How to Install and Repair Kitchen Countertops – San Diego Home Service
The installation and repair of kitchen countertops is a complex process, as the countertops are often made out of huge slabs of stone that cannot be disassembled to make them easier to install. In addition, the kitchen countertops often weigh many dozens of pounds, and they are very fragile. They must be securely installed to ensure that they won’t shift and be destroyed, and the various materials used for kitchen countertops must be handled correctly in order to be certain that they will last as long as possible. The installation is only the first step, but the repair of damaged countertops is often the must more complicated aspect of the service.
Some of the secondary services provided by countertop installation and repair professionals include: the transportation of the countertops, the installation of the cabinets and counters to be covered by the countertops, and replacement of completely damaged countertops.
Countertop Repair and Installation Tools and Materials Used
The materials used for the installation and repair of countertops are many. There are many wooden countertops that are used for lower end counters, and some types of wood used for these countertops include maple, oak, or teak. Most upscale countertops are made with marble, granite, or another form of stone. Ceramic countertops are also used, though the tiles are usually laid onto a concrete surface. Laminates are usually used for prefabricated counters, and they are adhered to a wooden counter to provide a protective surface.
Some of the tools used for the installation and repair of countertops include:
- Stone mason tools
- Drills and screws
- Hammers and nails
- Tiling tools (tiling float, tiling cement, and grout)
- Cement mixing tools for concrete counters
- Kitchen countertop slabs
These are only a few tools of the trade, as each countertop installation and repair job requires a different set of tools.
The kitchen countertop installation is usually the simplest aspect of the job. Most professionals will help homeowners choose the countertops that they feel will complement their kitchen décor best, and the countertops are then transported to the home to be installed. Once the kitchen countertop is placed correctly, it is fastened to the counter and left alone.
The repair aspect, however, is much more complex, as many countertops are complicated to repair. Wooden counters are easy to repair, as the wood can simply be sanded or planed down until all of the scratches and stains have been removed. Granite and marble counters will be much more difficult to repair, though it can be done. Laminate countertops may need to be replaced or refinished.
Things You Need to Know About
It is important to select the right material for the kitchen countertop that is being installed, and the professional countertop installation and repair professional will usually help the homeowner choose the right one.
The average hardwood counter made from oak or maple will usually be cheaper and easier to install, as well as easier to repair. However, it is also much more easily damaged, and it likely to be in need of repair far faster than many other counters. The wood can easily be scratched by knives or burned by hot pots, so it is important to keep that in mind.
Natural stone counters made from granite, quartz, or marble are the most expensive countertops, as the cost of the stone is quite high. They are usually used only in elegant kitchens, but they are also the least likely to be destroyed. It takes a good deal of effort to chip or crack the natural stone, and thus they will be the most durable.
Those that want a mid-range countertop may want to consider a tiled counter. The counters are made from slabs of concrete, and a layer of tiles is laid on top of the concrete slab to make an elegant finish. Wood laminates are also excellent for providing an appearance of elegance, but without the cost. Tile counters are much harder to damage, and they are fairly easy to repair. Laminate counters can easily be refinished, as the layer of laminate can simply be removed and a new layer installed.
What Licenses are Required?
In order to work as a countertop installation and repair professional, a general building (B) license is required. A plumbing license (C-36) may also be required in certain instances, as well as a concrete (C-8) license if the countertop is to be made with a slab of concrete that must be constructed by the contractor.