Laminate is a very popular choice for the countertops as it is inexpensive and comes in various colors and patterns.
Unlike the granite or stone solid surface countertops, it is an approachable DIY project. Many people ask “how to install laminate countertop to base cabinets” and there are several ways to install it.
The user can build a laminate countertop either from scratch or can purchase a pre-manufactured piece. The post-form countertops come in standard-sized lengths and with an integrated backsplash. The easiest way to install the countertop is to purchase a post-form.
This article talks about the process of installing a laminate countertop assuming that the cabinets are leveled and the sink and old countertop has already been removed.
Are laminate countertops easy to install?
This question can take up different answers depending on the users and their efficiency while dealing with the material.
How to measure countertops for replacement is one of the most frequently asked questions and the hollow space under the new countertop and the correct build-up height. The strips can also be cut by measurement of ¾ inches.
Before ordering the new countertops, the user needs to take accurate measurements of the cabinet layout and in the case of the U-shaped kitchen, it is better to hire professionals. The process of building and installing the counter laminate top is mentioned below-
1. For the diy metal countertop the user needs to make a sketch and then start with the back walls. The length of all these walls should be measured exactly to the edge of the run of the cabinets. An extra inch space is required to protrude in the free-standing space and it can be trimmed off later for a better fit.
2. A laminate end cap should be ordered to butt the countertop into a side panel like the pantry or refrigerator. A more finished look is given and the base of the cabinets should be measured. The standard laminate countertops are almost 25 inches deep and then ½ inch space is left beyond the drawer fronts.
3. Many users have a doubt about how to cut laminate countertop for sink in the three most important steps which are-
- Center the sink over the sink in the base cabinet.
- Set the sink back far enough to clear the front.
- Cut a small hole in the sink’s rim.
In the case of most stainless sinks, it’s safe to flip the sink over and then trace it around and make a ½ inch line. The exception is that the shape can be asymmetrical shape where the left and the right sides are different.
Check if the old sink is being reinstalled and install the cast iron enameled skink and make an even small cutout.
The cast iron sinks are far better which will allow the traced perimeter and drill the holes and flip the countertop and transfer the lines and cut out the top.
The backsplash edge of cabinet or countertop should be looked into with the longest corner section and the other sections are joined or retained to the piece. The long section has certain challenges in the corner and then an accurate scribe to the wall has temporarily joined the corner.
Installing miter bolts and then slide the top corner for the test fit and then align the front edges of the countertop. Close the backsplash gaps and scribe the top from the backside of the backsplash to fit the wall.
5. The process of joining laminate countertop seams is to be done by sanding down the back edge. The belt sander should be tipped to undercut the backsplash for a tighter fit. Set the countertop against the walls and check for the fit. Additional sanding might work while trying to join the countertop.
6. Many users ask “how to cut a laminate counter” which can be done using a handsaw and trim the end of the countertop. First, apply the masking tape all over the edge and then mark the cut-off line with a pencil and cut 1/6 inches.
Glue can then be used and a buildup strip onto the underside of the clamp can be flushed along with the edge.
7. The assembly of the miter joint can be cut short of the countertop with the cabinet and make room for the edge. If a skilled person uses a circular saw and makes the cut from the underside with a carbide blade.
A sharp handsaw will give a nice and controlled cut and a traditional saw cuts as the blade pushes away from you.
8. The stick on counter tops can be stuck using masking tape all over the countertop. It also lets one see the pencil mark and reduces the chipping of the laminate cut.
After the cut, use the sander to sand the line and make the edge squared. Glue the build-up strip to the bottom flush with the newly cut edge and clamp it in place.
Once the glue is all dried up apply the matching plastic laminate over the built-up edge.
9. If the precut does not have an end cap, then an extra laminate piece can cut from an extra piece of laminate. A couple of practice cuts can be made with the help of a laminate cutter. Make a couple of practice cuts and set the laminate on the scrap wood and draw the shape of the end cap plus ¼ inch.
10. The top can be cut several times to cut the laminate and use the straightedge as a guide. The backsplash section leaves a right angle rise and it is easy to break the chunk off.
11. “How do you support laminate countertops?” is one of the most frequently asked questions and for this, the contact cement can be applied. Each mating surface is left to dry and then positioned for the end cap with the bottom edge of the build-up filter strip and press firmly to the place.
12. A dry rag can be used to wipe off the surface to press it for a good bond. File the end cap flush to the countertop and take time with the slow, controlled strokes.
When the edge is flushed, bevel the end cap to remove the sharp corners that could snag the dishcloth later. Push the sections back together and apply the caulk and join the miter and install the bolts.
13. The process of installing granite countertops on existing cabinets can be performed by not making a return cut in the countertop. Cut and glue the small piece of laminate to the exposed edge.
The countertop flush with the cabinet side can help in accommodating the range which may be adjusted to the scrub for an overhang.
14. To attach the countertops to the cabinet the user can screw it to the sides using 1-1/2-inch steel angles with 5/8 inch and long screws. Fit the tight fit and screw the angles to the cabinet and then draw the top down to meet the steel angle of the second screw.
15. The professional installers perform this step with utmost neat and the methods of fastening the countertops vary greatly. In the case of the prefab granite countertops home depot, some of the professionals apply glue and then the construction adhesive while the other sides can be braced to the top.
One can buy these materials at any hardware store and then place them in a hair lower than the top of the cabinet. The tip of the cabinet can be drawn down and should be done from as many angles as possible.
How do you install laminate island countertops?
For this DIY project, many different tools and materials are required.
Some of the necessary tools are a 4 in 1 screwdriver, the caulk gun, the circular saw, cordless drill, drill bit set, belt sander, clamps, the cordless drill, dust mask, file, handsaw, a hearing protection aid, jigsaw, the safety glasses, scribing tool, straight edge, and a tape measurer.
For the countertop part of the project, the basic required materials are ½ inch steel angle, drywall screws, 80 grit sanding belts, acrylic caulk, masking tape, miter bolts, premade cabinets, and the silicone caulk.
Having all these materials available helps in avoiding any last-minute shopping trips to the hardware stores and once all the materials are collected, it becomes easier to start and complete the project.
Laminate countertops are the necessities of recent times and the process of installing and building the countertops can be done at home. Though it is a tedious process, the result is a beautiful countertop that is built by the user himself.
As there have been many concerns and questions about how to install laminate countertop to base cabinets this article deals with the topic and talks about the process and precautions that are necessary to complete the project.