Q1. What happens once I choose my new countertop surface?
Answer: The installation company will visit your home to take final measurements and make a template for the new countertop. The fabricator uses the template to create your new countertop to fit your room’s exact dimensions. If you haven’t already provided the company with your new sink, cooktop or other appliances that mount to the countertop surface, you should do so at this time. When the finished countertop is ready, the company will contact you to schedule an installation date.
Q2. What about the old countertops?
Answer: Some installers include removal of the old countertop as part of the cost of replacement. Others may charge an additional fee for removal and disposal of the old countertop. Be sure you discuss the details of countertop removal and disposal with your sales person at the time you finalize your purchase.
Q3. How should I prepare for installation day?
Answer: It is advisable to completely empty the base cabinets where the new countertops will go of all items, including removing the drawers. This makes it easier for the installers to gain access to the countertop during installation. It also keeps your belongings clean and free from incidental dust arising from the countertop installation.
Q4. Do I need to hire a plumber and/or an electrician?
Answer: Some companies offer removal and re-installation of the sink, cooktop, disposal, etc. as part of the countertop installation for an additional fee. Others require you to hire a plumber and electrician yourself. Be sure to discuss the details of sink and cooktop removal/installation with your sales person at the time of sale.
Q5. Do I need to be on site when the new countertop is installed?
Answer: The short answer is yes. Although a reputable installation company will carry the necessary insurance to protect your home while their employees are on the job, decisions often need to be made regarding the final installation that only you (or your representative) can make. Also, most companies require final payment for the countertop at the time of installation. You, or your representative, will want to inspect the final product before writing the check.
Q6. How do I care for my new countertops?
Answer: Most countertop surfaces wipe clean with a soft cloth and a mild solution of soapy water for normal wear. Scratches and stains are more difficult to remedy and sometimes will require the services of a professional. Be sure to go over care and cleaning of the countertop with your sales person at the time of purchase. If your countertop surface is man-made (as opposed to natural stone), there is generally some kind of warranty provided by the manufacturer. Be sure to read the warranty information card for details on what type of use might void the warranty.
Q7. Can I cut on my countertops?
Answer: Although the performance characteristics of countertop surfaces vary from material to material, virtually all manufacturers recommend against cutting directly on the surface. You can’t go wrong using a cutting board to protect your countertop investment.
Q8. What about putting hot pots on the countertop?
Answer: The performance characteristics of specific materials will determine to what extent you may place hot pots directly on the countertop surface. In general, it is a good idea to use trivets when placing hot pots or heat producing appliances on your new tops. In some cases, not using a trivet could actually void the material warranty provided by the manufacturer.
Q9. Will there be seams in my countertops?
Answer: The countertop material you select determines the sheet and slab sizes available from the manufacturer, from which your fabricator will create the new countertop. The type of color and pattern in the surface you choose will also determine whether the fabricator can build tops to fit your kitchen without seams. In the event the layout of your kitchen requires the countertops to be fabricated with one or more seams, they should be inconspicuous when installed by an experienced professional.
Q10. What if I have a problem with my installation?
Answer: Mistakes sometimes happen. Reputable fabricators will do all they can to minimize mistakes and take care any problems immediately. If you have a problem, talk to person who sold you the countertops first. Keep the lines of communication open while seeking a resolution to the problem. And keep in mind that your best assurance of having a job well done is to use an ISFA Certified Professional.