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Old 12-17-2017, 04:53 PM   #1
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Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


Our nearly 30 year old Formica counter top is beginning to show wear. We have had the idea of replacing it with a Quartz counter top simmering on a back burner of our minds for a while, now it seems to be time to replace it.

Is this something that is DIY-able, or should I just hire a professional due to the need for special tools and/or techniques. This is an L-shaped counter, maybe 11 feet in total length with one sink cut-out.

Opinions and experiences please.

Thanks,
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:40 PM   #2
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


Do you have access to a water cooled diamond circular saw. Water cooled diamond core drills. Water cooled diamond disc sanders. If you do, and know how to use them, I would say you are all set.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:14 PM   #3
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


I tend to think that this is a time to call a pro. As mentioned, if for no other reason than the need for fairly specialized tools and the knowledge how to use them. Also, I would imagine an L-shaped top calls for a joint. Given the price of the material alone, let alone be reminded of the boo-boos everytime you look at it, do you really want to cut your teeth on a project like this?
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


Probably not.... given your configuration with a joint.

I'll do some simple granite installs when I can buy prefabed and edged counter without any jointing. Jointing take specialized leveling tools and stone epoxing compounds.

And if it's a counter, you'll want edging on both sides.... the tooling costs more than the slab.

If you want to save costs and are not over particular, you can check stone yards for partial remnant slabs, and likely get good pricing....

Also, sounds like you have well less than slab, and the big box stores will cut/install on a per foot basis (with a limited stone selection) which smaller yards can not do and basically charge by the whole slab.

In my south Nevada home, the closest yard is 40 miles away, so on my own home, I had straight runs without joining, and I templated it myself (no templating per say... just dimensional call outs) and picked up and installed myself. Saved maybe 20-25% or $4-500.

And granite runs about 20-25 lbs/ft... it's heavy... especially 3cm double edged/laminated. The bottom counter was about 300 lbs and the top about 240-50.

Probably not a first/new experience to start with.

But shop it... pricing can vary pretty wildly.

Good luck...
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:12 AM   #5
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


Thank you all, that clearly answers Question #1.

Now for Question #2.

Our kitchen sink is a cast iron Kohler sink, their Executive Chef model. This sink is top mount, anchored by sitting in a bed of silicone on top of the counter and beneath the sink edge. My wife LOVES her sink and it is in excellent condition after 30 years of use. This model is still being made by Kohler (I checked) but the current sink's Almond color is now a special order, the new counter top would likely require a similar color sink, but a new sink in Almond is over $800 - plus the time to be special ordered.

Has anyone had success removing such a sink and re-installing it on a new counter? Anything less than 95+% success by Pros will dictate ordering new sink in advance.

Thanks again.

Last edited by MI-Roger; 12-18-2017 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:55 AM   #6
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
Has anyone had success removing such a sink and re-installing it on a new counter? Anything less than 95+% success by Pros will dictate ordering new sink in advance.

Thanks again.
I couldn't understand the last comment but what is the issue with reusing the sink? If someone did install it with silicone instead of caulk it will be much more of an effort but still doable.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


Sure.......

I don't think you should have that much trouble removing the sink.

As cast iron, you'll want to work carefully to not chip any porceline.... but you should be able to get a knife/putty knife under the lip and working slowly break the caulk bond as you work your way around the sink.

As cast iron and heavy, I might undo the plumbing and maybe put a little jack rigged under the sink to take some of the weight off it as I loosen the caulk seal.

Good luck
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:46 PM   #8
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


I built my own center island with quartz countertop. I'm an amateur and it turned out perfectly fine. What I did was buy a slab of 9x3 finished quartz and hired someone to due the cutting and edging. It only cost me $150 for the cutting and edging. I'm sure you can find something similar.
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:56 PM   #9
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


Menards sells diy quartz. Price isn’t too bad if you buy it on sale but you can get low end granite installed for the same money. Home depot has a $1200 minimum for granite or quartz ct.
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:43 PM   #10
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


We had our laminate counter top replaced with a 'solid surface' top last spring. I removed the old top and cast iron porcelain sink myself. To save the sink, I pried the front of the laminate top up an inch or so above the cabinets and cut the laminate top in half with a saws all and let one side of the counter drop a little. It pulled right away from the sink.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:24 PM   #11
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Re: Installing Quartz counter top - DIY-able??


I've never had an issue reusing cast iron enameled sinks, just work slow and be careful. Since you're scrapping the old countertop, start with a utility knife all the way around to cut away as much of the caulk bead as possible. Then use a thin putty knife on a front corner and work your way to the same side's back corner. I prefer a stiff painter's tool with a bevel, but if you're not experienced with it go thin and flexible to start. By the time you can start lifting/pushing on the sink from below and see a 1/8" or larger gap, insert a small trim pry bar under the side you have broken loose as far in as it will go (at least half an inch, well past the enamel). Once you get one side starting to lift, the caulk will break loose rather easily. I have done this with just myself with double bowl sinks (pain in the butt), but you'll probably want two people when you get to actually picking it up out of the hole. Easiest to leave the faucet attached too, as it gives you another place to get a grip on it.
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