How to install granite countertops

Skill Level

Start to Finish

Tools

  • grinder
  • dry-cut segmented diamond blade
  • level
  • screwdriver
  • 6′ level
  • carpenter’s square
  • utility knife
  • sawhorses
  • drill
  • jigsaw
  • pencil
  • granite cutter
  • spade bit
  • circular saw
  • dust mask
  • caulk gun
  • rags
  • 2′ level
  • sawhorse
  • buffer
  • vix bit

Materials

  • kraft paper
  • duct tape
  • polyester-based resin
  • toothpicks
  • granite countertop components
  • 2×4 boards
  • masking tape
  • cardboard
  • sink
  • screws
  • 3/4″ plywood
  • buffing pad
  • mixing plate
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Step 1

How to install granite countertops

granite comes in a myriad styles and choices

Order DIY Granite Countertops

After cabinets are installed, it’s time to measure for the granite countertops. It’s wise to be very precise.

In this project a do-it-yourself granite countertop service provides the granite countertops, a modular system that eliminates expensive fabrication. The granite system requires sheets of ¾” plywood be laid on top of the cabinets to support the granite.

Granite comes in a myriad styles and choices. Personal selection depends on a variety of factors including overall design and style of the kitchen, color and type of cabinets and flooring, local availability of granite, individual taste and more.

Be sure to note how much you want your countertop to overhang the face frames of the cabinets, typically 1″ to 1 1/2″. Also note which edges of the counter should have a bull-nose or other style of finished edge.

Allow 3 to 4 weeks, and sometimes longer, for delivery. If one chooses to go with a granite fabricator, the fabricator will commonly want to do its own measurements and installation to insure precise fitting.

Granite, like most natural stone, can be expensive. Here’s everything you need to know to install countertops yourself, saving 20% to 30% over a professional installation.

How to install granite countertops

Plan the Installation

Planning your install will involve what type and color of granite you want, what type edging pattern to have, the overall length and overhang.

Related To:

We all know granite can be expensive, but what if we told you that installing your own was not only a possibility, but a great way to save money and achieve the durable, luxurious kitchen of your dreams? When planning for a DIY granite installation, there are a few key things you should plan for.

Materials Needed

  • seam setter
  • 4′ level
  • angle grinder with diamond blade
  • caulk gun
  • acrylic caulk
  • shims
  • painter’s tape
  • measuring tape
  • two-part epoxy for nonporous applications
  • cardboard or similar material for template (optional)
  • proper protective equipment
  • utility knife
  • jab saw
  • pencil
  • granite sealer
  • granite cleaner
  • soft cloth

Though you intend to install the countertops on your own, it’s important to work closely with a stone fabrication shop regarding the cutting of the stone and the delivery. It takes specialty tools to cut the granite, and a stone shop will have both the tools and the know-how to make an accurate cut. As far as delivery is concerned, granite’s greatest attribute can actually be its weakness. The hardness of granite makes it perfect for a durable countertop. However, when improperly handled, it can crack easily. There are few fixes for a broken slab of granite, so it’s a good idea to leave transport to the professionals.

Pick Out Granite

The first step is to decide what type of granite you want. The shop will have many samples and slabs so you can see all the varied colors and grain patterns up close. You’ll also see the various edges to choose from: square, bevel, bullnose, miter, ogee and many more. In addition to the main countertop surface, you’ll need to decide on the length of the countertop overhang, as well as the type and size of backsplash, should you opt for one.

Measure for Installation

How to install granite countertops

Measuring for Installation

Once you’ve got your granite picked out and your old countertops removed, take accurate measurements of your base cabinets to give to the fabricator. Start with the tops of the base cabinets, including the distance from the front of the face frame to the wall along the entire length of cabinets.

Once you’ve chosen the granite and removed the existing countertops, take accurate measurements of your base cabinets to give to the fabricator. Precisely measure the tops of the base cabinets by measuring the distance from the wall to the fronts along the entire length of the wall.

Note: You may want to have the fabricator visit your kitchen to check if anything there may affect how the countertops are made, such as wall bump-outs or exposed pipes.

Create a Template

How to install granite countertops

Create a Cardboard Template

Use cardboard or other thin, cheap material to create your template for your granite countertop. In your template, you must measure the exact locations of cutouts for sinks and cooktops, and holes for faucets and soap dispensers.

