared to if you'll use a cutting tool with a blade.
How to Protect Granite Countertop?
A granite countertop takes time to install, and you need to be careful not to break it. So, we're sharing with you some ways to protect the granite countertop.
Coasters are often made of wood, cork, or ceramic materials used to prevent heat from spreading. You should use coasters whenever you put your meals or coffee on the countertops. Otherwise, the surface could break due to extreme heat.
Don't Chop on the Top
Let's say you're rushing to finish cooking your meal. Keep in mind to always use a chopping board instead of chopping on top of the countertop. The small cuts you make on the granite can eventually get worse, and leave a permanent marking.
Minimize the Load
Do not put too heavy objects on the countertop. You'll want to relocate heavy appliances like microwave ovens into stronger surfaces. Also, avoid sitting on it. The excessive weight you put into it can cause breaking.
However, granite is a strong material. It can hold heavy loads, but you should also ensure that the countertop is adequately supported to hold the granite's weight and any additional weight placed on top.
Clean up spills immediately. This is to protect the surface from discoloration. Too strong liquid like a bleach can modify the color and style of the granite.
We learned a lot today! We got familiar with the tools to use for cutting the granite countertops, and what are things to consider before cutting. Then, we discussed other relevant matters like the installation and maintenance of the granite countertops.
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