DIY Granite Kitchen Countertop Install

This post has been 9 long months in the making and I am happy to say, after much debate and bickering discussion, we are the proud owners of new kitchen countertops! After we started the reno I shared a post with ideas for countertops and materials that I liked and, although I was really set on marble and the hubs was set on concrete, when it came down to it, we went with something different…granite.

New Kitchen Countertops |

I want to fill you in on the how and why of our choice, but today I just wanted to share the process of putting them in.

New Kitchen Countertops |

I will tell you that cost was a huge determining factor in our choice and, because we got a great price on the granite, the rest was up to us. This meant, transporting the granite slabs to our house, cutting them to fit in the kitchen and installing them.

The first thing we had to do, before we could pick up the granite at the store, was to build an A frame so we could safely transport it home.

New Kitchen Countertops |

After getting our pieces home, the hubs and a friend carried those beasts up to our deck. This is where we set up a staging area to cut them to size.

New Kitchen Countertops |

Before we could even start cutting the slabs, we had some prep work to do in the kitchen. We started by removing the old sink, backsplash and countertops, and then we cut and installed plywood on each cabinet base for the granite to sit on. Once all of that was done, we had to make sure that the plywood surface was level for the granite and, if it wasn’t, we would have had to add shims under the plywood to level it out. Luckily, our surface was level so we didn’t have to use shims.

New Kitchen Countertops |

After the prep work was done, we were ready to cut our granite. One of the most important tips I can give you when cutting granite is to measure, measure, measure. And, when you think you’ve got it and you’re ready to cut, measure some more.

New Kitchen Countertops |

Cutting the granite was definitely the most stressful part of this project. The fact is that you only get one shot, and there’s always the possibility of chipping or breaking. It took us two long and tense weekends to do all the cutting, and we were both so relieved after the final cut was made.

New Kitchen Countertops |

New Kitchen Countertops |

Once we had the granite cut and we tested the fit, it was time to glue it to the plywood we installed. We used tub and tile caulk to”glue” the granite to the plywood, because there is water and moisture from the dishwasher on this side of the room. We also painted the plywood that sits above the dishwasher to prevent the moisture from causing the wood to swell.

New Kitchen Countertops |

Out of the two slabs we bought, we cut out four pieces and glued them in place.

New Kitchen Countertops |

That’s it for the installation. We still need to buff the rough edges that you can see by the stove, but the hard (and stressful) part is over.

New Kitchen Countertops |

The whole point of this kitchen reno was to get more counter space so there could be more than one person in the kitchen at a time. Before the new cabinet was built and the countertops installed, we had 29 inches of prep space on the left side of the sink.

New Kitchen Countertops |

Now we have 92 inches of countertop, 3x more than what we had before, and it. is. awesome. We have so much room now that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. 😉

New Kitchen Countertops |

This was the first time we’ve ever done a project like this, and it was a tense two weeks while we were cutting and installing the granite, but the money we saved doing it ourselves made it all worthwhile.

New Kitchen Countertops |

Next project is the tile backsplash. Slowly but surely we’re getting there.

This is my first time having granite in the kitchen. Any tips on upkeep?

Tutorial on how we installed new granite kitchen countertops all on our own. |



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  1. Friday,September 18, 2015 / 7:37 am

    Wow, y’all are mighty brave doing that yourselves. They look fantastic! I know you want to hug them.

    • Kristi
      Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 7:24 am

      Ha, either brave or very stupid. 😉 Thanks Kim!

  2. Brenda
    Friday,September 18, 2015 / 8:12 am

    BEAUTIFUL !! Love the pattern you decided on. Have a great vacation, you two deserve it.

    • Kristi
      Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 7:25 am

      Thanks so much Brenda! It’s been a while since we’ve been away, so I’m looking forward to the break. 🙂

  3. Shirlee
    Friday,September 18, 2015 / 11:35 am

    I am so impressed that you and your hubs installed the granite yourselves. You did a fantastic job. I would have been in panic mode from the transportation of the stone to the cutting phase.

