Installing Your Stainless Steel Countertop
or Copper Countertop
Installation procedures for stainless steel, copper, brass or other fabricated metal countertops are similar to other countertops. If you have never installed a countertop before, or are not comfortable with the installation process, you may want to talk with a contractor or cabinet installer and obtain their assistance.
During the measuring and quoting process, you should have determined whether your walls are square (90 degrees to each other) or not so square. Accommodations for irregularities in gaps from the walls to countertop raw edges and back splashes may include various options, including:
- caulking our grouting
- trimming out with wood or other accent material
- scribing and grinding the horizontal edge of a countertop or backsplash to remove excess material
- in extreme cases, fabricate the top to accommodate the angle.
For measuring your walls for squareness, see the 3-4-5 Rule.
Whether factory supplied and laminated, or provided by you or your contractor, your stainless steel or copper countertop will have a wood substrate (wood backer) that builds up the surface to 1 ½”. This aids in fastening your countertop to your cabinet sections with construction adhesive, angle brackets and screws, or longer screws through the corner braces and support buildup strips.
A stainless steel countertop or copper countertop with a laminated wood substrate (wood backer) will be heavy, especially for longer or custom shaped tops, so recruit some extra hands when you are ready to set your tops in place. As with any countertop, be prepared to set and remove the tops a couple of times to determine fit and trim requirements, plumbing returns, etc. Use caution to not drop a countertop, lay heavy tools or items on it to avoid scratching the surface, or place a countertop on the ground supported only by the integrally welded sinks (if ordered). Refer to re-polishing stainless steel for removing scratches.
Once the stainless steel countertop or copper countertop is set in place, fasten or glue the top to the cabinet cross braces, drawing the top tight to the cabinets. We prefer screws vs glue for future convenience.
Warning: When fastening with screws, make sure they are shorter than the overall thickness of the cabinet supports and the substrate. A screw can dimple a stainless steel or copper countertop if drawn into it.
For example: cabinet cross brace support of ¾” + wood substrate build up strips of ¾” + wood substrate of ¾” = 2.25″. Your fasteners should not be longer than 2″ in this example.
If you are installing upper cabinets, leave the protective PVC covering on your stainless steel countertop or copper countertop and cover with additional protection (cardboard works great), because I know you, your contractor or installers will want to step on them while working overhead.Trust me.
As always, we offer phone support to assist you or your contractor with any questions or concerns you may have before installing your new stainless steel countertops or copper countertops.