Installation Instructions and Tips and Tricks
You're going to love the transformation your new counters will make in your home. We've been making Instant Granite® counter covers for over a decade and would love to share our experience with you. If you don't find an answer to your question, please contact us!
- Unroll a few inches and peel off backing paper.
- Line up granite *leaving a few inches on all sides* and gently press to your surface.
- Hold a squeegee in one hand and gently pass it back and forth over the granite to smooth out bubbles. Slowly pull the backing paper off with one hand, smoothing the granite down with the squeegee as the adhesive is exposed
- SLOWLY continue applying the granite over your surface.
- Once you've applied Instant Granite® to your surface, trim excess material and pass a hair dryer or heat gun over the surface on low.
- Look at your beautiful new countertop!
- Prepping your surface: Dirt, dust, debris, greasy residue from your stove, and all the other gross stuff in the corners. Be sure to clean the surface before applying peel and stick counter covers. Use a cleaning solution that does not leave a residue. Or, clean your surface with cleaner of your choice then wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol. The surface should be clean and DRY before applying Instant Granite®. We do not suggest using the "wet method" of installing for many reasons. Check out this article on why we created a unique product that doesn't require messy special application techniques. Rough surfaces should be sanded smooth and cleaned prior to applying. If there is a texture on the surface this may show through the film. (ie: orange peel texture, hair line scratches)
- Tools for application: Instant Granite® adhesive films are easy to work with during installation because of the heat activated adhesive and "No Bubble" air release in the adhesive. We suggest using a squeegee or soft cloth during installation to smooth the bubbles toward the edges of the paper. A household razor or box cutter will be needed for trimming. A heat gun or hair dryer will also aid in manipulating the material, and is a great trick at the end of your installation to suction the material to the surface.
- Measure and Cut your Instant Granite®: Your roll of Instant Granite® is 36 inches wide, which is deeper than the typical countertop surface. We suggest measuring left to right and installing Instant Granite® lengthwise along your counter. This reduces unnecessary seams (if you install from back to front then you'll have a seam every 36 inches down your counter). We also suggest leaving an extra few inches on all sides. Please don't try to line up the edge of your counter cover evenly along the edge of your counter. Think about how hard it is to draw a perfectly straight line on a piece of paper... now try to keep that straight line going for the length of your entire counter. If you allow a few inches overlap on all sides and trim the excess when finished, then your installation will be easier. All of our graphics are specially designed random patterns that will look excellent from every direction. No one will know that it's crooked!
- Start Small, Start Slow: Keep the Instant Granite® rolled up to begin your installation. Roll off about 6 inches, and peel the backing paper off. Lay it on the edge of the counter, and smooth down with the squeegee. Go slow to start. Make sure the material is pulled taught when you begin applying; otherwise, a crease may occur during the install. Smooth down this initial section first. Instant Granite® adhesive has a No-Bubble pattern will allow air to escape through the channels. While evenly slowly and evenly the backing paper with one hand, progressively smooth down the film with the other hand. Always smooth from the center to the edges. The goal is to push the air out from the center towards the edges/front. For best results smooth with a soft cloth or plastic squeegee which allows you to flatten out any air bubbles or creases. If an air bubble larger than a quarter occurs, carefully peel the material back and reapply. If you pull the material UP, it may stretch the material. Always try to pull the material back, along the surface of the counter. Continue pulling a few inches of backing paper off with one hand and gently smoothing the vinyl down with the other. If you have two people, one can be in charge of the backing paper and the other in charge of smoothing down the vinyl.
- Air Bubbles: Instant Granite® adhesive is specially created for this one purpose. Making installation easier! There are two characteristics that make this product easier than any other product out there (like Con-Tact Paper or other peel and stick products that have popped up over the years). One of these features is the air channels in our adhesive that allow air bubbles to dissipate to the edge of the material. If you do see air bubbles after application, press down on them to shift the air out to the edges of the material through these air channels. Should air bubbles form nonetheless, just prick them with a pin and flatten out, or simply push them towards the edges.
- Edges and Corners: We recommend using a heat gun or hair dryer for this application to make it easier. To apply Instant Granite® cleanly and exactly on edges and corners, overlap the edges by ½ inch. Then, using a sharp knife, cleanly cut along the edge and lightly rub the cut with a finger-nail. If you prefer to apply around an edge, carefully wrap the film around pressing lightly while warming the material with a heat gun or hair dryer. The heat releases the tension and the Instant Granite® adheres firmly to the edge. You can either trim along the bottom edge of the counter, or wrap it under the counter if the surface is smooth. If the underside of the counter is rough (like particle board), you can use caulk or liquid nails to keep it in place.
- Backsplash: You can attempt to install the counter and backsplash in one piece. This is more difficult, but doable. If you choose this method, you will want to use caulk / adhesive in the corner under the material to keep it tucked tightly inside the corner. Otherwise, we recommend using the excess material from the counter to cover the backsplash. If you use 2 pieces for the counter & backsplash, you will want to caulk on top of the material inside the corner to keep the pieces together and to hide any imperfections in your seam.
- Finishing Touches: HEAT is your secret weapon. The specially formulated adhesive in Instant Granite® is heat activated. The vinyl is also responds to heat during installation. If you pass over the material with the hair-dryer / heat-gun ON LOW, this will slightly shrink the material creating a tighter fit. This will also discourage air-bubbles from forming and minimize any creases or imperfections. DO NOT HEAT THE MATERIAL TOO MUCH AT THIS POINT, IT WILL DISTORT THE MATERIAL.
- Finishing Touches: CAULK is the icing on the cake. Use caulk in the corner between the backsplash and the surface to mimic a professional stone counter installation. You should also use caulk around any seams near water - like the perimeter of the sink. This will prevent water getting underneath the vinyl. Use caulk along any seams in high traffic areas. If you did not overlap seams but instead abutted them together, you will want to put some clear silicone chalk / adhesive under the seam to keep them together. However, we do recommend overlapping the material. Caulk also hides any imperfections on the edges or seams.
- Finishing Touches: Run your fingers along the underneath side if your counter or surface. Is it rough? Most countertops are rough underneath which means that the surface is non porous. Remember those air channels that allow air bubbles to dissipate through the surface? They also allow air underneath the material if applied to a POROUS or ROUGH surface. In other words, this material does not stick to the underneath side if your counters. You have two options for finishing the installation underneath the counters. You could trim the material right along the edge of the counter. If you choose to trim the material along this top edge, then be sure to use a hair dryer along the edge and press down along the edge to adhere it. But be aware that if you rub against this surface a lot then the material will curl up. Another option is to use an additional adhesive like liquid nails or gorilla glue on that underneath section of your counter and press the Instant Granite® over it. This will make removing the material harder, but since it's underneath the counter it won't be visible after removed.