Problems With Reusing Granite Counter Top in Renovation

If you're investing in a home renovation, you'll find that the costs can add up quickly. To keep costs under control, you may consider reusing some of the existing materials in your home. Granite is one of the most expensive building materials on the market, so reusing the granite countertops in your home will help you trim costs. Explore the potential problems with reusing granite countertops in your renovation before you commit to the decision.

...
Reusing granite is economical, but has potential problems.

Limited Design

If you are trying to reuse the granite countertop in your new kitchen or bathroom design, you are limited to using the existing design footprint of the space so that the old granite will fit into the new space. Maintaining the same design footprint is particularly important if you have granite cutouts around sink or wet bar areas. Homeowners who want to expand their counter space may not have enough granite to complete the design. Although parts of the granite may be cut if there is excess granite, adding a matching piece of granite may be challenging, and there will be a visible seam at the site of the added section of granite.

Damage

Granite is valuable because of its durability, but it is also incredibly heavy and difficult to maneuver in large slabs. Though properly installed granite is highly resistant to damage from cracking, the process of removing and moving the granite places it at risk for cracking. In order to move the granite, several people must hold the granite along its length so that there are no pressure points placed on locations in the granite where it might bow in the middle. Most contractors require homeowners who wish to reuse their existing granite to sign a contract stating that the contractors are not liable should the granite break.

Strategies

Properly removing and transferring the granite significantly reduces the likelihood that the granite will sustain damage during the renovation. The contractor may opt to utilize a method in which screws are inserted through the granite's supporting plywood from the bottom. If the screws place too much pressure on the granite, it may crack, but when inserted properly the screws will cause the plywood to separate from the granite so it can be removed. Another strategy is to remove the granite with the plywood still attached and then remove it later with a chisel.