I don't know about you, but even when I'm not doing the work myself, it's nice to know the steps involved in the process and what I can reasonably expect from the professional I'm dealing with. That way, I feel like I'm on an even footing and can ask intelligent questions.
At this point in the process, we're going to assume you've already gone to a kitchen designer or planner and have selected the style and color of laminate you want and know what types of edge detailing and backsplash you want. You've probably also at least started to think whether you want a new sink, faucet and/or cooktop.
If you've selected an installer through your retailer, they will have already asked you for the basic information they need to schedule an appointment to precisely measure your countertop. In most cases, if you go through a home center, there is a fee for measuring and templating, which is credited against the cost of your countertop later. In any case, the installer will make an appointment to visit your kitchen to create a template or "footprint" out of kraft paper, and mark openings for sinks and take final measurements.
Fitting a countertop is a multi-step process that requires accurate measuring. A professional installer will carefully check the front edge of the base cabinets to ensure the same amount of overhang at all points. At the same time, he will strive to maintain a close fit against the walls and will try to minimize seams. There's still time at this point to ask the installer about the pros and cons of a particular edge, back splash or corner treatment. If you have any concerns about how the final project will look, now's the time to amend your original plan. Once the measurements are taken and the final decisions made on the edge and back splash treatments, your countertop will be custom-built to these specifications.
After your countertops are fabricated and inspected - usually about 3 weeks - , your installer will contact you and set up a convenient time for installation. Depending on where you bought your countertops, removal and disposal of your old countertops may or may not be included. Make sure you double-check this with the installer before he leaves with the measurements.
You're going to be understandably anxious to know when the job will be completed. Scheduling an installation is often a matter of timing and coordination - since many installers prefer to wait until new cabinets, if any, are in. Of course, if you're just replacing the countertops, coordination only involves scheduling around your family's eating habits, since the job will take the kitchen out of commission for at least a few hours or possibly an entire day.
After installation, the installer will clean up any debris, and inspect the countertops for any flaws. He will then explain care, maintenance and warranties.
|Countertop laminated with Sunstone 4781-60|