DIY Kitchen Countertop Replacement
October 28, 2014 Steven Murphy
There are all kinds of kitchen countertop replacement projects, and so there are several different methods that are used. Yet, there are a few concepts that are common to each countertop type. Here is a rundown of some of the steps you will take as you install any kind of countertop.
1. Removing Old Countertop
The very first thing you have to do in kitchen countertop replacement is to remove the old countertop. This has to be done according to the way it was installed. If it was just placed and glued, you might be able to pry it off. In some cases, it might have to be sawed away.
The area to be covered with countertop must be measured precisely. Each part of the countertop must be measured, including the flat part of the counter, the sink cutouts and the backsplash. The slightest variation can make for an ill-fitting countertop. Inexperience can lead to faulty measurements, but an expert can get them right with ease.
3. Plumbing and Outlets
Before you do anything else, it is a good time to make sure the plumbing and electrical outlets are in good working order and located where you want them. If you are putting in new countertops, you might be changing their positions. If so, you will need someone who can handle this type of project.
Nearly every kitchen countertop replacement project will include some kind of underlayment in its beginning phase. For plastic laminates, the underlayment is usually two layers of plywood, which are cut to fit, glued together and affixed to the cabinet with wood screws. Stone countertops may also have plywood, and concrete types often have wire mesh and felt as well. Underlayment for tile consists of plywood plus a special backer board made specifically for tile.
Kitchen countertop replacement jobs require cutting. Even if you use 1 inch tiles, you may come across places where those tiles will not fit the space exactly. Larger pieces of countertop materials will have to be cut to fit the overall design of the kitchen. The cutting methods used are at least as numerous as the number of different kinds of countertop materials. If you do not have the skill and experience to know how to make the cuts, call on a professional remodeler.
Most countertops need to be fastened down in some way. Some will be screwed, some nailed, and some wedged into place. Tile must be placed carefully on the clean backer board surface with mortar. It must then be sealed with grout. No matter what kind of kitchen countertop replacement you do, each step of the process requires more skill and knowledge that many do-it-yourselfers are likely to possess.