How to Cut Granite and a Master Bath Resource List

I’m back today with the run down of the sources we used to complete our master bath and a step-by-step tutorial on how we cut and installed our own granite.  I know this tutorial may not apply to everyone, but I hope it inspires you to try not shy away from re-using countertops!  Stroll down to your local Habitat Restore or scour Craigslist and if you find a gorgeous counter that may not be the perfect size, you can make it work!  Ok, so let’s get started.  We took our slab of granite and propped it up in our garage.  We used a wheeled dolly to move it from place to place and put wood blocks from scrap wood we had on hand underneath either side to protect the ends from breaking off.  The granite we got {for free!} was much deeper than our vanity, so we had to cut a chunk off of the back.  Mike measured the correct depth and taped off a line where he was going to cut.

Then we rolled it out to our driveway where we were going to cut. We knew it was going to be a dusty job so we wanted some open air:)  Mike got a 2×4 and laid it flat near the tape.  Mike measured how big the edge of his saw would be and clamped the board in place as a straight edge so his cut would be a neat as possible.

You can see our set-up here for how we kept everything in place and sturdy.

We cut a hole in a water bottle and Mike wet the taped line down.  I also helped wet it as he went as needed.

Then it was time to cut.  The long, straight cuts were the easier part.  Mike used a diamond blade on his circular saw.  He used the board as a guide as he went and wore a mask and safety glasses to protect himself from all the dust!

We did the same thing on each side to make them straight also.

The large slab actually wasn’t long enough for our vanity so we took an extra piece and cut a 10″ piece to add to the end so it would fit perfectly.  I’ll explain more later;) Once the slabs were ready, we propped everything back up in the garage and set up the sinks and faucets so we could decide where to drill our holes for the plumbing.  The vessel sinks made it much less intimidating for us to cut our own granite because the hole would be hidden if it wasn’t perfect.  Same thing with the faucets.  We laid out the sinks and measured them so they were evenly spaced from the edges.

Then we stuck a piece of tape inside the hole and at the back of the sink for the faucet and traced the holes.


Drilling the holes was much easier said than done:)  We went to Home Depot and bought a hole saw bit for Mike’s drill that said would cut through granite.  Very very wrong.  Apparently granite is too hard for that bit.  Unfortunately, it’s the only one I took a picture of.  Mike drilled for about 45 minutes one day {dipping his bit in water to keep it cool every couple minutes} and only scratched the surface.

So onto Plan B.  We called around and finally found a tool supply shop that sold diamond bit hole saws made for cutting granite.  Perfect.  So I drove an hour and picked it up.  It worked like a charm for the first 2 1/2 holes then broke.  Womp womp.  We called the store back and they said these bits shouldn’t break and gave us a new one.  It got the job done but also broke off as Mike finished the last hole.  We are going to return it for a refund also, but at least it got the job done.  Once everything was cut, it was time to install.  We had to first remove our old countertop.  Our new backsplash is much shorter than the old one so I had to smooth on some DryDex drywall patch to fill the chunks that came out with the backsplash.

Then I sanded it off and painted it to match our walls.  Once the entire vanity was removed, Mike called a friend over to help him lift the two pieces in.  He used black silicone underneath to keep it nice and secure {not that that heavy thing is going anywhere}.

We have a seam were the two pieces meet so we had to decide if we wanted to stick with the black silicone or switch to clear so we tested it out underneath where the sink would hide it.

We decided that the clear silicone was going to be less of an eye sore than the black and now that’s it done, we are very happy with our decision.  You can’t even tell the seam is there unless you are looking for it.  The clear silicone is not noticeable and the sink covers the majority of the seam anyway.  We started by putting tape as close to the seam as possible.  This helps the silicone so it doesn’t go all over the seam.

Then Mike added the bead all the way down.

Smooth out the silicone and remove the tape for a flat seam.  Once all the silicone dried, it was time to install the faucets.

And sinks:)  We just laid them in place with a bead of silicone underneath to sort of glue them in place.

The last step was to silicone the backsplash pieces into place.  We spent about 3 weeks on the granite project, just working here and there as we had time.

Here is the breakdown for the whole makeover:

  • granite: free
  • silicone: $5
  • sinks: $50 a piece
  • faucets: $50 a piece
  • hole saw bit: $73 {but returned for a refund}
  • vanity stain: $13
  • light fixture spray paint: $4
  • plumbing supplies: $60
  • -sold our old vanity for $75
  • Total:  ~$200  Not too bad for our fancy schmancy new bathroom:)

We love love love the look of everything.  I am a huge fan of the vessel sinks because my earring backs can’t slide off the counter into the sink drain anymore:)  The drains that we bought to go into the sinks are just so-so.  They aren’t super quick at draining the water but do the job.  Love the faucets, granite, stain, hardware, and light!

Ok, who’s ready to cut up some granite???

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  1. Great advice. I’m building an outdoor kitchen and just happened upon some granite for the countertops but they need to be cut. Darling is afraid but armed with this, I’m not. I undersItand you need a diamond blade to cut it, which one did you use!? What I don’t like is you used the hole bit then returned it.

  2. What skilll saw did you use? How many rpms

  3. Was the diamond blade segmented or what? What brand was the blade

  4. why not changing wall paint to rich white color?

  5. Thanks for the info. I have a piece of Granite that was gifted to me and wanted to use it for a BBQ area. Just didn’t know how I was gonna cut it , Now I know I need a Diamond bit for the saw… This was good Info!

  6. Thanks for this article. We’ve been looking at the possibility of using a circular saw in cutting granite slabs for our project. Reading this is really helpful! :)


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