Cutting stone benchtops in a safe manner is easy, but there are a few things that should be observed in order to minimise exposure to dust and other small particles that are caused by each cut. Since LITESTONE™ is a light, easy DIY product to carry and work with, we often find that our valued customers want to jump straight in and get their new benchtops and splashbacks under way as quickly as possible. While we love your enthusiasm, there are a few tips here that will make the job safer, easier and ultimately more rewarding.
- Number one – planning. It may sound pretty obvious, but planning your DIY project will help to ensure that you do the least amount of cutting, grinding and polishing as possible. It can also save you money of course, avoiding those mistakes that come from rushing a job. Remember the old builder’s adage; measure twice, cut once!
- We ONLY recommend using wet-cutting for any LITESTONE™ project. Using water assisted cordless powered hand tools to cut stone will nullify the amount of particulate matter that is left floating around in the air during and after a cut. Wet cutting dampens the dust down before it rises, making it too heavy to float into the air and become a breathing hazard.
- Always cut outside, so that dust particles don’t end up in the air inside your home.
- Proper protective gear is a must, of course. Wear a face mask over your nose and mouth, and do wear safety glasses at all times during the cut! Gloves, earplugs and safety shoes are also a must, and all these items should conform to approved Australian Health and Safety Standards. Wearing proper protective clothing will also inhibit dust and other particles from gathering on exposed skin.
- We’re not your Mum, but rule number five makes us sound a bit like her…keep up with the housekeeping! As your DIY stone benchtop project progresses, it is important to regularly clean the work space. Keep any dust to a minimum by cleaning the area regularly during the build, using methods that include wet sweeping, hosing down with low pressure water, wiping up any fine particles on the benchtop itself, and of course mopping the floor and any other surfaces that might be gathering dust.
- Get a good vacuum cleaner, and use it during the project. Rather than leave dust and debris around, put the vacuum cleaner to work. If you happen to have a big old ‘garage banger’, drag it out and use it, otherwise we definitely recommend using whatever machine you might have. Check other rooms nearby the site where you are cutting, especially near the kitchen, bathroom or outdoor area where the benchtop project is taking place, to make sure that dust and debris has not travelled into them as well. If it has, get the vacuum onto those areas as well.
- Waste disposal – you can reduce dust associated with waste by placing bins and skips outdoors and where possible away from doors and windows. This way you won’t be making more dust by throwing off-cuts and things into a bin nearby.
- Last but not least, try using water misting to keep waste materials damp where possible. Spray bottles, or a hose attachment that has a ‘mist’ setting will help with this. Misting the debris will help dust to settle, and stop it floating into other rooms of the house.
And that is about it! Keep those kitchen bathroom, and outdoor dining area DIY projects going, stone benchtops and splashbacks are such a great addition to your home or entertaining space. And please keep sending us your photos, too!