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by CareyBot

Granite has long been a popular option as a material for kitchen countertops. Hard, smooth and durable, granite offers both practicality and stunning good looks for kitchens of just about any type, but comes with a pretty high price tag. An alternative that is growing in popularity are granite squares, which are precut like tiles and offer both a lower cost and the ability for an ambitious do-it-yourselfer to undertake the project. GETTING READY Installation of the counter begins with a smooth, solid base material called a substrate. The preferred choice of most pros is exterior-grade ¾-inch plywood, topped with a layer of ¼-inch cement board. The plywood is strong and stable enough to span the tops of the cabinets, and the cement board offers a smooth and waterproof surface th...