A new countertop installation is one of the most exciting parts of any kitchen or bathroom renovation or build. Countertops add such great value and aesthetic, so it’s not surprising that it’s an exciting time when it comes time to install one.
That being said, when you are considering your budget needs and how much it may cost to have a countertop installation carried out, you may start to consider doing it on your own. Hey, there are plenty of DIY people out there that like the challenge of a new project and are happy to learn a few things while saving a few bucks.
So, you want to install your countertop yourself. You’re considering it. Can you install a countertop yourself? Or does it really make more good sense to hire a professional to do it for you?
We have the most vital considerations for you to help make the decision on whether or not it’s feasible for you to complete your own countertop installation.
Do-It-Yourself: What are the Skills Required for Countertop Installation?
There are a few different factors that play into a countertop installation. When considering the most basic type of countertop installation, you’ll probably be able to get by if you have some standard carpentry skills depending on what materials you’re using.
Let’s take a look at some of these specific factors so you can make the right choice for your installation.
Different countertop materials have an impact on the ease of installation. For example, when you install a laminate countertop, if the pieces are well made and you already have the cabinets ready to go, you could probably do the job yourself.
The thing that gets more complicated is when you have to do some more heavy-duty work like cutting a sink opening or making the countertop fit perfectly. This is not something that they typical DIY homeowner is going to be able to tackle.
When there are some inconsistencies or problems that arise during the installation, this is when you’ll wish that you’d hired a professional to help do the job.
When considering other countertop materials, like quartz, granite, or marble, you are going to be hard-pressed to complete this installation on your own because it often needs at least two people for lifting at the very minimum.
The other part of a natural stone installation is that you must have specialized knowledge about how to perform the countertop installation in a way that doesn’t create cracks or breaks in the slab. You also have to make sure that you get them aligned properly so that they are straight, which ultimately just comes with time.
There would be nothing worse than having your beautiful new stone countertops become cracked and fractured because you wanted to give the installation a whirl on your own. Not only is it frustrating and disappointing, it’s also a costly mistake and will affect the life of your countertops.
While doing a countertop installation yourself might be an option on a smaller surface or one that is seen less, when you get a bathroom or kitchen counter installed it’s really important that it’s done exactly right for the safety and life of the countertop.
What Tools Do I Need to Install a Countertop?
This is also another common question that homeowners ask before doing their own countertop installation, and it may very well be that you have the tools required, but it depends on a few different things.
There are some installations that would only call for simple tools like a drill, saw, circular saw, planer, sander, and a few others. While homeowners may have these on hand, if you don’t, it can be a pain to go out and rent them.
Not only that, for more difficult or complex projects, you may need other tools that aren’t going to be on hand in most homes. Before you get started, you’ll need to do your research to make sure that you understand what skills you’ll need to complete the countertop installation and what tools are required to get the job done right.
Be careful— while doing research is easy enough, it’s probably not a good idea to test out new tools that you’ve never used before on your countertop installation. If something goes wrong, you may end up extremely disappointed and in a position where you can’t continue with the installation.
In addition, these installations take time. You may have to set aside a few weekends or a couple days of work to make sure that things get done correctly. Depending on your perspective, you may consider that alone to be a reason to hire a professional, but of course everyone has their own personal preferences.
Another element you’ll want to consider when thinking about doing your own countertop installation is the backsplash . Never try to install your backsplash before your countertop— you’ll need to make sure that the countertop is set in place before any backsplash installation happens.
It’s very common for backsplash to be installed by a countertop installation expert, as they can get the job done quite quickly and make sure that everything looks perfectly aligned and ready to go. It’s a good idea to consider not only the fact that you would need to install the whole countertop itself, but you’d still have more work to do after the countertop itself is in place.
Making Your Countertop Installation Decision
So, all in all, it comes down to how comfortable you feel with tools, what skills you already have that can help with your installation, and how much you are willing to sacrifice.
Before you make your final decision, you should talk to a professional to get quotes about your countertop materials that also include the cost of installation. You can also ask them to give you a separate quote with only the materials, but some companies may not want to do this.
Having a clear picture of the costs, skills and tools needed, and time commitment can help you to make the most educated and practical decision. While there are some projects that are worth doing yourself, there are some that are better left to the professionals.
It’s true that some people may have the tangible skills needed to install their own countertop, but generally speaking, the level of expertise needed for most countertop installations is better left to a professional for both safety and accuracy.
It’s not a bad thing to accept that you need to call in someone to do the job; after all, you want your countertops to be installed at the highest level of quality attainable so that your countertops can last as long as possible.