Granite is one of the most popular materials for home improvement projects. It offers incredible durability and beauty; therefore, it is the favorite option of many homeowners. With proper maintenance and care, it can last decades. Moreover, its timeless elegance will elevate your space.
Tools for Cutting Granite Countertops
1. Safety protection: Before thinking about cutting granite countertops, you must take safety precautions. You need to wear safety goggles to keep the hazardous granite dust from getting into your eyes and causing harm.
Similarly, you need to purchase a dust mask if you don’t have one so that you don’t breathe in the dust, which could harm your lungs. Ear plugs are also recommended to keep your ears safe during loud cutting noises.
2. Saw: In order to cut granite countertops, you obviously need tools for cutting the slab. As granite is a hard material, even harder than similar alternatives, your tool must be equipped with a diamond blade. You can opt for a dry circular saw; however, in that case, a lot of dust will be kicked up during the cutting process.
To combat that, you can use a wet circular saw to lessen the mess and minimize dust. Wet cutting is very effective in minimizing dust clouds compared to dry cutting. However, there will still be some granite dust.
3. Tape measure: You need a tape measure or a ruler to measure where the cut should be and to get straight lines. Don’t forget to measure twice and cut once. Make sure the marking and your measurements are correct before making any cuts.
4. Masking tape:Use masking tape or painter’s tape to mark the cut line. Tape is also essential to minimize chipping where the cut is. The tape will hold the edge of the granite slab, which becomes fragile under pressure.
5. Clamps: When cutting, it is imperative that the cutting area, the slab, and the circular saw are all clamped and secured in place. Don’t forget that these are items that can cause significant injury.
Therefore, check and double-check that the slab is clamped securely on a stable surface.
6. Work surface: As mentioned before, the stability of the work area is essential. Not only should the slab be clamped to the work surface, but the work surface should also be heavy, hard to move, and stable as well. A flimsy table won’t be able to carry the heavy slab and won’t be able to withstand the saw’s light pressure.
7. Grinder: After cutting the slab into desired shape and size, you will be left with jagged and uneven edges. In that case, you need an angle grinder to smooth the edges and provide a sidewall.
Steps to Cut a Granite Countertop
Step 1: Preparation
Before starting to cut the stone, prepare the necessary materials. You will need a circular saw, protective gear, and other items for measuring, marking, and so on. Ensure the gear is working and you have all the materials you need in reach. If you have long hair, it is a good idea to tie it so it doesn’t get in your face. Wear sensible clothing that won’t get stuck in anything or get in the way.
Moreover, one of the most important steps is to ensure the area is closed to any children or pets that might wander into the space. Ensure that they cannot reach the vicinity while you are working.
Step 2: Secure the bench
Granite is incredibly hard and durable, yet it can still break. You wouldn’t want to put in so much work to save on the labor cost just to spend more because you had to rebuy the material because of the damage.
Double-check that the surface is safe and secure, can carry the weight safely, and shows no sign of wobbling or sliding. Take into account that a circular saw is a tool that vibrates a lot while it is working. Therefore you must clamp the slab to the surface to ensure stability.
On average, one clamp per foot of granite is the advised amount.
Step 3: Measure and tape the cut line
Measure, then measure once more—tape where the cut line will be and mark the line on top of the tape. The tape will help in decreasing the chances of chipping during the cutting. Don’t try to cut without a line. If you try to eyeball this, it will not be straight; thus, it won’t be flush during the installation.
Step 4: Make a back cut
You can make a two-inch back cut in the back of the cut to prevent chipping and breaking further. This allows a less sudden separation between the two parts of the granite. Therefore, it is a tactic some installers use to avoid unwanted effects.
Step 5: Start cutting
First, ensure that the saw is placed and positioned correctly. Then, regardless of the tool you pick, you need to keep the tool moving. Have a tight grip on the saw without forcing it onto the slab, try to use light pressure, and let the saw do it all. If you get tired, pause the cutting, turn off the saw, and rest. Tired muscles can cause shaking, which can chip the stone.
More importantly, it can result in personal injury. You don’t have to rush. Make sure that you are constantly upholding safety precautions.
Step 6: Grind
Use an angle grinder and polishing pads to smooth the marks left by the blade of the saw. You can use different grit levels to achieve different levels of smoothness and sheen.
In conclusion, cutting your granite countertops is a straightforward process that requires a lot of careful measuring and taping marking. You must ensure the safety of your space, yourself, and those around you without compromise. Power tools can cause severe injuries. If you desire new granite countertops, consulting with professionals for best installation and cutting practices is best.
At Keystone Marble and Granite, our expert team is equipped to handle such projects easily. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Related Read: Granite vs. Quartz – The Differences
- How to cut granite with a grinder?
To cut granite with a grinder, you need to follow similar steps to cut it with a saw. After securing the surface and practicing the safety measures, you can start the grinder and slowly cut along the marked line, starting at the center and moving outward.
- What is the best blade to cut granite countertops?
Granite is one of the hardest natural materials. Therefore the tool you have opted for this project needs to be equipped with a diamond blade to cut it.
- Can you cut granite countertops at home?
You can cut granite kitchen countertops at home using a circular saw. However, keep in mind that granite is an incredibly hard and heavy material that is hard to maneuver. Moreover, the circular saw is a strong power tool that requires closely followed safety measures for your safety.