How to install a countertop

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Are you a jack-of-all-trades? When it comes to kitchen remodeling, do you strap on the tool belt and prefer to handle business yourself? Most DIY results are sweat-filled triumphs . . . until it comes to replacing your countertop.

Replacing a countertop can be problematic for even the most skilled handyman. Of the few things in life demanding perfection, the level of your countertop is one of them. Even a slight incline in your new countertop’s surface can lead to massive problems. Here are a few tips to make sure that your countertop installation doesn’t get the best of you.

The Right Tools

Without the right tools, your countertop renovation is doomed from the get-go. If you are working with post-form laminate countertop, the correct tools make all of the difference. To be successful, you will need the following:

  • Screwdriver
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Belt sander
  • Level
  • Caulk gun
  • Wrench
  • Wood glue
  • Scribing tool
  • Plumber’s putty

Depending on the type of countertop you are installing (and whether or not it is attached to your sink) you may also need additional plumbing and specialized carpentry tools. You may have to ask the seller of the countertop about any special tools or materials needed.

The Basic Steps

No two countertop installations are identical. Be sure to do your research before beginning your installation: ask questions to the seller of your countertop, watch an example installation online, and read installation guides. Be sure to take exact measurements and draw a sketch of what the final product should look like beforehand. While each countertop has its unique tendencies, your installation will likely follow these steps:

  • Create a blueprint: make exact measurements. Mark these measurements and cut lines on the countertop.
  • Remove the old countertop and sink: start by detaching all piping. Next, remove the faucet. Take out the sink and you’ll be ready to remove the countertop. This will entail unscrewing and prying.
  • Scribe your countertop: pre-drill any screw holes. Make sure your countertop is a perfect fit by scribing any excessive material. Be sure to only take off a little of a time—you can’t add cut off countertop back on.
  • Attach the countertop: now that your countertop fits perfectly, join the miters. Use caulking by the wall seams. Attach the underface with wood glue and screws (if applicable).
  • Make the sink cut-out: cut out a hole for your sink. It is best to cut a hole that is too small and gradually widen it to avoid overcutting.
  • Install the sink: reattach the sink, faucet, and plumbing.
  • Attach backsplashes: this usually requires wood glue and caulking.

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COVID-19

MCK Covid-19 Protocol 

Showroom Guests 

MCK has remained open throughout this health crisis and we welcome you back to our showroom and facility. 

Your health and safety is a top priority for MCK Kitchen & Bath. 

Please do not visit our showroom if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. If possible, limit your group size to decision makers only please. 

Unless our showroom is at capacity, we will gladly take you through our displays upon your arrival.  

When entering the showroom, you will be greeted by one of our (symptom free) staff and offered gloves and a mask. The choice to wear them is yours, however, we may ask you to use the hand sanitizer provided.  Our showroom surfaces are cleaned regularly. 

We want to make this experience as comfortable as possible. Please do not be afraid to give us feedback on any improvements we could make as we all adjust to the new “normal”. 

In-home Appointments and Installations 

If any members of your household are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 including but not limited to fever, cough and difficulty breathing, please cancel your installation or in-home appointment immediately. 

Maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from our staff please. Do not borrow or lend any tools. 

The following criteria has been created for our staff visiting your home. We ask that you respect these guidelines and do not place our staff in a compromising situation: 

MCK Staff on-site 

If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 including but not limited to fever, cough and difficulty breathing, please stay at home and advise your supervisor. 

Wash your hands often, using soap and water where available or hand sanitizer. 

Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissues. Throw away the tissues immediately. 

Maintain a social distancing minimum of 6 feet from all non-MCK staff. When conversing with the client, masks must be worn unless permission to do otherwise is given. 

While on-site, if social distancing cannot be maintained, masks are mandatory.  

If there is no other option, ask for permission from homeowner before using their bathroom or other facilities. Travel through common areas quickly and efficiently. 

Keep surface contact to a minimum, especially outside the kitchen area. 

Installation crew - You and your helper will be required to sign off on this installation and print your first and last names legibly on the form to be left behind. 

More information on Covid-19 and the Health Protection Act Order can be found at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/