How to cut granite worktops
How to cut granite worktops
Having granite countertops in your kitchen or bathroom could be on your check list when remodelling. You may even be under the impression that you could cut the granite yourself to save a bit of money. The tools needed – a circular saw or an angle grinder – are common and easy to get hold of, and if you can already cut straight then you should be able to cut a granite worktop straight too. Cutting the granite is indeed a job that can be done by DIY, but there are a few drawbacks and precautions you should consider before diving in.
Things to keep in mind
Before you make up your mind and start to get the tools together for cutting your granite worktops, you might want to consider a few things first.
Granite slabs are expensive in general but the risk that comes along with cutting your own granite means there may be a greater expense. If, for any reason, you cut the slab incorrectly, or maybe you accidentally crack it – after all granite can be quite brittle – purchasing another countertop will cost more money and probably have a long waiting time for delivery/collection.
No matter how big or small your bathroom and/or kitchen may be, the granite you purchase is going to be heavy. This can make it especially difficult to handle and move around the space. This is one of the main reasons remodelling crews tend to subcontract the installation out to specialists as the granite is too heavy for them to handle effectively.
The process of cutting granite, even with the correct tools, comes with its own process and need for skill. Alongside this, safety measures such as dust control when cutting granite dry, and water control when cutting granite wet, will need to be in place to protect you and the people around you. The need for skill lies in the ability to cut the granite to the exact measurements – the measurements which you will need to obtain yourself and make sure they are correct to every inch. If the granite measurements are off by even the tiniest amount, that sink cutout you may have just done will be unusable, unless you like the look of an off-centred sink along with many other things that could look and be wrong with poorly measured and cut granite.
Cutting and installing granite can be messy and a little hazardous. If you are intent on DIY-ing then you need to make sure you know how to properly stay protected.
Granite can be cut either wet or dry. Whichever method you choose, it will get messy. Make sure you set up an appropriate work area which you won’t mind getting dirty, and that has a stable surface that can support the granite. It is best to make sure this area is away from the home so it doesn’t disturb the other rooms. If you have chosen to cut the granite wet, you will need to purchase or rent a wet-cutting saw. The cutting process of this will create a sludge like substance that will need to be washed away afterwards. If you are cutting dry a circular saw or angle grinder can be used. This will however create a cloud of granite dust that fills the air and travels. In both cases, make sure you have appropriate PPE – safety goggles, ear protectors, and a dust mask.
How to cut granite kitchen worktops and bathroom countertops
Now you know how to protect yourself and what to keep in mind you can start to cut your own granite worktops.
- Set up the stone on a stable work surface in an appropriate work area. Make sure to clamp the granite down so it doesn’t move throughout the cutting process.
- Make sure to properly measure and mark on the stone where the cut line is. It is best practice to use blue tape to cover the cut line to minimise chop-out on the granite. If you do cover the line with blue tape make sure to re-measure and mark the cut line on the tape before you start to cut!
- If you are using an angle grinder do not remove the guard. This method of cutting is also freehand. If you are using a circular saw, to minimise the risk of the metal stretching the granite, use blue tape on the shoe of the saw. With this method of cutting you should set up a straightedge guide like a shoot board.
- Keep the tool moving along the cut line. If the tool seems to “stick” do not force it to keep moving. This method should deliver a clean cut and reduce chip-out on the granite. If you are struggling to make the tool move and cut in one pass, split it into two.
- If you are using an angle grinder make sure to use one with a polishing pads. This will clean up the saw marks left on the edge of the cut. They can also be used to micro-bevel the 90-degree cut edge to soften it.
- To cut the granite for a sink you will need to drill holes into each corner of the slab where the sink will be to enable you to change direction when cutting. Plunge cuts will be needed to enter the granite surface.
If you have read all the above and are unsure if you really want to do it yourself, then it’s best to get a professional. Here at Stone Synergy all of our fitters are fully qualified and insured. This ensures each installation is carried out to the highest standard and same attention to detail as the last. We also have a mission of delivering granite and quartz worktops at affordable rates, meaning our premium products have better prices than national chains. If you wish to obtain a free estimate on your worktops, please contact us today!