How To Prepare Your Kitchen For New Granite Worktops?
Okay, so you’ve finally made the choice on your worktop material, and have elected to choose an elegant and classic granite. Congrats! One of the biggest hurdles for many homeowners when having renovations done is simply choosing the right materials for them and their needs. However, what you might not know, is that the work doesn’t quite stop there. Choosing the worktop material is really only one step on a long road towards getting the kitchen of your dreams. You still have to prepare your kitchen for the worktops, and the workers themselves.
If this is your first time having granite worktops installed, you likely want to make sure that you have crossed your ‘t’s’ and dotted your ‘i’s’ before everything becomes finalized. Here are a few handy tips on steps that you need to take to prepare your kitchen for your new granite worktops.
- Choose The Right Contractor.
Unless you are a real gun-ho person, you are unlikely to be installing your granite worktops yourself. This means that you are going to have to find a contractor who can come in, and take care of the work for you. While some retailers might offer you a connection or deal on installation through their own trusted contractors; that isn’t always the case. In some cases, once you have purchased the material, you are left on your own to figure out how to get it installed.
This leads you to the quest to find someone who is not only reliable but also skilled and within a reasonable price range. In general, it can be simple to get a hold of a contractor rather easily. Often you can simply go online, search for contractors who install granite worktops in your area, and boom! However, actually choosing the right contractor out of these results will require you to do your homework. You never want your massive investment to be for naught, by choosing the wrong contractor. Here are some things you should do to help you pick:
- Always read reviews on their social media, Google, review websites, etc, See what actual buyers have to say about them. - Meet the contractor in person. This will give you the chance to get a feel for their personality, their experience, and if you can trust them. - Ask plenty of questions. Ask to see pictures of their previous installations, ask how often they install granite as a worktop material, etc, If the contractor hesitates to answer your questions, move on.
Once you have settled on a contractor that you feel is trustworthy, experienced, qualified, and reasonably priced; you can now move on to actually preparing for the installation.
- Set Aside Time For The Process.
Now that you have found your contractor, you are going to need to clear your schedule completely for the process. Most contractors won’t install worktops unless the homeowner is present; this is primarily due to insurance reasons in case something goes wrong. In addition to needing to be physically present during the installation, you are also going to have to put in some work of your own to get the home ready prior to the contractor arriving.
The average granite worktop installation will be finished within a single workday. This means that as long as you have a regular-sized kitchen area, you are only going to have to take off a single day to have the whole project finished. Typical installations can even be accomplished in as little as 2-6 hours in many cases, so you may not even need an entire day cleared. The scope of the job will usually be laid out to you before you even agree to terms with the contractor; they probably gave you a rough estimate before you even hired them. Despite this estimate, it’s still best to make sure your whole day is cleared for prepping the area, and finishing up everything when the contractor leaves.
- Clean Out Your Kitchen Area.
If your kitchen has been in use, clear out all of the cabinets and debris from the kitchen prior to the contractor arriving. The contractor will likely need to get inside the cabinets, and having them filled with food, and cooking utensils are going to slow down and complicate the process. Everything in the kitchen that is not essential to being there, should ideally be packed up and removed from the area. This is for the safety and efficiency of the process. In many cases, if there is something too heavy for you to move on your own, you can ask the contractors to help you when they arrive; but the smaller odds and ends should be moved the day before.
A properly cleaned and cleared workspace for the contractor will help them work faster, easier, and produce a better final product. You should also make sure to establish a clear understanding with your contractor about how demolition will be handled. Some contractors charge extra for removal of the pre-existing worktops, some bundle the process into the entire project. Make sure you know what is expected of you in this regard, and act accordingly as well.
- Clear The Way.
