Like most everything that came with this house, the bathroom sink and countertop was ready to be replaced. It was one of those one piece resin things, and the resin was becoming cracked and moldy and leaking and just all sorts of awful. We had one like that in Denver and we lived with it for ten years. We finally replaced when we got ready to sell the house and we wondered why we had lived with the old crappy one as long as we did.
So up there is our new countertop, a nice pretty quartzite that should last about 4,000 years. All I have to do is drill two holes in it and I can install the faucet. I thought I had to drill three holes but it came with one pre-drilled so that was a bonus.
To drill the holes, first you make a template. You need a diamond tipped hole saw to cut through stone like that and it helps to have the correct size hole saw (unlike the one the fricking jerks at Lowe’s sold me) (“Oh yeah, don’t forget to buy a diamond hole saw on your way out, sir. It needs to be 3/4″ diameter, sir.” “Okay, Mr. Lowes Salesman, I’ll buy a 1″ diameter diamond hole saw just to make sure it’s big enough.” “That would be swell, sir.”) (Then I get back on the island and realize I need a 1 1/4″ hole saw and the one I bought was too small and no one on the island sells diamond tipped hole saws.)
But I digress.
Use your correct size hole saw to cut straight through the plywood at the same distance from the edge you want your faucet holes to be. This way, you just line up the template with the edge of the stone and you use the plywood hole as a guide. Also, cutting through stone requires some water for lubrication, to help cut through the stone without creating so much heat that you melt your expensive hole saw.
To make sure the water doesn’t seep out of the bottom of the plywood, you take some plumber’s putty and make a snake.
Don’t get too attached, though, because the snake will probably not survive. So don’t give him a name or anything. Wrap the snake in a circle around the underside of the plywood.
Now, when you clamp the plywood to the stone, the snake makes a watertight seal and you can fill the hole with water.
This is a dirty job. Water and powdered quartzite will splash around in a 20′ radius and cover everything with little white dots that don’t clean up easy. Do this outside if you can.
That’s what a hole saw looks like, by the way. Take your time with this step. Let the drill do the work, don’t press it. You’re kind of wobbling it down, rocking it up and down to let the stuff you’re digging up work its way out. Periodically, take the saw out and cool the tip in cold water, replace the water in the hole, and just rest a bit. If you try to hurry this step up, you can break your expensive quartzite countertop.
Yeah, the snake doesn’t make it. But that’s okay, you can make more with plumber’s putty and play with them later.
And there’s the old one, out with the trash where it belongs. It didn’t even give up much of a fight taking it out. I think it knew its time was up, and it was ready. The new one is in and it’s great. Will post some pics of it all later.