Natural Stone Slab Installation for Toronto Homes

Natural Stone Slab Countertop Installation for Toronto Homes

Some of the information on the Internet discourages DIY enthusiasts from installing natural stone slab countertops. In fact, if you order your slab pre-shaped for installation, and if you pride yourself on your DIY skills, you will probably be able to handle the job. There are several considerations and multiple steps, but, if you are an experienced craftsman, you could realize substantial savings by installing your own natural stone slab countertop.

Assessing the Situation

Some things to consider before attempting to install your own countertops:
  • Error. Stone slab comes in a single, beautiful piece; so if you make an error when measuring for it, it’s very difficult to salvage the look. Remember the adage, "Measure twice, cut once?” When working with stone slab, be sure to measure at least twice, and remember to create an accurate template for your fabricator!
  • Weight. Of course, natural stone slab is extremely heavy. This has various implications. First, you must make sure that your counters are able to handle the weight. If necessary, you may need to shore them up. Most installers place ¾” plywood on top of cabinets to help support the extra weight. The weight is also an issue for working with the slab. You will need help to manoeuver it into place. This is not a one-person job, or a job for anyone unable to deal with heavy materials.
  • Destination. Is the space where you will be installing the countertop relatively straightforward? If the space is square, level, and simple to fit, your job will be simpler. If the space involves unusual shapes or curves, or requires tweaking of any sort, it may be a job for a more experienced installer.

The Procedure

  1. Choose your stone. Stone is available in many different colours, and with various patterns and complementary tones. Select the piece you want by visiting a stone supplier’s showroom and tagging it. Get any necessary installation advice from the supplier.
  2. Levelling and measuring. Make sure your cabinets are level, and correct them if they are not. Measure the space and record all pertinent measurements.
  3. Template. Using Kraft paper, create a template for the fabricator. Be sure to consider what type of edging you want, and allow for overhang on the template. Make sure to mark a precise hole for the sink or any other cuts that will need to be made.
  4. Get the template to your fabricator and order stone.
  5. Install ¾” plywood on top of cabinets, attaching with screws and levelling.
  6. Set granite in place. Mark where the sink will be set on the plywood.
  7. After making a pilot hole, use a jigsaw to cut the opening for your sink.
  8. Install the sink.
  9. Place the stone back onto the countertop. Push all seams together tightly. Make sure the slab is level.
  10. Remove the stone one more time. Apply silicone sealant around the edges of the plywood.
  11. Run caulking around the sink rim on both plywood and stone side.
  12. Lower the granite into place again and fill the seams with resin that matches the stone. After it dries, smooth the resin.
Learn more about the process of natural stone slab installation by talking to a Toronto supplier today, and be on your way to completing your dream renovation.