Installing a Kitchen Countertop: Hiring a Professional vs. DIY Countertops
You may consider making the installation of your kitchen or vanity countertop a DIY project. There are many home improvement stores that you can visit to get the right knowledge and equipment if you are planning to install your new countertop(s). However, in some instances, you might just need to leave things to the professional.
A professional countertop fabricator will come in handy for installing kitchen countertop materials such as marble, soapstone, quartz, granite, and concrete. This is because these countertops can be more challenging to fabricate, handle, and install, since there are certain necessary skills that are required along with relevant equipment and tools.
Different considerations for installing countertops
The size and materials for countertops can vary greatly, as well as labor costs, for fabrication and installation. Certain types of countertops can take a significant amount of planning, time, and skill for installation. Marble or granite countertops usually require a lot of muscle and a skilled installer to ensure that it is designed, fabricated, and fitted properly. Generally, the cost of granite, quartz, and marble materials is very high; however, to save money you might consider using stone remnants. While you decide whether you should DIY or hire a professional, consider pondering over the following:
1. Scope of the project
If all you need is a new countertop surface without any cut, seams, and cutouts, then it may be considered a very simple project to execute. However, the installation of countertops becomes much more complicated when using a solid surface countertop material that has cut-outs for appliances and sinks, and a backsplash with numerous custom cutouts for plugs and switches.
Additionally, your installation might require difficult, complicated designs and features such as odd angles, radiuses, and a pop-up ventilation system. Not to mention, materials such as granite and quartz are extremely heavy and could be difficult to lift yourself.
While all these features add the touch of professionalism and elegance to your countertops, they also make the project more time consuming and difficult to install. Therefore, before you decide whether you want to handle the project yourself or hire a professional, be sure to understand the technicalities that go behind it.
2. Installing the countertop yourself
To install a countertop yourself, make sure you have a full understanding of how to perform the installation. Tools will need to be gathered and appropriate materials bought. If you have a local store nearby for home improvement, then the professionals there might be able to help you a little by giving you advice. A tile countertop can be a fairly easy DIY countertops project without the need of purchasing a lot of expensive equipment. Additionally, laminate countertops are cheap countertops that generally can be installed by the DIYer with readily available tools.
If this is a bit overwhelming, you can also consider carrying out a few of the simpler steps by yourself (like demolition and preparation for the new countertops) and then hiring a professional for the rest.
3. Hiring a contractor
While working with high priced or delicate countertop materials, it is always wise to hire a professional. In such cases, it is important to ensure that the countertop is installed in a professional manner and for this reason the right tools, expertise, and care need to be used. A great example is that of soapstone that can break easily if it is not properly cut, handled, or installed.
A contractor will most likely bring an entire crew with them who will be able to provide assistance during the project, especially when it comes to handling materials that weigh a considerable amount.
It is always a good idea to ask for referrals from prospective contractors. We suggest you ask for references from both their recent clients and, more importantly, clients from 1 or more years ago. And, don’t just ask for the referrals, take the time to contact them and inquire about their experience working with the contractor you are considering. This step alone will give you confidence you are making a smart decision by hiring the professional.
Let’s Get Started
Having experts by your side will ensure that the correct methods and materials are provided to you and ensure items like granite slabs are installed properly and secured safely within their place. As a bonus, some contractors will have a few kitchen remodeling ideas up their sleeve to help you in further deciding how exactly you want your kitchen to look. In addition to this, they may be able find granite remnants for sale that can save you a bundle!
While it is true that hiring a professional for this job will generally give you a smoother finish and great work, you will be required to pay a reasonable fee for their services. Therefore, before undertaking a renovation that will require professional assistance, be sure that you can afford their fees, on top of the materials and labor costs. Otherwise, definitely consider limiting your kitchen remodeling to those DIY countertops that are considerably easier to install and are not too delicate or too heavy to handle yourself.