Thinking of replacing your kitchen counter? 4 tips to making it work

white undermount kitchen sinks

Why replace a kitchen counter? Maybe it’s dated, worn, or damaged. Or, maybe you're ready to swap out your sink for an under mount model. Under mount sinks make cleaning your counters a breeze (just sweep it right into the sink, no lip to catch on) and are definitely add value to your kitchen.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are considering replacing your counter:

First, make sure that the condition of your cabinets warrants replacing just the counter. If they are not working at 100% or if you think you might want to replace these later, then hold off. You can't replace the bottom without replacing the top.

If you currently have a stone counter and it has cracks, be aware that this may be the result of the cabinetry underneath not being level (or stable). Before you invest in a new one, make sure the cabinetry is flush, or that the installer can correct for any inconsistencies.

Beyond that, here are some basics to keep you in the loop:

1.About the backsplash:  If you have a tile backsplash, that tile is most likely sitting on top of the old counter. So, when you pull the old counter out, some of those tiles might break or come off. If you plan to keep the same backsplash, make sure you have some spare tile to deal with any repairs. 

2. How's this thing stuck on?:  A friend recently had a counter company in to remove the old counter (which incidentally you’ll want to make sure is included in any estimates) and they had a tough time removing the counter because it was glued to the cabinets. They would not guarantee that the cabinets wouldn’t get damaged in the process. When the contractor or counter company comes to template the counter (or look at the job), have them take a look to assess the situation.

3. We're all connected! The sink is connected to the plumbing and this plumbing will need to be disconnected to remove the old counter.  You’ll either need to confirm that the counter company can do this too (and reconnect the plumbing after the install) or make sure you have a plumber come before and after to do that work.

4. Countertop thickness - are old and new the same? Although 1.25" is the standard for kitchen counters, not all counter surfaces are made to this standard.  If you are replacing your backsplash, no problem, you can make up the difference with tile.  If you are attempting to keep your backsplash, make sure that the new one is not thinner, or that the installer can shim up the counter to line up with the bottom edge of your tiles. 

What counter material should I use when I'm ready to go?  I’m just going to say that my favorite material is quartz composite like Caesarstone, Silestone, and many other brands. It’s durable, consistent in color, and maintenance free.

Here's a quick reference for you:

counters infographic

counters infographic

Got any questions? Let me know!