It’s understandable that you are going to have ‘things’ in your home. Whether you are doing a full home remodel, or if you simply have your standard living furniture; it is going to need to be moved out of the way. Granite is a heavy and cumbersome working material, and it can be a hazard if the contractors need to manoeuvre it around clutter or furniture. This isn’t so much an
issue of ‘messy vs. clean’, but rather simply just ensuring that the pathway is clear of any carpets, furniture, construction materials, etc,
If the pathway into the kitchen area is not properly cleared, this can set back work time by up to an hour for the contractor to move everything out of the way. In many cases, this could be billable work time which will cost you money. It’s always best to simply take the time to ensure that the contractor can get the granite into the kitchen smoothly, and unobstructed.
Another tip is to remove all of the wall fixtures and paintings from the opposite walls as well. The constant jostling of the area during the installation process can accidentally knock paintings or photos loose--this can lead to them breaking. It’s better to be safe than sorry if your kitchen area has an opposite wall that holds fixtures or paintings.
- Close Off The Rest Of The House.
Some contractors will do this for you, but it isn’t always the case. To protect the rest of your house from dust and debris flying about during the installation, you should close off entryways with plastic. During the installation process, the contractors will be cutting, measuring, and going inside and outside constantly; it's easy to see how this could get messy.
Take large sheets of plastic from the hardware store, and cut them to fit within your doorways. They should have easy access for the contractors to get in and out, but also should be long enough to cut off any dust or dirt from spreading throughout the house. Your house and your furniture will thank you later.
- Create A Template.
Contractors aren’t going to be able to immediately tell where you wish to have your appliances, and sink placement without you providing them with a template. So, in order to prepare your kitchen for the proper placement of appliances and sinks, you should always take the time to place these items exactly where you would like them to go. This allows the contractor to measure and cut the granite slabs to meet your exact specifications.
You might say to yourself, “why can’t I simply tell the contractor where I want things?” Well, that is a rather valid question. However, simply telling the contractor where you would like appliances and such placed, opens you up to a massive potential for miscommunication. This can lead to improper measurements, improper placement, and even gaps or seams in unsightly areas. Overall, the best way to ensure that the worktops are smooth, perfectly fit, and everything is in the right place, is to simply eliminate all potential for misunderstanding.
Contractors are skilled labourers, but they do not mind readers. Always have everything in the right place, exactly as you want it before they arrive.
- Go Over Everything With The Contractors.
Once the contractors have arrived, and everything is prepared and ready for them, take this time to give one final pass over of everything. By now your kitchen should be cleared, your pathway should be free of clutter, and your appliances should be laid out for a proper template. The first thing you should do is greet the contractor, and walk them through everything you have done so that they know what to expect. Show them the pathway you wish for them to take the materials through, and show them the template. The template is especially important, and you should spend as much time as needed to make sure you and the contractors are on the same page in this regard.
Once everything has been gone over one last time, the best thing you can do is simply make yourself scarce--but also available. There is nothing you can likely do to help the professionals do their job better aside from answer questions they may have. So try your best to get out of the way, and be available for any inquiries they may have. Don’t worry, checking in on the progress is fine!
- Be Patient.
Nothing worth having ever came quickly. The process of properly installing and fitting beautiful granite worktops is going to take time and a whole lot of patience; especially from you. One of the worst things you can do is make the contractor feel rushed or pushed to complete the project in a faster time than is needed. If you have followed the steps above, you have already cleared your entire day for this. So, sit back, relax, and let the professionals do what they need to do to get the job done right the first time.
Granite worktops are not cheap, and you have already invested quite a bit in materials and labour into this project. You wouldn’t want to ruin it by being impatient. Just remember that the final result will be the beautiful, striking, and natural granite worktops that you have always envisioned for your kitchen. When it’s all said and done, you will be glad that you took the time to do everything the right way.
- Final Thoughts.
Everything might seem a bit daunting at first glance, but try to remember that it’ll all be over and done in a blink. In most cases, you can have your home and kitchen prepared for your worktop installation in a single day--so don’t sweat it too much! In addition, as long as you have chosen a great contractor, they are likely to be very helpful throughout the process as well. Just remember that in the end, you are going to get gorgeous new granite worktops that you can enjoy for many years to come!