An even more accurate way to give measurements to your fabricator is to make a template from cardboard, lauan plywood or even Mylar plastic. Scribe the template using a scribing tool so that it fits snugly against the wall along the entire run of cabinets, then trace the front edge onto the template. In your template, you must measure the exact locations of cutouts for sinks, cooktops, faucets and soap dispensers. Be careful not to allow a span of more than 2 feet between cabinets, such as a span over a dishwasher, and allow no more than 6 inches of unsupported overhang with 2-centimeter stone and 9 inches with 3-centimeter stone.

If you plan for an undermount sink, make note of that on the template for the fabricator, who will be able to cut a groove along the underside edge of the sink hole, so that the sink clips can be secured. Also, insist that your fabricator “rod” the cutouts with steel or fiberglass reinforcements to strengthen the narrow areas around the cutouts. Once you’ve clearly specified your requirements and submitted your measurements, set a date for pickup or delivery of your finished countertops.

Pro Tip: Accuracy of measurements is extremely important when it comes to granite countertops. If you don’t feel comfortable getting accurate measurements, you can always negotiate an itemized price for your stone fabricator to come and take the measurements to ensure a perfect fit.

Level Base Cabinets

Check to make sure your base cabinets are level across their entire length (Image 1). If not, unfasten the base units and level them using shims (Image 2). It’s not a good idea to use shims directly under the granite countertop as this will create small voids that could cause the granite to crack under pressure.

How to install granite countertops

By Pitell Granite on October 2, 2018

Ready to learn how to install granite countertops?

Granite, like most natural stones, can be expensive. These tips can help save between 20-30 % off a professional installation by doing it yourself.

Step 1: Plan the Installation

When planning your installation, working with your local stone fabrication shop is key. Granite is heavy, difficult to transport and must be cut with specialty tools. And though it’s known for its hardness, if it’s not handled correctly or installed with proper support, it can crack or, worse, break.

There are few fixes for a broken slab of granite. So it’s a good idea to work closely with your local stone fabricator.

The first step is to decide what type of granite you want. The shop will have many samples and slabs. You’ll see all the varied colors and grain patterns up close.

You’ll also see the various edging patterns to choose from: square, bevel, bull-nose, miter, ogee and many more.

You may want to have the fabricator visit your kitchen to check if anything there may affect how the countertops are made, such as wall bump-outs or exposed pipes.

In addition to the main countertop surface, you’ll need to decide on the length of the countertop overhang, as well as the type and size of backsplash.

Step 2: Measure for Installation

Once you’ve got your granite picked out and your old countertops removed, take accurate measurements of your base cabinets to give to the fabricator. Start with the tops of the base cabinets, including the distance from the front of the face frame to the wall along the entire length of cabinets.

Step 3: Create a Template

The most accurate way to get measurements for your fabricator is to make a template from cardboard, thin luan plywood or even Mylar plastic.

Scribe the template so that it fits snugly against the wall along the entire run of cabinets before tracing the front edge onto the template.

In your template, you must measure the exact locations of cutouts for sinks and cooktops, and holes for faucets and soap dispensers. Be careful not to allow a span of more than 2 feet between cabinets, such as a span over a dishwasher. And allow no more than 6 inches of unsupported overhang with 2-centimeter stone and 9 inches with 3-centimeter stone.

If you plan an undermount sink, make note of that on the template for the fabricator, who will be able to cut a groove along the underside edge of the sink hole, so that the sink clips can be secured.

Also, insist that your fabricator “rod” the cutouts with steel or fiberglass reinforcements to strengthen the narrow areas around the cutouts.

Remember, if you’ll feel more comfortable, you can always negotiate an itemized price for your stone fabricator to come and take the measurements to ensure accuracy.

Once you’ve clearly specified your requirements and submitted your measurements, set a date for pickup or delivery of your finished countertops.

Step 4: Prepare for Installation

Check to make sure your base cabinets are level across their entire length. If not, unfasten the base units and level them with shims underneath the baseboard.

It’s not a good idea to use shims directly under the granite countertop. This will create small voids that could cause the granite to crack under pressure.

Step 5: Transporting Granite

Now that you’ve given measurements to the fabricator and leveled your cabinets, it’s time to get the cut countertops home safely, which can be tricky.

