When you install concrete countertops in a kitchen, there are many details to consider in addition to the countertops themselves.
l Countertops need a flat, level and sound base to properly support them. Be sure to check the installed cabinets to make sure that they are level and flush with each other. Double check the cabinets on either side of dishwasher openings and around corners. Uneven cabinets will make installing precast countertops difficult or impossible, and uneven cabinets will make forming up cast-in-place countertops that much more difficult. If the cabinets are not level, alert the contractor right away so he can make the appropriate adjustments before your countertops go in.
l Make sure that all the plumbing fixtures will fit together in the sink cabinet. Not all sinks will fit into all sink cabinets, and some sinks don’t have enough space to allow for multiple fixtures (like faucets, sprayers, soap dispensers, etc. This is a common problem, even when a kitchen designer has selected the fixtures!
l Be alert to tall faucets that sit in front of a windowsill or bar top. The overhanging sill or bar top will push the faucet forward, which may cause problems with the sink and the cabinet.
These details should be checked before you start making the countertops, saving a lot of headaches later in the process. You can even develop a checklist for these details. Both homeowners and designers will appreciate your professionalism and attention to detail.
Thanks for these tips go to Jeffrey Girard of The Concrete Countertop Institute. Girard is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer.