How to DIY Templates and Installs
So you’ve decided to tackle a smaller project in natural stone… congratulations! You already know this is a luxury material, so in all likelihood you’re gearing up to save money wherever possible. You’re checking out remnants, scrounging for sinks and faucets, and even considering handling parts of the process yourself. Well, as much as I’d like for you to pay us to handle the template and install for you on every project, the sliver of altruism in me wants to help you accomplish certain steps of the process yourself. Let's jump right into it!
Quick Disclaimer: If your project is a kitchen, you should stop reading this right now and just resign yourself to the fact that you need to have a professional team template and install your countertops for you. If you’re endeavoring to take on a smaller project and you’re ready to assume the risks of handling your own template and install, then you’ve come to the right place...read on!
In addition to creating a physical copy of the shape and size of your countertops, professional teams gather a ton of information about your project when they make a template. We’re talking sink size and location, backsplash specs, edge profile locations, information relating to impending installation, etc. All of this (and much more) is not only important in planning and executing the project successfully, but also influences the price of the job. If you do not gather and communicate all of this information accurately when you perform a DIY measure or template, then you’re setting yourself up for nasty surprises somewhere down the line, both financially and in the way the project turns out. Yikes. Check below for a list of all the information we'll need to fabricate your job the way you want it:
Exact dimensions of the countertops (not the cabinets) to within 1/16”. These should include the overhang you want over the cabinet or wall the stone will be installed upon.
Which edges are finished, and with what edge profile.
Style and size of all corner radii.
Backsplash location, height, thickness, and edge profile.
Sink location (horizontal placement): the distance from the nearest wall (left or right) to the center of the sink, in inches.
Sink set-back (depth placement): how far back from the front of the countertop, the inside edge of your cabinetry will be. This helps us make your sink cutout in such a way that your sink clears your inside cabinetry once installed.
Faucet center: the distance from the nearest wall (left or right) to the center of the faucet spread, in inches.
Faucet set-back: how far back from the back of the sink cutout, to the center of the faucet spread, in inches.
Faucet spread and # of faucet holes
Faucet hole size
One thing that is conspicuously missing from the list above is the specs of the sink. We will need the actual sink bowl itself here in-house to make an accurate cutout. Another thing missing is any custom shapes such as bump-ins, banjos, notches, etc. If your project contains any of these larger custom features, you’ll likely require a professional template even if you have the information above handy (or, if you're really handy you can endeavor to make your own template, in which case skip to the next section). If your project is purely rectangle-shaped, then this information should give us the information we need to fabricate it properly.
The easiest way to communicate this information to us and to make sure it’s al