What to Do with Your Old Granite Countertops?

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Tips

  • Some stone cleaners come packaged as quick wipes. These make cleaning granite counters quick and easy!

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  • Use coasters or placemats underneath food and drinks to avoid spills and damage to your countertops.

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How Much Does Saltillo Tile Flooring Installation Cost on Average? Saltillo Tile flooring installation costs on average $6.40 per square foot for materials and installation. However, this doesn’t include: site preparation, pattern changes and jogs in the room. Expect to pay an additional fee of $1-3.00 per square ft.

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5. Design Coasters

Creating coasters from extra pieces of marble is a fantastic way to bring the same style of elegance and class to your next dinner party. With easy to use paints (like chalk paints) and classic colors like gold and silver, all you need is a paint brush and a favorite design for your coaster to come out perfectly. 

Cons of Using Granite

Most granite is important, which means the shipping and transport can cause them to have a large carbon footprint. Plus, granite is porous, so it must be sealed with chemicals to minimize staining.

Installation also produces a lot of dust, VOCs, and other chemicals, which can be hazardous in enclosed areas.

Add a Wood Overlay

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

If you've always wanted butcher block or are drawn to the beauty of a real wood countertop, now's your chance to have it. You can cover your old counters with wide planks of solid hardwood or even hardwood or bamboo plywood.

Solid hardwood is more durable and repairable than plywood (with its very thin top veneer layer), but plywood comes in larger pieces and is less expensive.

Bamboo plywood offers the best of both worlds. This material has a thicker top layer than plywood (for durability and repairs), and it comes in 4-by-8-foot sheets, just like regular plywood.

This is a very custom makeover that requires some basic woodworking skills and tools. In short, you cut the main surface pieces to fit and glue them to the old counter (perhaps with screws driven up from below the old counter). Then you add a front edge made from the same material or use a solid hardwood edge to cap the layered edges of the plywood. A wood covering must be thoroughly sealed or oiled for stain- and moisture-resistance.

How do you cover up old tile?

To install them, clean the old tiles with an all-purpose cleaner; allow the tiles to dry; remove the paper backing from a self-stick tile; and press it into place over an old tile. Use scissors to cut the tiles to fit around wall switches or electrical outlets. Continue adhering as many self-stick tiles as you need.

Wood Countertops Key Questions Answered

What do they cost?

From $12 to more than $200 per square foot, uninstalled, depending on species, thickness, construction, and finish; add 5 to 10 percent more for most factory finishes.

Do they hold up?

Properly installed and cared for, wood countertops can last as long as you live in your home. Factory finishes generally come with a warranty. It can range from one year to a lifetime—and may only cover glued-joint separation.

DIY or hire a pro?

A homeowner comfortable with cutting and matching can install them in a weekend (making sink and faucet cutouts may void any warranty). For a pro install, add $8 per square foot, minimum.

Where to buy?

Order from kitchen showrooms and custom retailers or shop at home centers and big-box stores.

Wood Kitchen Countertop Pros

Alex Hayden

They lend character and lasting good looks, but they also need some TLC. Weigh the facts before investing:

  • They can be budget-friendly. A butcher-block counter made from birch or beech can cost little more than laminate and less than half the starter price for natural stone or engineered materials.
  • They can be easy to install. DIYers can cut prefab butcher-block tops to fit around corners, sinks, and appliances much more easily than most stone. Finishing wood is even more straightforward.
  • They’re strong—and soft. Unlike with stone, there’s no clatter when you set down a plate or a glass, and dropped dishes are less likely to break. Wood also quiets the whir of appliances, while stone will amplify such noise.
  • They can be refinished. Knife scratches, deep gouges, even burn marks can be sanded out and a DIY finish restored to look brand-new.
  • They’re green. Most companies offer sustainably grown, Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods, including exotics. And while wood counters last for years, once worn out, they can be recycled.

