Granite counters create instant impact in a kitchen or bathroom. The solid stone looks and feels expensive. If you are installing your own granite counter, and if you are using an undermount sink, you will need to drill the faucet holes in the granite counter prior to installing the faucet. Typically, the style of faucet mounted directly to the stone are individual faucet pieces. This means you will usually drill three or more holes in the granite to install your faucet.
Place painter’s tape on the granite covering the area where you want to install the faucets. Measure the sink and mark the center on the painter’s tape. Measure the distance from the sink edge to the back of the counter. In most cases, the faucet will mount centered in that distance or approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the sink. Find the distance center point you want and make a cross to indicate the center faucet hole.
Mark the location of each additional faucet hole keeping your pieces evenly spaced apart and the same distance center from the sink edge. Remember to account for your backsplash along the back edge of the counter.
Roll plumber’s putty in your hands to make a rope long enough to enclose all of your drill holes. Form the putty into a circle around the outside of your holes and press the ends of the rope together. Press the putty to the granite to form a 1/2-inch high ring. This putty ring will help hold water inside the area during the drilling process.
Attach a diamond coated hole saw bit to a variable speed grinder. The bit should be sized so that your faucet pipe will fit through the hole easily. Center the bit over the cross mark on the tape and tip the bit so that it touches on the side closest to you but doesn’t touch the rest of the stone.
Drill, allowing the bit to cut through the tape and make a groove in the granite. Once the groove is cut, tip the bit flat gradually to cut a shallow ring. Add water to the inside of the putty ring. Continue drilling, using variable speed and allowing the bit to do the work. Pause frequently to let the bit cool down and refill the water as needed. Lower speeds work better than high speeds in this type of drilling process. Rock the bit slightly from side to side as you get deeper into the granite until you cut all the way through. Repeat for each hole.
Seal the inside edges of the faucet holes to prevent stains later. Use the same sealer that you will use on the counter after the installation is complete. Paint the sealer on with a paintbrush and allow it to dry for 12 hours.
Select a long-shank style faucet and make sure the handles or features of the faucet will not hit the backsplash during use. Read the manufacturer’s instructions describing how to install your faucets. Some faucets have a rubber ring seal. Look inside the faucet for a black rubber ring. If you faucet does not appear to have one, form a ring of plumber’s putty and press the ring around the drilled hole in the granite.
Insert the faucet through the granite hole from the top. Place the large plastic nuts that come with the kit on the faucet pipes under the base of the faucet where they emerge from the granite and screw them on to draw the faucet tight to the counter top. If you are using putty, this will compress the putty under the edge of the faucet. Clean away the putty that shows from the outside before it dries. Tighten the plastic nuts using a long-handled basin wrench.
Wrap the threaded underside faucet pipe with plumber’s tape, and screw the larger headed flexible water supply hose nut onto the pipe. Repeat for the second pipe. Some center-handle faucets will have their own hoses already installed, along with a faucet weight to keep the retractable faucet in its housing when not in use. Follow the exact directions with the faucet model you have purchased.
Open the inlet valve to flush installation debris out of the pipes. Discharge the debris and water into a bucket.
Wrap the shut-off valve pipe threaded head with plumber’s tape. Attach the 3/8-inch compression nut end of the flexible water supply, matching the hot sides together and the cold sides together, and tighten with a wrench.
Things You Will Need
- Tape measure
- Painter’s tape
- Plumber’s putty
- Variable speed grinder
- Diamond drill bit
- Long shank faucet set
- Basin wrench
- Plumber’s tape
- Flexible water supply lines
- Install your faucets before plumbing the drain in order to have better access to the underside of the counter.Finally.. if this frightens the hell out of you, call your friendly plumber and NO this is not written as some great authority you may choose to sue when your job fails and your granite top falls in a heap on the floor. Follow instructions at your own risk.