How To Replace Kitchen Countertops The Best Way

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White kitchen countertops

Has your home’s kitchen seen better days? If so, you’re not alone—many homeowners find themselves in need of a kitchen update at some point. While a full renovation can be costly, there are some easy ways to refresh the space without breaking the bank. One of the quickest and most impactful changes you can make is to replace kitchen countertops. There are other kitchen remodeling ideas you can choose from, too,

But if you’ve never tackled a project like this before, the process may seem daunting.

This guide will walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know to replace your kitchen countertops, from measuring and removing the old ones to installing the new ones in their place. With just a few tools and a little elbow grease, you’ll have brand-new countertops before you know it!

*This is one way to replace kitchen countertops. Contractors can do it in slightly different ways to get the same result. Slight variances can also pop up based on the material you choose and the complexity of your project

1. Choose The Material For Your Countertops

Wood kitchen countertop

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when replacing your kitchen countertops is choosing the right material. There are dozens of options on the market for countertops: marble countertops, laminate countertops, ceramic countertops, granite countertops, and more.

Consider your budget, your style preferences, and how much maintenance you’re willing to do when making your selection. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to start shopping around for quotes.

2. Prepare Your Space For Replacing Kitchen Countertops 

Once you’ve selected your new countertop material and secured a quote, it’s time to start preparing your space for installation. This process will vary depending on the type of countertops you’re having installed, but in general, you’ll want to clear out all items from your kitchen counters and make sure there’s ample space to work.

You’ll want to put down drop cloths to catch dust and other materials.

3. Remove The Old Kitchen Countertops

Out with the old and in with the new!

To start your kitchen countertop replacement project, remove your old kitchen countertops by:

  • Detaching the water and gas lines, being careful not to damage them
  • Removing the sink and range by loosening the mounting screws and cutting out the caulk
  • Cutting through the backsplash by the countertop by slicing through the caulk or adhesive holding it in place
  • Taking off the fasteners holding the countertops and take off your old kitchen countertops. You may need a prybar

4. Measure The Space For Your New Kitchen Countertops

Start by measuring the length and width of your current countertop. Then, use a tape measure to determine the distance from the top of your countertop to the bottom of your cabinets. This will give you an idea of how much overhang you’ll need to account for when selecting your new countertops. Finally, take into account any special features or requirements you might have, such as an integrated sink or cooktop.

Plan to connect two countertops together if your kitchen has a corner area where they’ll meet.

5. Cut The Countertops To Fit

Cutting a marble countertop

Once your cuts are marked, it’s time to start cutting. If you’re using a wet saw, be sure to wear eye and ear protection and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. For most other types of cuts, a standard circular saw will do the trick—just be sure to use a fine-tooth blade designed for cutting laminate or stone.

Or, you can order pre-cut countertops that fit your measurements.

6. Outline The Sink And Range Areas

Place the new countertops where they’ll go so you can get a better idea about where you want your sink and range to go. Trace around the perimeter of the appliances, or measure them and outline those measurements. Then, draw another outline a half-inch inside the first one. The outer one is where the edges of the appliances will rest, while the inside is where the body will fit into.

7. Cut The Sink And Range Areas Out

Use a drill to cut holes into the corners of the interior outline, making them large enough to fit your saw into. Then, cut them out.

8. File The Cuts Smooth

This is so the appliances slide in smoothly and don’t get scratches and damage on them.

9. Ensure The Countertops Fit Over The Bottom Cabinets

This is to make sure the overhang on the edge of the countertops doesn’t stop your cabinets from opening. If it does, you’ll need to make or install and add build-up strips. They’re strips of wood that run from the back to the front on top of the bottom cabinets, raising the countertop above it.

10. Fit The Kitchen Countertop Pieces Together

Fitting kitchen countertops together

Put your new countertops on top of the build-ups to make sure the height is correct. Make sure the pieces connect well, especially in any corners. Adjust strips and countertops until they fit.

11. Bolt The Pieces Together

In order to properly secure the new countertops, you’ll first need to drill four pilot holes in each corner using a 1/8″ drill bit. Next, insert the miter bolts into the holes and tighten them down with a 9/16″ wrench. Be sure to alternate between top and bottom bolts as you’re tightening them so that the countertops are evenly secured.

*Miter bolts are specially designed for joining two pieces of wood at a 90-degree angle, and they’re often used in cabinetry and other woodworking projects

12. Push The Countertops Against Wall

This is to make sure it fits evenly against the wall and under the backsplash. If the countertops don’t, you’ll need to scribe the backsplash.

13. Caulk The Miter Joints

The first step is to undo the miter bolts. Then, clean the surface around the joint with a damp cloth. This will remove any debris or dust that could interfere with the sealant.

Next, apply a bead of silicone caulk to one side of the joint using a caulk gun. Then, use your finger to smooth the bead and fill in any gaps. Repeat on the other side of the joint.

Finally, allow the caulk to dry completely before securing the countertop pieces with the miter bolts for the final time.

14. Screw The Countertops And Cabinets Together

Make sure that the screws you use are long enough to go through both the countertop and the cabinet. Use a drill to create pilot holes in the countertop before screwing it into place. This will help to prevent the countertop from cracking. Finally, be careful not to over-tighten the screws, as this could damage the countertop or cabinet.

You can also do this by drilling up through the build-ups if you use them.

15. Caulk The Backsplash, Sink, And Range

Fully seal the countertops by caulking along where the backsplash and countertop meet.

Flip over the sink and range and run a bead of caulk along the outer edge of their undersides. Carefully flip the over and into the holes you cut out earlier in the process.

Don’t forget to wipe off any extra caulk that appears.

Contact Home Pride Construction, Inc, About Any Of Your Kitchen Remodeling Needs

That’s one of the ways you can replace kitchen countertops! The thing is, not everyone has the time or energy to follow this process. If that’s the case, we’re here to help!

Home Pride Construction, Inc can help you realize your vision for a beautiful and functional kitchen. We offer a wide range of kitchen remodeling services, from simple updates to complete gut jobs.

If you’re ready to start planning your kitchen remodel, fill out our contact form today.