Stone Cold

Here’s the much requested stone counter cutting post.  Let’s dive in.  Well, not literally because smashing your head into the counter doesn’t sound like fun.

To cut your own stone counter top, you’ll need:

  • A skill saw with diamond blade
  • A right angle grinder with diamond blade and stone polishing pads
  • Clamps
  • A straight edge
  • A hose with running water
  • A GFI protected outlet
  • Saw horses or another system to hold the stone up
  • Protective gear for eyes, ears, mouth, and nose

Now you know the ingredients, let’s get to the instructions.  If you need to cut length off your stone, first mark where you want to cut.  Then, measure the guard of your skill saw.  Clamp a straight edge factoring in the width of your guard.

While wearing protective gear, slowly and carefully cut along your guide.

Now you’re ready to start polishing.  Ben asked the local granite companies for their used polishing pads, so ours were free.  To get a new set, check the link above or search ‘granite polishing pads’ to find a better deal.  Here’s what the pads look like:

For a polished finish, the pads work best wet.  Ben clamps a slow running hose to the counter top to let the water trickle over the edge.  Remember, electricity and water are not friends!  Plug your grinder in a GFI protected outlet and keep your plugs out of the water.  Use extreme caution.  Then sand the edges just like you would with a normal sander on wood.  Keep it moving to avoid gouges and slightly round the edge for a factory-finished look.

Polishing didn’t take nearly as long as cutting the sink hole did.  Ben only uses drop in sinks so he doesn’t have to have a nice looking cut, just a place for the sink to go in.  Use the sink template to mark the cut lines.

Take the polishing pad off the grinder and replace it with a diamond blade.

Plunge cut the sink hole slowly and carefully.  You won’t be able to cut through with one pass.  Slow and steady on this.  Clean the dust and water off and you’ve made yourself a stone counter top.

The polished eased edge looks just as good as the granite company, too.

What do you think?  Are you willing to try this at home?  What is your favorite type of counter top?  Granite?  Marble?  Concrete?

Disclaimer:  If you are not comfortable using this equipment, don’t try this.  Use caution and always wear safety gear.  This is an overview tutorial and we cannot be held responsible for injuries.  

Take it for Granite

We recently revealed our new DIY dining table, complete with a dark green-black marble top.  This isn’t the first (or last) piece of marble or granite in our house.  In fact, we have quite a bit in 1 1/4 inch thick slabs and tiles.  I thought I’d give a pictoral view showcasnig the granite and marble we have in our home.

All three of our bathrooms have granite-topped vanities. 

The main bathroom granite is Giallo San Francisco:

Our master bathroom color is Galaxy Black:

The basement bathroom counters are Verde Maritoka:

Part of my office desktop has Carrera marble, while the other areas have Brazilian Cherry.

Each bathtub has a matching granite sill to rest on.  Both the main and master bathrooms have marble tub surrounds, too.

The master bathroom floor is covered in white marble and absolute black granite checkerboard.  The main bathroom has white marble floors in a brick lay pattern.

We decided to install granite and marble as some of our window sills to protect them from moisture.

The kitchen and dining room sills are Silver Spark:

Our master bathroom has Carrera Marble:

The half wall by our stairway has a brown granite topper:

Our love of marble extends to a few pieces of furniture other than our dining table.  Two small side tables in our guest bedroom have marble tile tops.

This little table had a clear glass top, but it was easily replaced by one 12 inch square tile, left over from our bathroom remodel.

Why limit marble to counter tops when you can have a marble table lamp like this:

Just to recap, we have 4 countertops, 3 tables, 6 window and tub sills, 2 shower surrounds, 1 lamp and we haven’t remodeled our kitchen.

Why do we have so much marble and granite you ask?  We love the timeless look, durability and we can get remnant slabs for a great price.  And, it’s almost easier to work with than wood.

It’s Marble-ous!

Yep, I’m talking about our new marble floor. 

Ben installed the new white marble floors in a brick pattern to add interest.  I think it looks amazing, but I’m biased.  You’ll notice a small corner of our new bathtub to the right.  Here she is in all her glory, sort of.  It’s a five-foot jetted tub and I couldn’t wait to use it!

After the tub was installed, Ben added beadboard panels to cover up the nasty wallpaper.  Then he built our custom vanity.  We decided on two drawer stacks, forgoing the cabinet.   Ben’s design also hid the sink plumbing, sweet! 

The counter top is a green granite remnant from a local marble and granite company.  The vessle sink and faucet were purchased on Ebay for $150.00 TOTAL!  The sink is a little difficult to keep clean because it’s clear and two sided, but it’s worth it. 

Keeping with the marble-ous theme, we installed a marble tile tub surround, too.  Ben wanted some dark tile, so this is the pattern we agreed upon.  (The tiles still need to be cleaned here).

The sill around the tub is a matching granite to give the tub edge some stability.

After three weeks of hard work and long hours, our bathroom looked like this:

We added a marble tile backsplash and reused our old mirror.  We turned it vertically to add height and reflect light from the new sky tube we installed over the tub.  Ben still had to build the drawer fronts, but we can see the finish line, now. 

In true Bowe fashion, we work really hard to finish a project and then take a few months off before completing the finishing touches.  So, after about three months, we finally had the drawer fronts done and installed. 

Here’s the finished bathroom now:

So, that’s how we transformed our ugly bathroom into a spa like retreat.  All for under $2000.00 with a lot of hard work.