How We DIY'd Our Way to Real Granite Countertops

by Catherine
1-2 Day
You normally don’t hear DIY + granite in one sentence. It's so heavy and so expensive, and can break easily when it’s not handled property. We, like most people, never thought to do it ourselves until we noticed cheap ($10 per square foot cheap) prefab slabs at our favorite floor and tile store. After looking into other countertop options, and considering turnaround time and overall cost/quality, we decided this was the way to go.
To be able to pull this off from start to finish, we needed to buy a bunch of stuff. Here’s what our tab looked like:
$250 prefab granite slab
$15 diamond tip blade
$5 countertop adhesive
$60 14′ truck rental + mileage
$10 2x4s for the A frame
$60 angle grinder
$10 angle grinder blade
$15 ratchet straps
$25 Misc things I forgot/taxes
Circular saw (had it)
$450 Total Cost
The first thing we did to get this process started was build an A frame to transport the granite on. Since the slab was already cut to counter depth, we made it about 30″ high, and constructed it so that it could be screwed into the wood on the inside of the rental truck.
After we had everything set up, we drove to the store, which was about 10 minutes from the duplex. We backed our truck up to their warehouse entrance, and they brought out their fancy forklift machine. We inspected it to make sure it looked good, and after they got the green light, they lifted it into the truck.
We secured the slab onto the frame with three ratchet straps (not pictured) and headed home. We drove about 25 MPH the whole way with his flashers on, even though the guys promised us that it would be fine on the A frame. Well, it all paid off because we got it back in one piece!
It took four guys to carry the slab up to our back porch where we did the cutting. We set up two saw horses and put down a few 2x4s on them so that the weight of the granite would be evenly supported.

After taking measurements, we marked the slab for where we needed to cut. We covered the marks with painters tape and then drew full lines onto the painters tape (double checking measurements first, of course) using a T-square. We used tape because it helps prevent the granite from splintering.
Once we were good to go, the cutting began. One of our neighbors poured a steady stream of water near Bryan’s saw as he cut. We didn’t have a hose, so we made a makeshift one by poking a hole into the top of a gallon of water. It got the job done!
The cut was surprisingly clean. The guys brought the first piece of granite inside and set it onto the cabinets before cutting out the sink hole. Cutting granite inside is something that isn’t advised because of the mess it makes – water, dust, the whole nine – but we were scared that the granite might break if we tried to carry it with the large sink hole already cut out. We're newbies! So we figured this was the lesser of two evils and sucked it up. We followed the same prep process we used for the prior cuts, but outlined the sink instead. We used the angle grinder to cut the hole.
We purposely bought a drop-in sink so we didn’t have to worry about getting a perfectly smooth cut. It fit!
Here’s what it looks like now that the faucet is installed and working. The sink is 10″ deep, which I love!
Here's a photo of the left side of the galley. We're going to add a subway tile backsplash and a few open shelves above the sink.
Here's a snapshot from the corner of the kitchen, looking over the left side of the galley toward the right side (pre-countertops!)
Here's what the countertops look like on the right side.
We feel like we reached a whole new level of DIY by doing these countertops ourselves! The kitchen isn't done yet (as you can see), but it's well on its way. We'll be back soon with another update. In the meantime, check out the blog for more photos of our countertops and details on how we did it.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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