Cutting Countertops: Should You Do It?
If the kitchen is feeling a little old, homeowners might want to shake things up and give this room a new look. There are many ways in which they can do that, but most of them are expensive. Instead, it is better to choose something that can be executed as a home project. In this regard, today, we are going to focus on cutting countertops.
Countertop cutting is not an easy task because there is a chance it could get damaged during the process. In case homeowners decide to go ahead and try it out, they need to think about whether they want to cut the mounted surfaces or install a new one. Either way, they will only have one shot to make it perfect. To avoid any surprises, it is recommended to do a test cut. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be big.
Overall, it is essential to remember that cutting countertops from different materials requires the same process. What is different is the technique. To help all homeowners, below, we will explain how to do this with laminate, natural stone, and quartz.
Cutting countertops: a step-by-step guide
The process of countertop cutting is easy once homeowners learn how to do it. But, before we explain it, there are a couple of things we need to talk about. First, safety precautions. Before you begin, you must purchase eye and respiratory protection. Furthermore, whenever homeowners are adjusting, they should ensure that the power is turned off. Finally, if people are unable to complete the project on their own, it is preferable to seek expert assistance.
To begin, let’s look at the materials that homeowners will need to cut their countertops. Remember, all of them are necessary to achieve a great result.
- Safety glasses and face mask
- Circular saw: pick a blade that has fine teeth to make the process smoother
- Tape measure
- Masking tape
As we mentioned above, there are different types of countertops in the market. The good news is that it is possible to cut all of them DIY. Since each material requires a different technique, we will divide this section into laminate, stone, and quartz countertops.
One piece of advice, even though it is possible to cut mounted countertops, this will only make the process harder. That’s why we recommend taking off the surface and placing it on a table. That way, it will be easier to use the circular saw.
However, if homeowners are only interested in cutting the edge, this could be done while the countertop is still mounted. In case they are looking for some inspiration, here is a guide to quartz countertop edges.
Sometimes the best way to give the kitchen a new look is by cutting the countertop and giving it a new design that enhances the room style. But, to avoid any type of damage, here is the process that homeowners need to follow.
- Take a measuring tape and mark several lines, selecting the part of the countertop that will be cut out
- Use the pencil to make all the marks visible and double-check all the measurements. Remember that here there are no second chances.
- Decide which edge you are going to use for the countertop and draw it as a guide.
- To prevent any chipping place masking tape along with the marks that are over the countertop.
- To ensure all cuts will be straight, it is necessary to install a fence and secure it with c-clamps.
- Check that the circular saw is precisely placed over the cutting line.
- Once homeowners start cutting, it is important to remember not to force the saw and keep it at a low speed.
- Once the cut is done, the last step is to sand the edges to give the countertop a smooth finish.
Now it is ready to be installed in the kitchen.
Natural stone countertops
We’ve already talked about laminate countertops, which are one of the most common surfaces we can find in every household. However, if people have a larger budget, they might want to purchase a natural stone countertop such as marble or soapstone. Even though both surfaces are a little timeless, cutting them up after some time will upgrade the whole kitchen look.
- Homeowners need to purchase a slab big enough to cover the whole counter area. They can either do this in person or at the store.
- To cut natural stone, homeowners need to purchase an extra element, a rigid piece of foam. A piece of advice: make sure to do this outside because it can get messy.
- For this case, we won’t use masking tape. Instead, it is better to go for painter’s tape. After drawing the initial marks, cover them with at least three layers of this material.
- Once the painter’s tape is placed, draw the guiding lines over them.
- Take the circular saw and start using back cuts. Give at least 2 inches and then go back. Repeat this process several times.
- In the end, just take the painter’s tape off and, with a damp cloth, clean the countertop
Sometimes, many homeowners assume that quartz is a natural stone due to its resemblance to marble. But, in reality, this is a manufactured product. Due to its characteristics, it is one of the most durable surfaces in the market. Here is the process for cutting a quartz countertop.
- Cutting a quartz countertop is very similar to the one we have outlined above for natural stones. But, there are some extra steps.
- After having the slab, it is crucial to ask a friend for some help when lifting it and placing it over the foam. This material is too heavy and could easily break.
- Then, draw the marks, cover them with some painter’s tape and draw the guide again.
- When cutting a quartz countertop, make sure you are using a blade designed specifically for countertops.
- Follow the same cutting process outlined above and then clean the surface.
The reason why many homeowners should cut their countertops is that this will allow them to give the kitchen a new look without expending a large amount of money. Above, we have created a simple guide that everyone can follow to succeed in this home project.