Granite is formed by volcanism, and is one of the hardest and most moisture-resistant types of rock. The stone's durability and beauty make granite a popular choice for countertops. However, a professionally installed granite vanity countertop is expensive, with 2010 prices being $50 to 75 per square foot. For more complex jobs, it is always best to use a professional, but the average adult comfortable with power tools can complete this project with care and patience. Depending on the size of the vanity, additional people may be necessary to maneuver the granite slab.
Things You'll Need
- 1/2 inch plywood sheet cut to granite top maximum exterior dimensions
- 4 clamps with rubber caps on contact surfaces
- 4.5 inch grinder
- 4.5 inch diamond blade
- Blue painter’s tape
- Breathing mask (masonry dust rated)
- Carpenter’s square
- Grease pencil
- Leather work gloves
- Measuring tape
- Safety glasses
- Three sawhorses
- Wet saw with diamond blade
Cutting Perimeter Dimensions
Using the measuring tape and the carpenter’s square, measure the exterior dimensions of the granite top.
Mark the perimeter dimensions on the granite with the grease pencil.
With assistance for larger pieces, put the granite on the wet saw and place the sawhorses underneath exposed areas of granite to ensure the piece is adequately supported.
Put on safety glasses and work gloves.
Cut the exterior dimensions using the wet saw.
Securing the Granite for Final Cutting
Place the sawhorses so that the ends and the middle of the plywood piece are supported. Put the cut piece of granite on the plywood sheet so that they match shape and direction. Clamp each corner of the granite plywood pieces so that they will be tightly held together.
To prevent excess vibrations from causing the piece to crack, wrap the blue painter’s tape around the granite top/plywood pieces, starting 3 inches outside of one marked edge of the sink. Continue the taping every 4 inches along the long side of the counter top, wrapping the blue tape twice around the granite and plywood pieces until the last wrapping is placed approximately 3 inches past the other side of the marked sink opening.
Use the grease pen to draw the shape and dimensions of the sink on the granite top.
Cutting Interior/Sink Section
Install the 4.5 inch diameter diamond blade on the grinder to use as a cutting tool.
Put on a face mask to minimize respiratory hazards.
Begin cutting along the markings with shallow cuts through the tape and granite. Use deeper cuts until the plywood board is reached. Make smaller cuts at corners and rounded edges. Continue until the entire piece is cut and separated.
Remove excess tape and carefully lift the vanity piece.
Tips & Warnings
- Always wear a face mask when dry-cutting stone to avoid breathing in stone dust.
- Power tools can be dangerous to use, especially cutting blades. Keep fingers away from blades at all times.
- Wear safety glasses whenever using any power tool.
- Work Surfaces and Countertops, Kessler, Lisa, Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, CA, 2005
- Information on granite and granite costs.
- The Complete Idiot's Guide To Remodeling Your Bathroom Illustrated, Ramsey, Dan, Alpha Books, Indianapolis, IN, 2004
- Photo Credit Contemporary Bathroom image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com
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