Similar to shown: 1½-inch edge-grain teak; about $175 per sq. ft., uninstalled; devoswoodworking.com

Wood Kitchen Countertop Cons

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  • They move. All wood expands and contracts with changes in atmospheric moisture, so there is the potential for these countertops to cup, warp, and gap if not properly constructed, installed, and maintained. The thicker the counter, the more stable it will be.
  • They require maintenance. Unfinished wood counters need monthly oiling. DIY clear-coated surfaces may require refinishing every five years or so. Factory-finished counters may never need recoating, but if they do, you’ll pay to ship them, even under warranty.
  • They demand a watchful eye. Liquids can penetrate wood, causing stains, cracks, and joint separation—vinegar can actually dissolve glue—so spills, especially water around the sink, should be wiped up right away.
  • They’re not fireproof. Wood and stove burners don’t mix; check with your stove maker for required clearances. To prevent scorching, use trivets under hot pots.

Marble

Much like soapstone marble is very easy to work soGo to any old coffee shop in Italy and you’ll likely find a well worn Carrera marble countertop somewhere in there. This workhorse of commercial and residential kitchens for centuries is extremely popular due to some of the great qualities it exhibits like its attractive appearance, heat resistance, durability, and easy workability.

Much like soapstone marble is very easy to work so that keeps costs down and allows it be maintained more easily. One downside is that it is more easily stained than options like quartz or granite due to its porous nature. Its color is almost exactly the opposite of soapstone with a soft white base and dark grey veins.

For a truly timeless and elegant look you really can’t beat marble.

The Installation Process

Once the rooms are ready, the next step is to have the contractors visit your home to place your new stone countertops. The process should go something like this:

  • The installer will cut a hole on the quartz or granite countertops to create space for the sink and cooktop
  • After installing the new countertop, the installer will finish the backsplash. (Depending on your design choices, this may be the same material as the countertop.)
  • Once everything is complete, the installer will clean up all the dust created while cutting the countertop.

Consider the Sink

Lisa Shin

For a water-resistant barrier, all cutouts, edges, and surfaces must be treated with your choice of finish to seal out moisture. “Undermount sinks are ideal with wood countertops,” says Paul Grothouse, owner, The Grothouse Lumber Company. Cutouts that extend slightly beyond the sink lip and over the bowl prevent standing water from saturating the edge, making the counter easier to maintain.

Drop-in sinks work best with clear-coated or factory-finished countertops along with a flexible sealant beneath the rim to protect the wood. Avoid marine varnish; while water resistant, this high-VOC finish is not food safe.

Use a Countertop Refinishing Kit

 

jodiejohnson / Getty Images

Countertop resurfacing kits are like paint on steroids. These kits include an epoxy-like paint and decorative stone chips to create the look of natural stone. Most kits are designed for making over old laminate counter surfaces.

Refinishing kits come with everything you need (except for a few tools and basic supplies) to completely cover a standard-size countertop, including the front edge and, if desired, a 4-inch backsplash. The overall process is straightforward and non-technical, but it involves some hard work, messy sanding, and careful attention to detail. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter for best results that will last for years.

Use it for spare parts or cannibalize it

Open the computer and take any spare parts you think you need for your new computer. Things you may want to keep include: fans, power supply, CD-ROM, floppy drive, hard drives, and memory.

The parts mentioned above can be kept as a backup in case parts of your new computer fail. Or, components like a CD-ROM, hard drive, or memory can be added to your new computer to give it additional capabilities.

7. Adorn a Marble Slab over the Washing Machine

If you find yourself constantly in the laundry room (we know we do), then putting a marble slab over the washing machine is a great idea. This gives you an extra shelf of space to start folding those freshly clean clothes or make room for the dirty ones that still need to be washed (if you constantly ask yourself how you got so many clothes, you’re our people).

