When Replacing Just Countertops: 5 Things to Know

Replacing countertops when keeping the cabinets may seem like an easy renovation job, but small details can have a big impact on the project. Here are 5 things to know when removing old counters for new ones.

One Option: Countertops Are Removed for Template Measuring

This is our preferred method, as it allows for the most precise measuring. Here are things to know before the project begins…

  1. Cabinets can be affected when counters are removed
    • Once countertops are removed, the Metropolitan install team can check the existing cabinets for levelness and address any issues at that time.
  2. Cabinets need to be level for installation
    • Houses and cabinets settle over time resulting in unleveled cabinet runs. Stone counters do not flex….they crack, so it’s critical that the cabinet structures below are level and in good condition to withstand the weight of the new material (21 lbs. per sq. ft.).
    • A levelness of 1/8” over 10 feet is required. We do use shims at time of install, but excessive shims are not safe and are unsightly.
    • We won’t know if there is any unevenness until the old counters come off.
    • * If your cabinets need to be leveled out, you have plenty of time to fix them before we return to install your new counters. This will need to be done by a separate contractor.
  3. New sinks and appliances needed onsite for template
    • If you’re getting new sinks and/or appliances, we strongly suggest having them onsite for the template. At the least, we require the specs to be readily available, otherwise the project cannot go into production.
  4. Existing backsplash can be damaged/chipped
    • If you’re planning on keeping your existing tile backsplash, it can get damaged in the process.
    • As an example, if the existing countertops are 1 1/2″ thick and the new stone is 1 1/4″ thick, there will be a height difference from the top of the counter to the bottom of the backsplash level. The Fix: a contractor or handyman can apply wooden strips on top of the existing cabinets to raise the height. These strips will be visible, and therefore painting or staining will need to be done to match cabinets.
  5. All necessary plumbing, gas and electrical disconnects need to be done before installation team arrives
    • Must be done by your plumber, Metropolitan does not handle this. 

Option Two: Templating Over Existing Counters

We do not recommend this method as it is more likely to cause unwanted issues at time of installation. Here are things to know before choosing this option…

  1. Metropolitan’s team is not able to confirm the levelness of your cabinets
    • When you/your contractor remove the existing counters prior to our install appointment, and you choose to have us template over existing counters, you/your contractor are responsible for checking the levelness of the cabinets with a 6′ level and addressing any issues.
    • Failure to rectify all issues will result in a cancellation of install and a return trip fee of $250.00.