Quartz countertop installation is far from a glamorous process, but I wanted to show you what to expect if you are hoping to do this some day. Our house has gone through many renovations in the 27 years that we’ve lived here. When we purchased it, the original white formica counters had to go and were replaced almost right off the bat.
Since then we’ve had several surfaces with the most recent being granite. While I love natural stone, the granite that we have lived with for the past 15 years was dark and splotchy. It simply absorbed too much light making everything dark, even on a sunny day. My husband was a huge fan of it at the time we selected it and I went along with his choice. Over the years it grew to bother me that I couldn’t find small things like vitamins or bag ties when we set them down. I couldn’t see the coffee or wine spills to properly clean them off. I’m a stickler for cleanliness and it was time to refresh and renew.
Coming at this kitchen renovation from the practical side of owning and running a construction business for over 30 years, we understand practicality. Although I don’t share that business on the blog, my husband runs the day to day and there have been thousands of kitchens completed. In our beach home (see that HERE) we chose Brazilian quartzite counters that are a natural stone and more porous. That kitchen doesn’t have to withstand the day to day use that our Miami kitchen does, so we tossed caution to the wind a bit more than here at home. While I love marble, I don’t want to have to constantly worry about the staining and etching. We’ve seen the issues first hand from our family business perspective too many times.
When I had the opportunity to work with Hanstone, the first step was to order samples (order samples HERE). Before making a decision and going through this quartz countertop installation, we wanted to be sure. We were provided with the materials by Hanstone, but we had to pay for fabrication and installation. I wanted to see the quality first hand before committing to these counters would be our forevers. One of the issues that I’ve had with quartz in the past is the pattern repeat of veining looking less than realistic to me. The Hanstone Quartz pattern that I selected is part of their boutique collection and called MONTAUK. It’s gorgeous with what they describe as “subtle and luxurious. The soft pearl undertone of Montauk is elevated with warm sandy dappling and an ivory marble pattern for a vintage yet modern feel.” I was (and am) impressed and the veining is random enough to look realistic. Now that they are installed I love not only the look but the feel of them with a nice smooth finish. I’m so happy with our counters that it makes me want to jump for joy!
I want to share some of the quartz countertop installation process and in another post I’ll be sharing the finished project. Backsplash tile has been ordered and should be delivered this week! Keep in mind that whenever you do a remodeling job, it IS indeed a process that takes time and can be messy.
We kept the existing layout of the kitchen the same, since it works for us and would keep costs down. The major changes that we would be making are the counters and a new sink. The previous sink was a drop in double stainless steel and I prefer one large bowl for washing pots and pans. A farm style sink wasn’t a consideration, as we felt that a drop in would be better for our style. We decided to salvage and reuse the upscale HansGrohe kitchen faucet that was only a couple of years old and like new. Down the line we likely will replace the double wall oven and possibly the built in panel refrigerator. We have wall repair to do, need to repaint the white cabinets with a fresh coat and possibly will install a couple of small pendant lights over the island. I’m still on the fence about changing out the existing handles, since I still love the brushed nickel pulls. One step at a time is sometimes the best way to make changes when working within a budget. Live with things for a bit and see. BEFORE is below…
After my husband measured and drew out the layout, we sent it to our fabricator to determine how many slabs would be needed. On the plan he included backsplash (without consulting me first!) but I ordered tile and will reveal that soon.
The slabs arrived at our local Miami fabricator J&J Stone and they came out to lay the templates. They took our sink with them to ensure that the cutout was perfect. We decided on an eased edge, which gives the kitchen a modern updated look.
This is how most fabricators that we’ve worked with lay out templates. They put together a balsa wood copy by carefully measuring your existing counters, cutting and gluing the wood to form a template.
Cutting process at the fabricator that was finished in a day. I was surprised at how quickly and efficiently they worked.
I was so excited when their truck pulled up on the day of install and I saw the beautiful white slabs in the truck!! I’ve been wanting to do this for several years and couldn’t believe that this day had finally come!
Removal and installation both happened on the same day. Before the old counters were removed I took everything off the counters, out of the top drawers and lower cabinets. The plumber came out and shut the water and gas line and carefully removed the old sink, faucet and the gas cooktop.
The fabricators removed the old granite, saving as much as they could for reuse or donating to the community. Don’t worry, it’s being reused;-).
Once the old counters were removed, the new countertops were set into place. The under-mount drop in sink was installed and attached with clips and then everything was glued down with a silicone caulking. The hole that you see is the window that is over the sink and has a pass through to the pool-patio area. The area seemed to be the biggest quartz countertop installation challenge, and required some messy concrete cutting to get just right.
While I love the pale sea-glass backsplash, we planned on doing something else and it will need to be removed. I’ll be sharing that coming in another post soon.