Planning for Your Countertop Installation Date

Before countertop installation day, plan appropriately to avoid inconveniences that might arise. Keep in touch with your contractors and follow their recommendations as you prepare. The day itself and the following 24 hours may seem somewhat chaotic as the room is effectively taken apart and put back together again. However, with an expert team on the job, the result will be well worth it.

Contact us for professional countertop installation services.

6 Steps for Removing Countertops Yourself

Ready to take on DIY countertop removal? Let’s gear up. 

Tools for Countertop Removal:

  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Wrench
  • Bucket
  • Chisel 
  • Putty knife
  • Box cutter
  • Screwdriver
  • Caulk softener
  • Pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw*
  • *Only required for large or heavy countertops.

1. Clear the Area of Obstructions

Before you start, it’s important to remove all countertop appliances and accessories from your work area. Then remove the drawers and items stored in your lower shelving to prevent dust contamination and give you easy access to the countertop. You should also clear the area of food, cookware and utensils for safety.

2. Disconnect Supply Lines to Countertop Fixtures

To safely remove your kitchen countertop:

  • Use an adjustable wrench to turn the emergency shut-off valves on the gas line to your stove to the off position. 
  • Make sure electrical outlets are covered and turned off. 
  • Disconnect the water lines, drain pipes and garbage disposal to the sink. Place a bucket beneath the pipes to catch any draining water.

3. Remove the Sink

After disconnecting the drain lines, you’ll need to remove your drop-in fixture or undermount-style sink. 

  • Use a chisel or putty knife to wiggle the sink away from the countertop. 
  • Spray a caulk softener to help remove the dried adhesive or mortar under the rim.
  • Lift carefully to avoid damaging the sink and surrounding area.

Pro-Tip: Sinks can be heavier than you think! For example, a cast iron model can weigh over 100 pounds. Have an assistant on hand to help you lift out the fixture, especially for double-bowl configurations.

Now, the main event – taking off the countertop.

4. Loosen the Remaining Adhesive 

When your countertop was installed, it was sealed along the edges with caulk. Over the years, more caulk may have been applied to prevent water damage. For easier countertop removal:

  • Spray the adhesive surrounding the edges of the countertop with a caulk softener. Let sit for one hour. 
  • Use a putty knife or box cutter to pull the adhesive from the backsplash or wall. 
  • Carefully pry your tool of choice under the countertop until it is loose enough to lift.

5. Unscrew and Pry Countertops from Cabinets

Check underneath your cabinets to see if your kitchen countertop is held in place with screws. If so, use a screwdriver to unfasten them. After that, you should be able to easily lift the countertop without damaging your cabinets. 

Countertops can also be held in place with brackets, nails or additional adhesive. If this is the case, use a pry bar to gently lift the countertops from under the rim, working your way from one end of the counter to the other. Be patient and – to keep you and your cabinets safe – do not use excessive force on the pry bar.


“There will likely be several nails sticking out from the bottom of the countertop once removed. Use a hammer and bend them to prevent someone from accidentally stepping on a sharp nail.”

J.B. Sassano | President, Mr. Handyman

To safely remove a large or heavy countertop, you may need to use a reciprocating saw to cut it into manageable pieces. “Stay safe by wearing safety goggles and a dust mask when cutting countertop sections,” said Sassano.

6. Lift Away and Dispose of Your Old Countertops

Once the countertops are free from the cabinets and wall, it’s time to lift. Be safe! This step is much easier with at least two people. Make sure to rent a renovation dumpster to easily dispose of your countertops and other remodeling debris since they won’t be accepted at the curb.

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What Material Are You Replacing Your Countertops With?

Now that your old countertops are gone, it’s time to choose a replacement. With so many options available, it’s difficult to decide which type of countertop is right for you. Use our infographic below to learn the pros and cons of each material.


 

J.B. Sassano | President, Mr. Handyman“If your new countertop is an expensive material such as granite, marble, etc. – avoid the heartache of it becoming damaged by inexperienced installation.”

J.B. Sassano | President, Mr. Handyman

What do you think?

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