    Have a wonderful vacation and Happy Anniversary!

    • Kristi
      Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 7:26 am

      Thanks Shirlee. Oh yeah, we were both in panic mode the whole time. I don’t know if I would want to go through that again. 🙂
      Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Kim
    Friday,September 18, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    What a fabulous job, Kristi…and a totally fabulous choice! I bet you are so thrilled to have the countertops in and the cabinets done. Your kitchen completion is on the horizon! Yay!!

    • Kristi
      Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 7:30 am

      Thanks so much Kim! They’re not what I thought we would end up with but they were the right choice for us. I’m excited to see the them with our tile choice. Still biting my nails but it seems to be coming together.

  5. MaryJean
    Friday,September 18, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Hope you both enjoy your cruise. I saw “new countertops” on your feed and I had to click on it to see. I love them and you two were brave to install yourselves! Good job! Enjoy!

    • Kristi
      Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 7:33 am

      Thanks so much MJ. We enjoy cruises and I have no doubt that this one will be great.

      I’m glad you came in to check out our new addition. It seems like we would never get to this point and now I’m ready to move on to the next task.

      It’s always great to hear from you and I hope you have a great weekend!

  6. Jessica [Havok]
    Friday,September 18, 2015 / 3:33 pm

    Oh man, I dunno if I could handle having to cut the counters myself – that’s a lot of responsibility that I dunno if my little heart could handle, ha! Glad to hear you both got through it all (ha, pun not intended) and though it took a while didn’t have any hiccups! And all that counter space – so much room for activities! 😀

    • Kristi
      Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 7:36 am

      I know what you mean Jessica, it was a tough one to get through but we came out on the other side. 😉 We love all the space that we gained and I’m sure it won’t take but a second to fill it up.

      Thanks for checking them out and I hope your weekend is great!

  7. Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 10:22 am

    You and your hubs amaze me. Double celebration cruise, 30 yrs married and your marriage survivng the instalation of granite. 🙂 Have a wonderful time. Debbie

  8. Saturday,September 19, 2015 / 10:40 am

    I cannot believe you did this yourselves! It is beautiful though. I have had it before, in TX, and my only problem with it is that it chips sometimes. You have to be very careful. One day I was tossing a spoon into the sink, not from very far away, and the side of the spoon nicked a big chunk out of the granite. I just felt sick…

  9. Nancy
    Tuesday,September 22, 2015 / 10:47 am

    Looks great, Kristi. It’s great that you’re ending up with the extended counter space you need to make your kitchen work for you. You and hubby were very brave to cut the granite yourself. It’s got to make you feel proud that you did it successfully. Happy Anniversary! xo ~ Nancy

    • Kristi
      Sunday,September 27, 2015 / 3:07 pm

      Thanks so much Nancy! Having the extra counter space truly feels like a luxury. It’s wonderful that we can both be in the kitchen preparing food without taking turns. 🙂 We’re proud of our accomplishment now that they’re in, but there were moments when we wondered if we were foolish for doing it ourselves.

  10. Wednesday,September 23, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    I came over from Nancy’s ‘Joyful Cottage’. Loved seeing your home there and really enjoyed reading a bit more here. You were brave to cut your own granite. You almost inspire me to think we may do the same some day! I’ll be back again to visit.

    • Kristi
      Sunday,September 27, 2015 / 3:20 pm

      Hi Adrienne and welcome! So glad that you stopped over from Nancy’s fabulous blog to read more about our countertop adventures. I popped in to your blog and have been enjoying your posts on Daffodil’s Journey. We dream of restoring a vintage trailer some day, so it’s been fun reading up on her transformation.

      Thank you for visiting and happy trails with Daffodil!

  11. Wednesday,September 30, 2015 / 11:03 am

    love the graining on the granite you chose and how it kind pops and blends with the white at the same time!

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,September 30, 2015 / 1:43 pm

      Thanks! I love the gray graining in it but I think the coating that we had to put on the wall for the tile throws the color off a bit. I’m anxious to see it with the backsplash all tiled. 🙂

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