If you’ve invested in good quality material for your kitchen, you’ll probably also be dealing with a countertop that is worth hundreds, if not thousands. If you want to DIY the transport of your countertop, you’ll need to take precautions to avoid your investment going to waste, which can happen easily with these large, heavy items.
Usually, for new countertops, the company that is custom-fitting them will also deliver and install them. But if you want to do the delivery yourself to save money, or are planning to upcycle a used countertop, this added service may not be available.
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Ensure you have the proper equipment, and helping hands, when moving a stone countertop
Most of what will determine your success at moving a heavy stone countertop is going to be your equipment and tools. This is because granite, marble and concrete are prone to breakage and cracks during transport. This is moreso the case if you have sink holes pre-cut into them.
Here is what you are going to need:
An A-frame: this is some wood that is fashioned and bound together in the shape of an ‘A.’ They can be made of metal or wood. They allow for slabs or large panel-type items (even heavy art frames, or glass), to be transported while leaning on its edge. This is necessary because:
- Granite and stone countertops can crack if transported flat, or horizontally.
- Countertops are usually far too heavy for human strength to carry them a long way.
Here is a google image search for “a frame for transport”, to give you some visuals of what you’re looking for.
Moving straps: Somehow, you’re going to need to tie the countertop slabs to the A-frame so it doesn’t wobble or shift during the move. This page has a diagram showing this. We recommend professional straps, of course. This article says to use “ratchet tie-down straps,” which can be searched on Google images here. Remember: your countertop can be worth thousands, so don’t risk it with cheap rope or material.
Moving blankets or padding: To help alleviate impact, you want to use padding on the granite, making the hits a softer blow to the fragile rock-in-transit. Especially if you are transporting more than one countertop at a time, these are a must. Bubble wrap may work. Ensure you have a way to prevent the padding from falling off while moving the countertop.
Carrying clamps: these nifty items attach a strong grip to the sides of the countertop, giving you a handle from which to carry them from. Here is a google image search for them, to show you some options.
Gloves with grip: don’t trust your hands alone to carry the countertop, especially when carrying it off the A-frame, and onto the cabinets, or through the building around doors. You want a strong, strong grip during this process.
Extra humans: granite and concrete are very, very heavy. Unless you are Thor, please don’t expect this to be a one-person job. Avoid injuries, and take safety precautions (like steel-toed boots) when carrying something this heavy too.
Use the right techniques for moving heavy countertops
When you move a heavy countertop, you want to keep these points in mind:
Always carry the countertop vertically, not flat, as noted above.
Never drag or push the countertop. It can only be carried. Don’t attempt to do it on your own.
If you use a dolly or push cart, watch out for when you roll over rocks or uneven ground. Remember, you want to avoid anything that can crack something fragile through impact. Consider the countertop as fragile as glass.
As an article linked-to above suggests, try to set up ‘rest stops’ on your way to the home when moving a stone countertop from the truck to the building it’s going in (or visa versa). Since they are so heavy, you’ll want to be able to put it down without causing cracks or chips. Going all the way down to the floor multiple times can strain your back. Using workbenches, sawhorses, or other sturdy support structures can be useful for this.
Read up on moving techniques before doing this! Here are some articles on our blog to help you out:
Truly, honestly, consider hiring a professional for moving expensive countertops
Moving a heavy, expensive countertop is hard, and there is a lot of potential for breakage. This goes even if you want to move one from salvage – why waste your day, and end up with junk at the end of it?
A professional moving company, or granite countertop maker, could also have the right insurance to cover you for losses.
Take a look at the cost-payoff benefit, and decide if it’s worth the risk before you move a countertop.
See related: What will hiring a professional mover save you?
If you need help moving a granite or concrete countertop, give us a call!