Countertop end-piece is slid (pounded) into position.
We’ll call Thursday, November 29, “Day 8” though there has been a period of inactivity that — given our living circumstances — probably ought to be added to the day-ticker! We won’t gripe too much, however, as the Cambria countertop arrived and was installed. Installation was quite a process. We have three countertop areas: two flank the kitchen range, and one forms an ell around the far corner of the kitchen and holds the sink. The two smaller finished pieces were, essentially, just brought into the house by the installers, set in place, and adhered to the tops of the cabinets. The ell, however, was another matter. The main expanse of Cambria arrived in two pieces with one solid piece running across the far end of the room, the other covers the right-hand base cabinets; the two butt on a miter. Cambria is heavy stuff looking and feeling like polished granite.
The sink section of countertop is positioned.
The two men of the installation crew muscled the first piece into place then, with the first piece tilted up slightly to allow the tight fit, eased in the larger section and lowered both to the cabinet tops.
Vacuum joiner device holds the two pieces together for bonding.
They used a special vacuum-secured device (as seen on TV) to, first, create a gap along the mitered ends. Then they added a bit of adhesive and used the vacuum machine (it looked like some sort of brain transplant device from a cheap sci-fi movie) to press the pieces together and hold them tight as the adhesive cured. The installer adjusted for level and repeatedly felt along the seam to assure the surfaces matched perfectly as possible.
Adhesive bead is run along all of the edges.
While the joining was taking place, the crew ran a bead of silicone adhesive along the underside of the countertop where the Cambria rested on the base cabinets. Special color-matched material was pushed into the space where the ends of the countertop touched cabinet walls. The big, dark-colored sink was raised from inside the base cabinet, adhesive added, then wooden braces installed to secure it in its subsurface-mount position.
Countertop is completed!
I’m leaving out a bunch of steps that made this a good installation; it was fairly intense. The process took a couple of hours and the results are splendid, though the place smelled like a chemical plant: resin and adhesive odors were so strong I opened the house to 37-degree (F) air to stop my eyes from watering!
Looking good? Hmmm…. needs tile! Hardware, too!
Funny thing: the cabinets look great, the countertop looks great, why am I not thinking the whole thing looks great? Ah! Whereas the cardboard we had covered the base cabinets with was crude, the Cambria is perfect and that draws attention to the terrible walls! Backsplash tile cannot come too soon, though we’ll have to wait til Wednesday!