Unless they’re being delivered, you’ll have to pick up the countertops from the fabricator when they’re ready.

Remember that granite is heavy — a 2′ x 6′ countertop can weigh in excess of 400 pounds — so enlist some help to transport and move the countertops safely.

It’s important to always carry the countertops in a vertical position, never horizontally flat, to avoid cracking or breaking the stone. To transport granite slabs, carry them on edge in an A-frame rack, the way glass is carried. If needed, you can make a simple rack from 2x4s. Protect the edges by covering them with wide painter’s tape.

When the slabs arrive, have a cleared space ready in the kitchen area to store them upright on edge until you’re ready to install them.

Step 6: Install the Slabs

Once you have the granite slabs home, it’s time to install them. First, dry-fit the countertop to ensure an accurate fit.

When lifting the countertop, take extra care to support the granite where it is thin, such as along cutouts.

Lay the slabs directly on the frames of the lower cabinets. It’s not necessary for the granite to be supported by an additional subsurface, like solid plywood.

If the wall-facing edge of a countertop isn’t flush and requires adjustment, carefully mark all the areas of the countertop to be removed and gently lower it back down.

Then, using a dry-cut diamond blade installed on an electric grinder, carefully shave the edge to the desired level, remembering to always wear protective eye-wear to guard against dust and grit.

Then fit the slabs back in place making sure all the edges fit snuggly and securely, including the seams between slabs if you have more than one.

Step 7: Join the Seams

With the slabs flush and level on the cabinets, if you have multiple slabs, now is the time to fit them together.

First, tape the edges to protect them. Join the butt seams using color-matched two-part epoxy, which you can purchase from the fabricator shop.

Tighten the tightening screws until you feel resistance. Attach and turn on the auto pump — the tension created will ensure that the edges of the seams remain flush as the epoxy dries. A seam setter also ensures that the top edges of the seams remain flush with each other.

When the epoxy is dry, after about an hour, remove the setter. Then carefully shave away any excess epoxy using a single-edge razor held vertically. Don’t hold the razor at an angle or you may gouge the epoxy. And remember to use even strokes.

Step 8: Attach to the Cabinets

Now that the seams of the slabs are joined, it’s time to secure the stone to the cabinets. The weight of the countertops themselves is nearly enough to hold the stone in place, but you’ll still want to run a bead of caulk along the underside perimeter of the counter, where the stone meets the cabinet top.

Don’t use silicone caulk; over time, silicone caulk could wick into the stone and cause staining. Stick with acrylic.

Step 9: Apply a Sealer

With your installation complete, finish by applying granite sealer to your countertops; this will protect the stone and prevent any deep staining. Simply wipe it on evenly with a clean, soft cloth, making sure to get full coverage. Let dry for 24 hours.

Step 10: Maintenance

Clean your new countertops using only granite and quartz cleaner, which you can purchase at most fabrications shops. This special cleaner will leave no residue and keep your granite countertops looking shiny and new.

Installing a granite countertop yourself is challenging, but the cost-savings and enhancement to your kitchen are well worth the effort.

Source: DIY Network
View Original Post

Get the latest countertop trends, tips and how-tos.

Have you ever wondered what holds an undermount sink in place when installed under a granite or quartz counter top?

How to install granite countertops

If so, read on! The following article explains in detail the 3 most effective undermount sink install techniques used on Stainless Steel, Composite, and Cast Iron or Clay sinks.

Sink Clips

Stainless Steel and Composite sink manufactures provide a system for attaching directly to the underside of the G/Q counter top. The system includes 6-8 bolts, clips, and wing nuts.

The bolts are inserted into grooves that the fabricator drills or cuts into the back of the counter, spaced evenly around the flange of the sink. The clip is then attached to the flange and tightened to secure the sink to the counter top.

How to install granite countertops Sink Rails

For extremely heavy and uneven cast iron and clay sinks, a rail system is necessary so the cabinet supports the weight not the counter top.

Two rails are attached to the front and back of the sink cabinet on the left and right side of the sink with enough space for the sink to be adjusted to the final placement of the polished opening in the granite or quartz countertop.

How to install granite countertops

Then the leveling feet are adjusted to raise the top of the sink into contact with the bottom of the counter to minimize the caulk gap.

