Countertops are one of the cornerstones of any kitchen, balancing durability with cost and aesthetic. Although it may be tempting to focus on price, your selection should take into account space and function needs before considering maintenance requirements for different materials (some, such as marble, may require additional care than others). After making your choice, installation will begin shortly thereafter.

Before the installers arrive, it is crucial that the work area be prepared. Begin by clearing existing countertops of debris such as coffeemakers, soap pumps, dishes or decor that could remain there; additionally if any new faucets, sinks or cooktops will be installed into or on top of these counters, schedule a plumber to disconnect and re-install these before template day arrives.

Once the crew arrives to install your new counters, they’ll remove your old countertops and strengthen any cabinets necessary before installing your new ones. They will also take measurements to ensure a perfect fit; usually done using strips of luan plywood cut specifically to fit into each space, or by taking photographs using paper targets placed around your workspace and photographic technology to produce templates of those spaces to produce templates of how your countertops will be created. After templates have been completed and approved by you and manufacturers respectively, fabrication typically occurs one or two weeks later.

Installers will return to your home kitchen countertop installation to install your new counters. Depending on the size of your kitchen, they’ll typically work in sections; carrying each section in and setting it onto cabinets before adding shims as necessary to ensure the counter sits level on cabinetry. Shims may be necessary in ensuring it sits level; please keep in mind this is still construction project and any nicks, scrapes or damage could happen; particularly true if you choose wall-locked edges or granite counters.

Installing new countertops requires running a bead of silicone caulk around their underside perimeters where they meet cabinetry, to help prevent moisture from seeping into stone and staining it over time. Running bead should also be done along seams between counters.

Once the counters are in place, a lead installer will go over specific care and maintenance instructions for your new material, including features such as backsplashes or seam locations. He’ll test out your sink, any appliances you plan to plug in and reconnect any plumbing or electrical connections that were broken during installation. After this phase is over, seals will be applied, buffed out, dried off and quality control checked – ready for you to enjoy your beautiful new kitchen!