There is a lot of work and variables that go into the countertop process of your project.
No matter if it is a large kitchen or a small bathroom, all of the steps are the same. When you’re getting a brand new kitchen or bathroom, you’ll want to know these steps and be prepared for the countertop phase.
Choose your Countertop Design
With your countertops, there are quite a few options you can choose from when it comes to the material, including quartz, marble, granite, and concrete. Determining the price point you want to stick to and what level of maintenance you’re looking for will help you decide. When choosing your countertops, different materials come with different suppliers and subs as well.
We are big fans of quartz because it’s low maintenance, durable, and comes in a variety of colors and designs. It’s also why we love working with Select Surfaces because they carry a couple of different brands of quartz and their service is amazing. With all of the countertop decision you’ll have to make we like to first choose the design being that is what will play into the biggest factor of the overall design of the space.
Two of our favorite countertop brands are Cambria and Silestone, both of which Select Surfaces carry and install. They have showrooms in Roseville and Plymouth where you can see full slabs, look at different edge profiles, and decide on the design you like. We love that they are a family-owned business and offer fantastic customer service.
Choose your Countertop Edging, Thickness and Finish.
All brands will carry a line of edge profiles and finishes that they do. When it comes to the edging some of which are square, eased, bevel, bullnose, french cove, etc. This is why it’s key to work with a good contractor, designer and manufacturer and installer such as Select Surfaces as all of these people will help guide you on all of these decisions and make this process seamless.
There are also decisions to be made for the level of thickness you want your countertop to be. As you can see in our personal kitchen here we did a larger thickness for the island and standard around the outer surround.
And then there is the finish, such as polished, high gloss, matte. For our kitchen we went with matte, which gives a non glossy finish, and is however more expensive than just a traditional polished or gloss. But the hubby didn’t want that high shine to it.
Before you schedule your countertop measure, you’ll want to pick out the brand, design, edge profile, thickness, and finish.
Call for Measurement
Whether you have a hired contractor or are DIY, you want to make sure prior to measurement that…
- All cabinetry is plumb, level, and square
- If you happen to be installing a farmhouse sink, it must be installed prior to measurement
- Remove items on the countertop for a clear path to measure
Most suppliers can typically get out and measure within a week or so from the time you call for measurement.
On measuring day, there are a couple of items you’ll need to be prepared so that the measure can take place. First, make sure you have time. Some suppliers have a 4 hour window you have to be home for. And then measuring alone can take up to 2 hours. Another reason why we love Select Surfaces, they say the time they’ll be there and they are there. Which means we’re not hanging out and wasting time for 4-6 hours of our day.
Here’s what you’ll want to have on-site on measuring day:
- Sink, faucet, cooktop, or any other items that will be mounted in the countertop on the job site
- Specs for sinks, faucets, soap pumps, hot/cold water dispensers, and cooktops for measurement and templating
- Adult present to make decisions and approve all countertop details
Here’s a little video of what measuring day looked like in our own personal home when we were undergoing our kitchen remodel! We still hadn’t made up our mind on the overall design, but we had narrowed it down. However, we had to make a decision before they left and we did!
If you hired our remodel out, during this time you might be wondering what happened to your contractor. There will be a lull between measure day and install because they are making and cutting your material which takes time. And usually there is not much left to do or that can be done until countertops are in.
Once the countertops are measured, your installer will send over the templated countertops including sink, faucet, and cooktop cut-outs and seam locations.
At that point, you’ll need to sign-off on the countertop document for approval. If you make any additional changes, all of this takes additional time. Once signed off on, it goes into fabrication. This can take up to two weeks, so remember there will be some downtime between the measurement and installation.
Before the day of install, you’ll get a call from your installer to confirm the day and time. For our projects where the cabinets are staying and only the countertop is being replaced, we typically schedule demo of the existing countertops and backsplash the day before installation so that our clients are only without it for a day or two. Here is what you’ll want to be prepared for on install day:
- Existing countertops, backsplash, sink, and cooktop must be removed from cabinetry
- Schedule a plumber and electrician for the following day to reconnect plumbing and wiring
- Make sure there is a clear path through your home for easy access for the installers
During the install, your sink will be sealed to your countertop and any seams will be sealed as well. They will drill the faucet holes and any other holes needed on site. Most installs are completed within a couple of hours and they can be used by the following day.
With quartz, the maintenance is very low, which is why we love this material. Select Surfaces guarantees everything for life, which means they receive callbacks when concerns arise.
All of the quartz brands they work with have a material warranty as well. As for cleaning, you only need mild soap and water for daily cleaning on quartz countertops, since they are non-porous.
Download a printable checklist HERE!