About a year or so after we moved into our new (used) home my wife decided it was time to begin updating the style, as she said there was too much ‘wood’. But, she wanted to update the kitchen without painting the honey oak cabinets. That meant that any other trace of wood (except the floors) had to go!
It just so happens that we had inherited a small wooden nook table from the previous owners. We had been using it for most meals, as it was just convenient being in the middle of the kitchen. The size and height just felt right to, and I didn’t want to let it go. Well, I was informed that either it needed a new stone top made of granite or quartz, or I had to get busy designing and building an island. So, this little DIY will work on this small kitchen table, but could easily be applied to make a DIY granite coffee table too!
Since we were using it so frequently to eat on, we figured we should just add a new granite top. So, after shopping around for a bit we found a good deal on a quartz counter top. Now we just need to attach it. So, the following are the steps I took to install a granite (quartz, in my case) counter top to a wooden table.
How to attach a stone countertop to a wooden table
I had never installed a countertop before, but attaching this slab over an existing table seemed like it shouldn’t be too hard.
How to do I secure a granite top to a wooden table?
So, to answer the question “How do I secure granite to an existing table?” is simple. You just use silicone or glue.
Why did I choose Silicone?
The main force acting on the table will just be gravity, aka straight down. Lateral forces should be pretty minimal, so a solid bead of Silicone should work just fine for securing a stone/granite/quartz countertop to a solid wood table. Furthermore, the silicone will bond to most any surface, and a wide bead will provide substantial glue surface area.
Inspecting the table
I first inspected the current table to make sure I was comfortable with attaching a 200 lb (~90 kg) slab to the top. Being just over 200 lbs myself, I climbed on it and rocked a few times. I also checked the torque on the bolts holding the legs. I noticed that the table top was glued, and bolted. So, for me and my family, I was satisfied that it would be strong enough to hold a 200 lb slab of granite or quartz.
But, if you are unsure if yours will be strong enough – talk to the people who sell granite! Bring pictures, or even bring the table to them or an opinion. You could even consult a certified contractor.
After being satisfied with this, I decided it was time to get to work. So how did I put the quartz top on a wooden table? Below is a rough guideline of what I did for our little island table.
Steps I used to attach a Granite Countertop to a wooden table.
- Granite or quartz Table/Counter top
- Sandpaper, or Palm Sander
- Ruler/Tape Measure / or Combination Square
- Silicone and Caulking Gun
- Paper towels or rags
Process For Attaching the Granite Top
1 – Inspect and measure the current table.
This includes making sure the table is strong enough. If you are unsure, get the opinion of the granite dealer or a certified contractor. Also, you need to take detailed measurements of how large the table is, and how much overhang you want to have with the new top.
To aid in figuring out how much overhang to use, you could always tape some cardboard to the current table. By taping cardboard strips, you can get a feel for what the new table top size would be, after attaching a granite top. You can move around the table and see if you would bump it with a 2″ overhang, or have good clearance. So, after some thinking, we decided to give ourselves a 2″ overhang.
- Once you have a good idea on what the final dimensions will be, go shop around local granite shops. Get multiple quotes on the style of stone you would like for the table top. We found that prices varied wildly – from $200 to $800 for the same size stone!
2 – Sand/scuff up the perimeter of the top.
Take the table outside, and put on a NIOSH n95 dust mask (always wear a mask or a respirator when sanding). Using a block and sandpaper, or random orbital sander to remove the polyurethane coating and rough up the top. You only need to do the outside perimeter where the silicone will be applied. Scuffing the area/ removing the poly will allow the glue to bond to the tabletop much better, creating a stronger joint.
3 – Lay out the table top
Once you have sufficiently scuffed up the top, it is time to get your final positioning. To do this, get a friend who is strong, and both of you pick up and place to top on the table. Adjust the position so that the overhang is correct all around the perimeter.
I found that a combination square greatly helps you do this, as you can set the distance on the square. Then, use this to check if the table needs to rotate, be moved fore/aft, etc. You basically use it as a spacer gauge to make sure the final position is correct.
Don’t let your friend go home yet, as you are going to need their help in the next step!
4 – Glue the first half of the table top
Prepare the caulk gun with silicone so that it is ready to apply. Then, one of you needs to pick up one end of the top. Take care to only lift it vertically, as this will minimize the chance of the table sliding. While you have half of the table lifted off, have the other person apply the silicon. Make sure that a large bead or at least 1/4″ (6 mm) diameter is applied. Once they have gone around half of the table, carefully lower it back down. Again, you only want to be lifting/lowering the table in the vertical – do not lean on it!
Repeat step 4 on the other side of the table. Again, be careful not to lean on the stone top at all.
5 – Press firmly
Apply pressure around the perimeter and on the overall surface. This will help ensure a strong glue bond. Also, wipe up any excess silicone from the seam.
6 – Final fit check.
Using your combination square, or a ruler, check the position of the stone top relative to the old wood table. You have a few minutes to make any adjustments before the Silicone begins to cure.
7 – Let the Silicone cure.
I think the cure time on the Silicone was 24 hours, but we didn’t put any weight or loading on the table top for 2 days, just to be sure.
That’s it! Table top installed, and you know what they say – Happy Wife, Happy Life!
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