Rarely will you need to replace granite countertops because they’re worn out. If anything, granite could literally last you a lifetime as long as you seal it every year with granite sealant.
But then you may be looking to spruce up your kitchen and the granite countertops don’t match your ideas for the new look.
In this case, you have two options: a professional replacement that could cost you $130 for each square foot you install and $80 to $180 per square foot without installation, or the cheaper route involving cutting the countertops.
The problem is, you’ve heard over and over again that cutting granite is not possible. So, is it?
Can you Cut Granite?
Yes. Granite can be cut wet or dry using a circular saw or an angle grinder. Cutting wet granite requires a wet-cutting saw that you can rent or buy from nearby hardware stores.
Both wet and dry cutting emit fine residues that appear like a slurry substance during wet cutting and a cloud of dust for dry cutting. Professionals often use dust tents that they wrap around the work area to prevent the dust from traveling to the rest of the home. Here’s the process if you’d like to do it on your own:
- If you’re not cutting countertops already in place, find a stable surface to place the slab on.
- Get an angle grinder or a circular saw with a diamond-cut blade. You can ask the store owner about the correct size for your countertops.
- Wear a dust mask, eye goggles, and ear plugs, and ensure your forearms have no loose clothing that could get caught in the blade.
- Use a straightedge to measure the places you need to cut out and mark them. If you’re working with sharp corners, ensure the straightedge makes a 90-degree angle with the countertop to get a straight cut.
- Cover the cut line with blue tape to reduce chipping as you cut.
- Whether you use an angle grinder or a circular saw, work the tool gently. If you can’t cut the countertop by running the device once, run it twice.
- If you’re using an angle grinder, it’s best to use polishing pads with an angle to help get rid of the saw marks on the cut edges and smoothen the 90-degree edges.
- To reduce chipping, you can also make a 2-inch kerf at the finished cut’s end.
You can always replace the goggles and dust mask with a face shield to cover the entire face as you work. In any case, don’t wear gloves because they make it easy for the tool to slip.
Changing a Sink in Granite Countertops
Cutting a granite countertop to change a sink is essentially similar to . Installers drill holes into each corner of the granite slab where it touches the sink and makes plunge cuts to make it possible for the sink to enter the granite. But before that, you need to remove the sink:
- Wear protective gloves.
- Find caulk remover and apply it at the intersection between the sink and the countertops. Read the directions on the caulk remover to determine how long it will take for it to work.
- Use a putty knife or pry bar to gently separate the caulk from the countertop.
- Create more space between the rim and the countertops by sliding two large flathead screwdrivers on the right and left-hand sides of the sink.
- Lift out the sink with a friend’s help.
Once the sink is out, prepare to install the new one by disconnecting the plumbing. Your contractor will likely cut out a template to match the sink you want to be installed.
Can you Cut Granite after Installing?
Sometimes you need to change your current granite countertops to make space for a stove or sink or cut spaces that peak out. You can cut your granite countertops after installing to make this possible.
The ideal way to do it is to create a hole that will accommodate the correct measurements, angles, and inclinations. If that’s what you need to do, follow these steps:
- Find the stove template in the manual that comes with it. You may also find the directions on the box, but you can ask the manufacturer for more specifications if necessary.
- Place the template on the ideal space you want on the countertop and ensure it matches your counter’s front edge.
- Make space for the cabinet –preferably half an inch of the free area between the cabinet and your countertop’s front edge. Ensure that the cabinet’s bottom does not hinder access to the cooktop.
- Sketch the template on the countertop.
- Put masking tapes on the outline to reduce chipping. It’s also advisable to cover the base of the cutting tool to prevent scratching.
- Cut out the corners needed for the cooktop inside the outline.
Remember to secure the dirt by putting a large plastic bag or tent that drains into a bucket on the underside of the countertops.
Can I Change my Granite Countertops?
You can change your granite countertops. The only question is how much of a change you want. A complete overhaul will require lots of work, the purchase of new material for the entire area, and probably professional help from start to finish.
Perhaps all you need to change is the finish –such as removing the classic sleek look of granite countertops to something more matte.
In this case, you can get a smooth, toned-down matte look by honing the countertops. The rule of thumb for a DIY project is to use an electric or palm orbital sander and attach different grit sandpaper as the polished surface loses its shine –starting from 100 grit up to 1000.
Start honing with the 100 grit sandpaper, and move up to the 200 grit sandpaper as the gloss diminishes to make the surface more even. Next, move up to the 300 grit sandpaper. At this point, you need to assess your surface to decide how much of a matte look you want. You can keep increasing the grit until you achieve the perfect look.
The debate with granite countertops is never about it’s apparent beauty or proven longevity but always around changing the look as fashion inspires homeowners to adopt different looks or to fix imperfections when they occur.
Sure, the DIY route saves you money, especially when you need minor changes. However, a professional job will get you better results and add to the durability of your countertops.
Our forte at Arch City Granite is fabricating custom granite, marble, and quartz countertops. If you live in St. Louis, MO, you don’t have to settle for less-than-appealing countertops. Trust our experienced team, and cutting-edge CNC tech to get countertops that make a statement piece in your kitchen, bathroom, and virtually everywhere you need them. Explore our gallery.