Granite or Quartz Countertop Templating Process

Generally, the more expensive countertops you purchase, like granite and quartz countertops, require a template with a kitchen or bathroom remodel.   Countertop fabricators want to accurately cut the material the first time and they would rather do most of the cutting at their fabrication shop.  Because of the dust factor, you would want that too.

So there are two options countertop fabricators most often use to create a countertop template.  Those are “digital” and “stick”.  The digital method involves using a portable computer to record measurements collected from a laser.  The stick method involves using either corrugated plastic material or 1/4 inch luan wood strips and hot glue to create the countertop template.

The stick method is the old school method and the digital template is the innovative method.  Likely more countertop fabrication shops will rely on digital than the stick method because of the increasing accuracy, speed and efficiency digital brings to the countertop fabrication process.

Stick Templating
Digital Templating

Granite and Quartz Countertop Template Preparation

If you are saving your old cabinets, you will get the most accurate countertop template if your old countertops are removed prior to the countertop template.  Another advantage to removing your old countertops is the templator can check your cabinets for flatness or level.  Level and/or flat base cabinets will allow for the smoothest seam, if your countertop layout requires one.  Countertop seams in granite or quartz are often necessary, particularly if your existing countertop or kitchen layout has a countertop run of more than 120 inches (10 feet).

In cases where the old countertop is removed and discarded, this does inconvenience the homeowner because there will be no working kitchen sink.  If you are replacing a laminate countertop with a quartz or granite countertop, then plumbing up a temporary sink using the old laminate countertop may be practical.

Sometimes a countertop fabricator will template a kitchen countertop with the old countertop still in place.  There are some obvious benefits to this for the home owner.  Keeping the old countertop in place means the homeowner will still have use of their kitchen sink while they wait for the new countertop to be installed.

After the countertop template is completed, your new quartz or granite countertop is installed 7 to 10 days later.

Countertop Templating Options

So which is better, a digital template or a wood template?

Most homeower’s are going to agree that a digital template is better than a stick template.

Despite the strong benefits of a digital template…  Some fabricators will insist on a stick template because they just don’t trust the digital template.  The benefits of a digital template are:

— Speed, digital templates take about half the time to complete compared to stick templates.
— Convenience, digital template can be delivered to the fabrication shop electronically.
— Layouts, a digital layout like the one below can be shown and explained to the customer.
— Customer Digital Layout Options — CLICK HERE — too have a look

All appliances, particularly the dishwasher, range and cook tops should to be on-site.  Plumbing fixtures such as sink and faucet need to be available to the templator.  If you are keeping your old cabinets, then all items on old countertop need to be cleared and base cabinets emptied.

Related post — Countertop Edge Options

If you have any questions about the templating process, please give the Kitchen Gallery a call at 603-964-8939.

Digital Countertop Template Layout — CLICK IMAGE — To Enlarge

Some questions a countertop fabricator will want to know prior to the template date…

They will want to confirm your address, contact and phone number. Use the phone number that they should call 30 minutes prior to their arrival.

The templator will want to know what type of stove you have… Freestanding… Slide-In… or cooktop. The stove should be on-site prior to the countertop template.

The templator will want to know what type of sink you have… Undermount… Drop-in… or Farm/Apron sink. If the sink is a farm or apron sink then the cabinet installer should have this type of sink installed in its final resting place, but not plumbed.

The templator will also want any faucets you plan on using for your kitchen or bathroom project.