How to Cut Granite Countertops
Granite is a beautiful and elegant addition to your kitchen or bathroom. Having granite countertops improve the overall aesthetic of the room and instantly adds value. With proper care and maintenance, it can last you a lifetime.
Sometimes, there are modifications that we want to make to our countertops. This may pose a problem for homeowners with granite on their countertops. Granite is a hard, heavy, and dense material that may need some work to cut or reshape.
Granite is a premium material that comes at a price. Most homeowners spend a lot of money to purchase and more to have them installed. When the time comes that you will need to cut and modify your granite countertops, you might end up spending a lot more on labor costs.
The good news is there are actually some steps and a few tools that will make a DIY cutting of granite countertops possible. It will require some handy skills. If at any point you feel unsure or not confident that you will be able to carry out the task, please seek professional help. Despite being hard and heavy, granite, being a natural stone can break and chip.
Before You Cut
Before you proceed, there are a few things to asses. The tasks require some handy skills if you haven’t done anything of the sort the best route may be to seek professional help. Safety is of utmost importance. Secondly, half hazard work may damage or chip your valuable granite pieces.
Power tools will be involved in the process. Make sure that you will also have the right safety equipment and observe proper safety measures before cutting granite at home.
Lastly, do your research. There are a lot of video tutorials and demos available online. Watching a professional do it first might give you some useful tips and best practices. Once again, granite can break and chip off if the task is not done correctly.
Keep in mind that power tools and loose debris may be involved. Protective equipment is needed in executing this task. It may save you a lot on professional stonework labor costs but it is not worth losing a finger for. Wear protective eyewear and a facemask to protect yourself from the loose debris that might aerate. The vibrations from the power saw and the stone will also cause loud noises. The wearing of earplugs is highly advised.
Make sure you operate in a safe and secure environment. Make sure to keep children and pets away from the work area. Also, ensure that your workbench is stable and sturdy.
A little bit of caution can go a long way. Always keep this in mind. Secure any loose hair and clothing before starting. Also, take off any jewelry. Avoid any distractions while cutting granite countertops.
Steps to Cutting Granite Countertops
Step 1: Prepare your tools
Prepare all the materials needed including the saw that you will be using. A circular saw is most popular for cutting stone. Make sure you are wearing the correct protective equipment. Inspect the work environment and ensure that no children or pets will wander in the vicinity while you work.
Step 2: Secure you workbench
Granite is a heavy and durable material but it can break. The last thing you want is to save on labor costs by doing it yourself but end up spending more because of damage. Make sure to cut on a stable cutting surface. Powertools vibrate a lot when cutting. Secure the granite slab by placing clamps. One clamp for every 1-2 feet of granite slab is advised. Clamping may be optional for some, but if you want maximum safety and results it is highly advised. A wobbly workbench can cause uneven cuts or chips on the granite.
Step 3: Tape off cutting area
Painter’s tape will prevent any chipping on the area of the granite you will cut. It also prevents loose particles from scratching the surface. You will be cutting through the tape.
Step 4: Draw a Cutline
Draw a cut line on the painter’s tape. Even professionals who have done this hundreds of times still use this technique. Do not try to cut the granite without a cut line. Do not try to eyeball this task.
Step 5: Make a back cut
The closer you are towards the end of the cut, the thinner the material. The vibrations may actually cause the end to break or crack. This will cause damage to your precious granite countertops and it is absolutely avoidable. Making a back cut at the opposite end of your starting point will help you avoid cracks and breaks.
Step 6: Start Cutting
Position the saw properly. Secure any loose hair and clothing before you proceed with cutting. Make sure you have a tight grip on the circular saw but do not force the cut. Let the saw do its job. Apply only light pressure slowly following the cutline.
If at any point during the cutting you feel exhausted, pause, and rest. Do not force your self. Shaking from exhausted muscles can cause damage to the granite, and worse, personal injury. Do not be in a hurry to finish the task.
Step 7. Inspect your work
Great job! We are all proud of you. Peel of the painter’s tape and inspect and admire your handiwork. Once satisfied, wipe off any loose residue or debris.
After savoring the mighty bliss of success, there are a few more steps to take before reinstalling the granite slab. The freshly cut surface can be rough and may need buffing and polishing. You will also be dealing with exposed stone and may need to apply a sealant to protect and allow it to shine even more.
Cutting granite slabs is not an easy task. With the right tools and knowledge, it is possible to do it at home. Always keep in mind that your safety is of utmost importance and do not take risks that do not match your handy skills. If unsure, seek professional help.
Granite Selection is a leading supplier of natural stone in the Chicagoland area. We are located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois and can service a 70-mile radius. For any natural supply and service need, give us a call at (888) 906 3317. You will surely find it worth your while.