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Granite is one of the most popular building materials for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. The natural stone’s beauty and functional benefits make it an easy choice to utilize within the house. Whether you hire a professional or do what you can on your own, home remodeling projects can be pricey. If you are looking to save some money on the project, cutting your own granite can help get the cost down.
While you should always have a professional install your granite countertops, you can manage to make any cuts you need on your own. Cutting granite is attainable if you have the proper tools and patience needed for the job.
What Tools You Will Need
Cutting granite requires the proper tools to do so. The granite cutting tools you will need to complete the job are:
Circular Saw (Wet or dry, with diamond blade equipped)
To do this job, you will need to have a circular saw. It ultimately does not matter whether it is a wet saw or a dry saw, but if you do use a dry saw, keep in mind that there will be a lot of dust when you cut the granite. Either saw must be equipped with a diamond blade, as it is strong enough to cut through the very dense and hard granite.
You will need to wear safety goggles so you do not get any granite dust in your eyes. Granite dust can irritate your eyes and cause significant pain.
You will need to wear a dust mask when cutting granite. You do not want to breathe in any of the dust that may be produced while you are cutting.
If you are sensitive to loud noises, you may want to consider using ear plugs. The sound of the saw cutting through the granite will be very loud.
Ruler or Tape Measure
You need a ruler or tape measure for the job to measure out a straight line that you will cut. After measuring where you want to make the cut, you will apply painter’s tape.
You will need painter’s tape to mark a line where you want to cut the granite. Painter’s tape is easy to move if you mess up the measurement before cutting.
You will use the marker to draw a straight line on the painter’s tape to help create a visual guide as you are cutting.
C-Clamps will be used to hold the granite firmly in place while cutting.
Stable Work Surface
You will need to clamp down the granite in several places on a stable workbench or similar surface. Do not use any surface that is able to move.
You will need an angle grinder to smooth any edges after you cut the granite.
How to Cut Granite
Step 1: Put on Safety Gear
To start, make sure you have your safety gear on (Goggles, dust mask, ear plugs).
Step 2: Set Up Work Area
Next, you will set up your work area. Move the granite onto the workbench or other stable surface that you will be cutting on. Place C-clamps on the granite slab every few feet to hold it in place.
Step 3: Measure the Area You Want to Cut
Use the ruler or tape measure to confirm the area that you will want to make the cut in. You will need to be very precise, as there is no going back if you make a mistake.
Step 4: Apply the Painter’s Tape
After measuring out where you will make the cut, apply the strip of painter’s tape to the area where you will be cutting. After you do this, draw a straight line on the tape while using the ruler or tape measure as a guide (A ruler is better for ensuring a straight line). This line is so important because it will serve as a visual aid while cutting, so you must be very careful when marking.
Step 5: Prepare the Saw
Prepare the saw that you will be using for the job. Whether you are using a wet saw or a dry saw, it will need to have a diamond blade. A weaker blade will not be able to cut through the granite slab.
Step 6: Begin Cutting the Granite
Once you have completed the steps above, you can begin cutting the granite. Be sure to go easy and do not force the saw. If you force the saw, you will risk messing up the cut and your entire project will be ruined. Always stand to the side for safety reasons. Although you can use the saw with one hand, you should use two hands to be careful.
Step 7: Spray Water on the Granite
Have a helper spray water on the granite as you are making the cut. You need to do this because of the heat and pressure caused by cutting granite. You will not want the saw to overheat. If you do not have a helper to work with you, you will need to use a wet saw for the job. A wet saw will spray water on the granite as you cut.
Step 8: Keep Your Eyes on the Saw
Make sure to never look away from the saw as you are cutting. By doing so, you risk messing up the cut as well as getting injured.
Step 9: Checking Your Cut
After you have completed the cut, you should check to ensure that the cut you made was satisfactory. If you are satisfied, you can complete the job or move on to your next cut by repeating the marking and cutting process. If you are not quite satisfied, you can correct small errors by re-applying tape and cutting again.
Step 10: Polish the Granite
Use an angle grinder equipped with a diamond grinding wheel to smooth and shape edges to your desired look.
Additional Things to Know
Before cutting granite, you should always:
- Tie back any long hair
- Remove any jewelry
- Roll up long sleeves
Cutting granite countertops is not as hard as it may seem. The process of cutting granite will only take you a few short hours between setting up and completing the job. This relatively easy job can save you some money when installing granite in your home.