Cabinet Brackets

These are plastic devices that are generally used to repair a sagging sink that failed because the fabricator took shortcuts and didn’t use sink clips or rails.

Four to six hinged brackets push the flange of the sink against the bottom of the granite or quartz counter and are then screwed into the wall of the cabinet to hold it in place.

How to install granite countertops

Gravity, moisture, and the vibration of a garbage disposal create a shocking amount of stress on an under mount sink installation, so make sure the fabricator you hire for your granite or quartz project uses clips, rails, or brackets instead of a shortcut!

Learn more about undermount sinks in our blog, Undermount Sink Failure In Granite And Quartz

Are you considering new countertops for your kitchen but not sure where to start? Our free Countertop Buying Guide has all the information you need to make the best decision for your style, budget, and needs.

Updated: April 2021

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For a basic project in zip code 47474 with 120 square feet, the cost to Install Granite Countertops starts at $74.32 – $109 per square foot*. Actual costs will depend on job size, conditions, and options.

To estimate costs for your project:

1. Set Project Zip Code Enter the Zip Code for the location where labor is hired and materials purchased.

2. Specify Project Size and Options Enter the number of “square feet” required for the project.

3. Re-calculate Click the “Update” button.

NOTE: *Input the total of the finished surface area AND the area of any openings enclosed by the finished area.

Unit Costs: How Pros Price

Unlike websites which blend pricing from dissimilar jobs, Homewyse creates custom estimates from Unit Costs. The Unit Cost method is based on job specific detail and current costs. Contracting, trade, design and maintenance businesses rely on the Unit Cost method for transparency, accuracy and fair profits.

Cost to Install Granite Countertops – Notes and General Information

These estimates are for BASIC work performed in serviceable conditions by qualified trade professionals using MID GRADE materials. Work not mentioned on this page and/or work using master craftsman, premium materials and project supervision will result in HIGHER COSTS! Explore the full range of granite countertop new installation labor options and material prices here.

These estimates are NOT substitutes for written quotes from trade professionals. Homewyse strongly recommends that you contact reputable professionals for accurate assessments of work required and costs for your project – before making any decisions or commitments.

The cost estimate includes:

  • Costs for local material / equipment delivery to and service provider transportation to and from the job site.
  • Costs to prepare the worksite for Granite Countertop Installation, including costs to protect existing structure(s), finishes, materials and components.
  • Labor setup time, mobilization time and minimum hourly charges that are commonly included for small Granite Countertop Installation jobs.

The cost estimate does NOT include:

  • Costs for removing, relocating, repairing, or modifying existing framing, surfacing, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems – or bringing those systems into compliance with current building codes.
  • Costs for testing and remediation of hazardous materials (asbestos, lead, etc).
  • General contractor overhead and markup for organizing and supervising the Granite Countertop Installation. Add 13% to 22% to the total cost above if a general contractor will supervise this project.
  • Sales tax on materials and supplies.
  • Permit or inspection fees (or portion thereof) required by your local building department for your overall project.

References – Granite Countertop Installation

  • Product and Supplies Data: BuildDirect Countertops and Supplies BuildDirect, Apr 2021, Website
  • Product and Supplies Data: Home Depot Countertops and Supplies Home Depot, Apr 2021, Website
  • Product and Supplies Data: Menards Countertops and Supplies Menards, Apr 2021, Website
  • Product and Supplies Data: Lowes Countertops Lowes , Apr 2021, Website
  • HomeDepot Online Countertop Estimator HomeDepot, Apr 2014, Website Staff
  • The Building Estimator’s Reference Book , Mar 2012,
  • Lowes Kitchen Countertop Section Lowes.com, Apr 2014, Website Staff
  • Discover Exactly How Much To Pay For Quartz Countertops http://quartzkitchencountertops.org, Apr 2014, Website Staff

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How to install granite countertops

Granite is a perennial favorite countertop material for kitchens or bathrooms. Its natural beauty, durability, and low maintenance make it a popular choice. But the high price of slab granite countertops—those long, sleek stretches of stone popular on countertops around the world—often puts a damper on many homeowners’ dreams of having real stone countertops.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to professionally installed slab granite counters: 12-inch-square granite tiles that you install by yourself. If you’ve ever laid a tile floor or even just thought about it, you can install your own granite tile countertop.

What a Granite Tile Countertop Is

Slab granite’s overwhelming size and weight make it expensive and difficult to purchase and install. An average granite slab 9 feet long weighs between 200 and 300 pounds. Most homeowners are not equipped to handle or fabricate materials of this size and weight, so granite tile is the perfect solution.

Granite tile essentially slices slab granite into small, lightweight, manageable sections that nearly any do-it-yourselfer can handle and install. Each tile is 12 inches by 12 inches. So, depth-wise, it is an ideal fit for countertops’ 24- to 25-inch depth. The granite tiles will be laid out in a neat grid, with grout between each tile. While you won’t have the sleek, smooth slab granite that’s so popular, you’ll still have a stone countertop—and save a good chunk of money, too.

A wet tile saw makes short work of cutting granite tile. Water running across the blade and cutting area keeps the tile cool, so it cuts easier. Plus, the water holds down dust and sharp tile chips.

If you do not own a wet tile saw, you can rent one by the day or week at most rental yards and at some home centers.

Cost of Granite Tile Countertops

Granite tile is far less expensive to purchase and install than slab granite. Expect to pay at least $1,000 for a single granite slab (20 square feet). In the form of tile, though, the same granite coverage can cost nine to ten times less: around $100 to $150. Extra items such as thinset and cement board, along with a few specialized tools, add another $100 to $150 to the total cost.

Safety Considerations

Cutting granite tile on the wet tile saw requires hearing and eye protection. Be sure to keep the water constantly flowing over the cutting area to prevent stone dust and shards from flying.

Check that all the cabinets are at the same level when installing the Granite Countertops. If the kitchen cabinets are on adjustable legs, it is necessary to ensure that all legs are properly secured to prevent any play. Cabinets must not be connected to each other and fixed to the rear wall. Because the cabinets must be weighed before installing the counter.In the case of a dishwasher, the standard clearance of 62 cm must be left for the machine. There should be enough support around. It is useful to carry out any modification work by covering the Granite counter. Doing so may damage the Granite Counter. So, how to install granite countertops?

Kitchen Countertops Assembly Details

Granite Countertops are made of all cuts and polishes should not be forgotten that dry cuts and polishing should be avoided. This is how you can follow the steps on how to install granite countertops.

  1. Baseboards should be miter nose cut.
  2. While working, we need to put cardboard and similar materials on the worktop parts to prevent damage to the surface finish of the granite countertops.
  3. The silicon cannot be used on the joints and skirtings, or the silicone should be used on the rear wall of the baseboard.
  4. Ideally, the use of adhesive color in the same color tone will make the installation smooth and smooth to the eye.

Granite Countertop Miter Cutting Manufacturing

  • Granite countertops miter nose joints should be cut at 45 angles to ensure maximum strength.
  • If the edges are cut at an angle of less than 45, the miter cuts such as rupture of the edge disrupt the eye and the worktop appearance becomes ugly.
  • CNC cutting should be preferred for miter cutting.
  • The joint must be clean, clean and parallel and sand to the finest detail.
  • For maximum strength, ensure that the color of the adhesive is distributed evenly at the joint.
  • Miter nose joining edges are the most sensitive places to break the parts.
  • Adhesive material as a mixture of polyester is the most robust.

How To Install Granite Countertops? | Installation Considerations

The final stage is a detail that needs to be cleaned of all glue and silicone residues left on the Granite Kitchen Countertop during assembly. It is important to warn your customer that the chemical you use to clean up these residues cannot be used for general cleaning.

During the maintenance of the granite counter, the surface of the counter is cleaned with a specified liquid surface cleaner. We should never leave any material on the granite counter. We have examined how to install granite countertops in this article. If you want to learn and try different things for your home, you can check out our other articles.

How to install granite countertops

This granite install overview answers some basic questions and provides useful tips on granite counter installation , finding a granite installer, and how to spot the difference between quality stone installation and shoddy work.

If you’re considering having remodeling or repair work done in your home, or you’re considering installing granite countertops , save yourself potential hassles and feel the comfort that comes from making the right decision.

Contact Angie’s List for reviews and recommendations. None of the contractors pay to get listed!

