How To Install The Stone Countertops

1 INSPECTION

1.1 Before installing the counter top, cabinet and base units should be checked for the following:

1.2 The cabinets must be plumb, true and flat. Make sure that the level does not vary by a maximum tolerance of 1.6mm over a length of 3 meters.

1.3 The support must be sturdy to eliminate the chance of stone warping or cracking under load during normal applications.

1.4 The support must be able to hold 55-60 kg/m2 plus any additional load that the counter top could be subject to.

1.5 Units should be fastened to both the wall and each other.

1.6 Nails, screws or sharp edges should be removed from the surfaces where counter tops are to be placed.

1.7 If the walls are not perfectly square, allowance should be kept prior to cutting.

1.8 Air conditioners must be turned off to prevent dust from spreading to other areas

2 INSTALLATION

There are generally two techniques to provide support; full perimeter support and full underlay support.

2.1 Full Perimeter Support

2.1.1The full perimeter support method requires the use of rails with a minimum dimension of 90mm x 18mm positioned at the front and the back of the cabinet.

2.1.2Rails can be made from moisture resistant particle board, moisture resistant MDF, moisture resistant plywood or timber.

2.1.3Ensure that the cabinet weight is transferred to the floor.

2.1.4Ideal span between supports is 600mm.

2.1.5A gap of 3mm should be kept between edge of the tops and the wall to accommodate any expansion in the wall or top due to temperature variation in atmosphere.

2.1.61mm extra gap should be provided per linear meter for counter top lengths exceeding 3 meters.

2.1.7Glue should be applied at regular intervals of 250mm on the back of the counter top.

2.1.8Counter tops should then be placed gently and leveled before the glue cures.

2.2 Full Underlay Support

2.3 The full underlay method involves the placement of a self-supporting panel such as moisture resistant particleboard, moisture resistant MDF or moisture resistant plywood under the complete

surface area of the quartz surface.

2.3.1For ¾” material a minimum of 3/8” thick plywood sub top should be used.

2.3.2Some types of cabinets may require the use of ¾” plywood for European – style frames and supports.

2.3.3A minimum clearance of 1/8” (3mm) should be left between plywood and built-up edges.

3 JOINTS

3.1 Any cut outs for sink, cook top, etc. should not be placed at a distance less than 15cm from the joints.

3.2 A single counter top with “L” shape or angled section is NOT recommended, as it can become a potential stress point, and any undue movement in the countertop can lead to cracking at the stress point. Intersecting pieces in a counter top should be assembled with two pieces of stone.

3.3 All the joints should be well supported underneath.

3.4 All the joints should be thoroughly cleaned with acetone or denatured spirit.

3.5 For the glue to be well distributed for good adhesion, all the sides of the joints should be grooved or slotted in the middle.

3.6 The flexible glue should be applied for joining the frame to the counter tops.

3.7 Masking tape should be used to avoid the glue to move to the polished surface.

3.8 Alignment and level along the joints should be checked.

3.9 After checking place the clamps at the joints until the adhesive sets properly.

3.10After the joints are set, masking tape can be removed and excess adhesive can be removed using acetone or denatured spirit.

3.11 Mechanical fasteners like screws, nails, etc. should not be used.

3.12 Joints above heat generating appliances should be utterly avoided.