Preparing For a New Kitchen Countertop

By HomeAdvisor

Updated March 2, 2017

Preparing for a new counter

Countertops are used all the time in any kitchen; therefore it is important that during installation you have some idea about how to sustain a normal lifestyle. Countertop installations are no easy task, and although the countertop installation time varies depending upon the time of year, the amount of space being replaced, and the material being used, you have to be aware that some inconveniences will have to be tolerated.

Alternative Spaces

While your countertops are being installed, your kitchen will be out of commission for awhile. Therefore, it is a good idea to create a make-shift space to take care of your kitchen needs in the meantime. Maybe get takeout, or if the weather cooperates, grill outside and have a picnic. If you must use your kitchen, try to do it while the workmen are away.

To make it easier, buy or make simple meals that don’t require as much space, such as TV dinners, frozen pizzas, or canned soups. Possibly prepare a few cold meals in advance, such as sandwiches or cold-cuts, in order to give the contractors the space and time alone to work. By preparing a cooking/eating space away from your kitchen you will be more able to preserve some type of normalcy while removing your countertops.

Removal of Objects

Another way to help out your countertop contractor is to remove all objects from your counters or islands before installation. Put away all surface level utensils, such as coffeemakers, blenders, toasters, etc, beforehand in order to save time for when the contractors arrive ready to work. You also want to remove any other pieces that could get in the way, such as plants, decorative items, and breakables so that you won’t have to depend on strangers handling your possessions. And don’t forget the drawers full of silverware, as well. In fact, this step helps you out in the long run by allowing you to have all the items you need to survive (forks, knives, paper towels, etc.) while you are cut-off from your kitchen.

Avoiding a Mess

Replacing and installing countertops is not a tidy venture, therefore to avoid any unneeded mess it is a good idea to find the closest point of entry to your kitchen. Make sure to indicate where the contractor should park outside your home to make his/her job easiest, and then lay down drop clothes, towels, or tarps between the door and the kitchen. The contractors will probably be using this path many times to collect tools and parts for different areas of the job. So in order to keep your home clean and to contain the mess to one area of the house without impeding on the contractor’s progress, try to create a specific flow of traffic for them to follow.

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Countertop Preparations

Now that you’ve done what you can, it is time to leave the rest to the professionals. Although contractors will appreciate your work, it is best to always ask them want they want to be prepared: they may take care of these things for you, or they may ask that specific tasks be completed. Most of the time, contractors will probably prefer you to keep to these basics prep steps rather than taking on more serious operations, such at gutting, measuring, or cutting.

All in all, the thing to keep in mind is communication. When preparing for countertop installation or replacement, talk to your contractor whenever you have questions. You want to make the project run smoothly, but you don’t want to end up making it harder for them than need be by becoming overzealous in your preparation.


  1. Finn Stewart, December 20:

    I’m looking into having my countertops replaced so that they last longer than my old ones. I like how you mention that replacing and installing countertops is not a tidy venture. I’m sure having new counters installed will make our kitchen unusable for a while, but it will add value to our home which will be more than worth it.

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