1. Prepare Your Cabinets For Granite

3CM thick countertop granite generally does not need any additional preparation other than level and secured cabinets. For 2CM thick tops that have a laminated edge, it is recommended that you apply ¾ inch plywood sub- counter to the top of your cabinets to support the granite .

How to install granite countertops

This will add support above appliances such as dishwashers and compactors, support holes for sinks and cooktops and also help support small cantilevered ends and breakfast bars. See more kitchen remodeling tips and advice.

One advantage to plywood is that you can level the slabs much more easily without moving them once they are in place. In any event, if you are using frameless (European style) cabinets or framed cabinets that have upper retractable cutting boards, you will need to raise the granite ¾ inch to clear the double bull- nose which hangs down ¾ inch. Plywood is a cheap and easy way to do that.

If you have overhangs or spans that need support, be sure to have granite countertop support brackets in place before installing granite countertops.

Installing granite tile countertops requires something completely different than installing slab countertops. Tile counters are installed by laying individual granite tiles into place. This counter has none of the weight or breakage concerns of slab granite.

2. Decide Where You Want Seams

Almost all kitchens will have granite countertop seams in the stone. Usually they are difficult to see from a distance. If you look for them, you will find them. Granite is seamed by laying the granite slabs next to each other with a 1/16″ gap (maximum) between them. Level and shim the tops, then mix pigmented 2- part polyester resin and spread it into the void.

3. Choose The Right Sink

Self rimming sinks are sinks that lay on top of the granite and typically have a rim that is one- half inch larger than the hole (cut- out) they fit into. Most newly purchased sinks for granite counters either come with a paper template or describe the cut- out and give dimensions. In either case the template or dimensions must be transferred to the granite where the sink is to be placed. Here’s how to choose the best granite countertop faucet.

Try to leave at least 3 inches of stone on front and back. Always double check your planned cut- out against the actual sink with a tape measure. Many manufacturers have more than one sink style on a template so make sure you have the right one.

Before you do any cutting, support the entire length of the slab of countertop with 2×4’s so that its weight is evenly distributed. Make sure none of the blocks are under your cut- out. You can also lay the granite on 3/4 inch styrofoam on a table.

Cut the straight lines of your cut- out with a circular saw with a diamond blade. If you are dry- cutting make sure you use a segmented or good turbo- cut blade. Hold the front of the saw down and sink the saw into the granite. Next, cut an X into the middle of your cut- out and then cut another X like you are slicing a pizza.

Most kitchen sink templates have 4 inch radius corners. The corners are cut using a 4 inch grinder with a diamond blade. Cut at an angle at least half way through the granite. If you can’t cut on the line then make the hole smaller (you can always fix the hole later with the grinder).

Next, just drop out the triangles, knocking gently. A circular template, usually found in bathrooms, would be cut out mostly with the grinder. The center cuts could still be done with a circular saw.

How to cut a hole for an undermount sink

How to install granite countertops

Your granite fabricator will follow the procedure for a self- rimming sink except that you will make the cut- out one quarter inch smaller than what the template shows.

The edges will have to be straightened out and “cleaned out” with a 4 inch silicon- carbide grinding stone.

The edges will have to be straightened out and “cleaned out” with a 4 inch silicon- carbide grinding stone.

The straight lines will have to be cut more carefully and slowly, preferably wet- cut and using a jig (2X4 clamped to the granite) to keep your saw straight.

The edges can be polished by hand using a polishing kit made up of velcro- lined Diamond- embedded pads of 7 different “grits”. The sink is mounted underneath after applying silicone to the mounting rim and is held up with wood or metal supports screwed into the upper front and back of the base cabinet.

Blocks can be glued to the bottom of the granite counter to support the sink away from the sides.

4. Consider How Granite Will Line Up With Your Cooktop

Cooktops come in many different variations. They may look similar but each requires granite fabrication and installation to be slightly different. A mistake in planning and install will bug you for years when you notice it every day.

Decide up front with your fabricator where you want stone and where you don’t. Keep in mind, stone strips near cooktops are often the thinnest and weakest pieces in your kitchen.

Follow the same instructions as for a self rimming sink. You will normally find that the template for a cooktop has 90 degree corners, making it easier. It’s critical to support the top with absolutely no deflection or you will risk cracking the stone top.