Installing new countertops is a great way to update your kitchen and increase the value of your home. But this project isn’t without its risks. Experts say some common remodeling countertop installation mistakes stand to tank your investment and cost you thousands of dollars to repair.
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8 Common Remodeling Countertop Installation Mistakes
- # 1 – Saving your old backsplash
Saving your old backsplash is one of the most common remodeling countertop installation mistakes. When saving your old backsplash this forces your pros to work around old tile, which can cause problems with measurements and fit and usually causes serious cosmetic issues.
Number one, leaving your old backsplash compromises the ability to create a proper template, and that results in a poorly fitting countertop altogether. Number two, many times the cabinets aren’t level, so the installer must shim the countertop up to the highest point. That means your new countertops won’t fit under the old backsplash, leaving an uneven line along the back.
- # 2 – Using the wrong seam epoxy
Not all seam epoxies are the same which leads to one of the common remodeling countertop installation mistakes. In fact, using the wrong kind of epoxy can make your countertop seams obvious and ugly.
Using clear or not color-matched epoxy will call attention to your seams. A good contractor will use a space-age, computer-matched epoxy that works within different color ranges. These epoxies are pre-matched to your countertops which leads to no guesswork.
- # 3 – Choosing the wrong countertop material
Home repair and maintenance shows are fun to watch, but it’s important to do your own research when it comes to pricing.
Many homeowners are mislead by TV shows that promote misleading cost estimates. One example is a customer thought that a $5,500 job would cost only $2,200 and was basing this estimate on prices they had seen on a TV remodeling show therefore creating a common remodeling countertop installation mistakes. Always talk to a professional to get a real idea of what your job is going to cost.
Material Is One of The Common Remodeling Countertop Installation Mistakes
- # 4 – Choosing the wrong material
Each countertop material has unique requirements when it comes to long-term care. It’s crucial to know the type of maintenance your countertops will need to retain their beauty and luster over time and to choose a material that realistically suits budget, tastes and lifestyle.
If you install granite, you will want to use a cutting board when prepping food. You will also want to clean the surface with soap and water, and do not use any kind of acidic cleaner, because acid will eat up the finish and cause a dull finish.
- # 5 – Not hiring a professional plumber
There’s a good chance your countertop installation will involve plumbing work. While your countertop installer may be able to tackle minor plumbing tasks, it’s best to hire a licensed professional. It’s important to always have a licensed master plumber working on any type of remodeling projects that requires any plumbing to be moved or replaced, this will save you money in the long run.
- # 6 – Adding to much weight to a raised bar or island
Many homeowners also include new countertop material on the raised portion of their bar or kitchen island, which can cause major structural problems if not properly supported.
There’s normally a three-quarter-inch piece of plywood that is attached to most bar tops. If you’re taking off laminate and installing a heavy stone like granite or quartz, you will be adding an extra 300 or 400 pounds to that three-quarter-inch support. If someone sits or jumps on it, it could all come down and possibly cause injury to someone. So here is a suggestion to avoid these common remodeling countertop installation mistakes; cut off the raised bar and open-up your counter space. It’s stronger and safer while adding a feeling of a larger space.
Not Leveling Is A Common Remodeling Countertop Installation Mistakes
- # 7 – Not leveling countertops
Making sure your countertops are flat against your cabinets is a critical part of a quality install and is very important for the overall cosmetic appearance.
Always make sure your countertops are level with the highest point of your cabinets. Failing to do this puts your counters — especially natural stone like granite — under a ton of pressure. This can cause the entire slab to break and crack resulting in additional cost.
- # 8 – Installing an unsupported
Countertop materials may be strong, but they’re also very heavy. Never allow your material, especially natural stone, to hang out too far without the proper support.
There should never be more than 10 inches of unsupported countertop overhang, especially with granite or other stone materials. Overhangs on islands or peninsulas are common places where this happens. If you’re planning on having a longer overhang, support it with a piece of flat steel that goes under the countertop.