How to Put in a Laminate Kitchen Countertop

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON: The turn off of Route 7 in Ponnel, Vermont puts you smack in the middle of some really beautiful country.  For 21 years, the home to Ed and Linda Reits. 

ED REITS: Hi Ron, Ed Reits.

RON HAZELTON: Hi Ed how are you?

ED REITS: My wife, Linda.

RON HAZELTON: Linda, pleasure to meet you.

LINDA REITS: Hi Ron, how are you?

RON HAZELTON: Boy, I feel like we’re in the middle of woods right here.

ED REITS: Doesn’t it.

LINDA REITS: Ah, we are.

RON HAZELTON: I know because of the road I took getting out here.  So show me what’s going on folks.

ED REITS: Sure.

LINDA REITS: Well, Ron, the kids are this close to out of college.  Our kitchen needs a face-lift.

RON HAZELTON: Are we going to start with the countertop?  All right, why don’t we start by clearing off the countertop? 

ED REITS: Great.

RON HAZELTON: Can we put this on the table right here?

LINDA REITS: Fine.

RON HAZELTON: Let’s start by disconnecting our plumbing here.  You got grandchildren?

ED REITS: Not yet, we’re still hoping, though, but.

RON HAZELTON: So, what’s that for?

ED REITS: For our kids when they were small, we put them on, so they’re 21 years old, too.

RON HAZELTON: Okay, so, first thing I want to do is just turn off the water supply here.

ED REITS: All right.

RON HAZELTON: Ed, now these are both shut off.  What I’d like to do, though is just turn on the faucet, if water is still is coming out of here, then I know that that valve is not working properly.  Ed, if you can hold that, I am just going to put this tray in here to catch any water that might come out of this line, our drain lines and we’ll just disconnect the water lines here.  I want to be turning this off over here, like this.  There we go.  We are going to take the P trap off first.  That’s why we want the pan down here. Now usually these countertops are held on with some screws and they are often found at the corners, so let’s pull this drawer out right here, take a look.  Yeah, okay, right up here, you see this block?  There’s a screw going through that block into the countertop.

ED REITS: Oh, yeah.

RON HAZELTON: All together there are about a dozen screws to remove and Ed makes short work of it.  There we go.

ED REITS: That’s the last one.

RON HAZELTON: Okay, great.  All right, everything should be loose, let’s give this a little bit of a test, nope.  Okay, now what happens sometimes is they caulk these backslashes and we could probably tear it off, but I don’t want to damage your wall paper here, so I’ve got a utility knife here, so let me just run this down here and cut at least the top of the caulk.  All right, we are going to try to pry this loose a little bit.  I’ll put the putty knife there to protect the wall?

LINDA REITS: Don’t you have to take the sink out first?

RON HAZELTON: We could, but you know, I find it’s easier to take it out in the countertop because you can reach the clips easier when it’s out. 

LINDA REITS: Oh.

RON HAZELTON: Or in this case, you are putting a new sink in, so.

LINDA REITS: Right.

RON HAZELTON: But while you are here, let’s just, let’s just pull this down, okay, all the way, pull it down, there you go, lift it up.  There you go.  I am going to come out this way and we had to clear the drains down there in the sink. All right folks, let’s just take it right outside, okay?

LINDA REITS: Uh-huh.

RON HAZELTON: Watch the fridge there, it’s kind of close.

LINDA REITS: Oh, Ed this is beautiful.

RON HAZELTON: Now, this countertop came with the sink partially cut out right here.  I have never seen this before.  It’s great, but I want to make sure that this is in fact the right size for our sink.  I cut the template out of the sink’s packing box and placed it over the counter’s cut out.  A good fit.  In order to prevent the cut out from dropping as we saw through we fashion the temporary clamp and two scraps of wood and a screw. We attach at opposite corners.  Excellent.  Congratulations, how was that for you?  Nervous?

LINDA REITS: I was very nervous.  But it is easier than I thought.

RON HAZELTON: You did a great job, excellent job, yeah.  We’ll you’re a certified jigsaw user now.  Here you go, you can let it, got it?

LINDA REITS: Got it.

RON HAZELTON: And, there’s our sink opening. 

ED REITS: All right.

RON HAZELTON: Folks, we’re about to set this in place now, I think I am going to go in first, let me try that.  Okay, are you clear there?

ED REITS: Clear there.

RON HAZELTON: Watch your fingers, everybody watch your fingers.  There we go.

ED REITS: We’re down. 

LINDA REITS: Beautiful color, hurry up guys, I got to go by some curtains to match my new countertop.

RON HAZELTON: Well here’s your new sink, stainless steel.  And we got to have (INAUDIBLE) before we put it in the countertop.  Next, we apply plumber’s putty to the edge of the drain cutout so the new sink baskets will make a watertight seal.  Then we attach as much of the plumbing as possible before installing the new sink.  Finally, we apply a silicone sealant around the sink lip to ensure a watertight bond with the countertop.

ED REITS: So we are ready to put this in place?

RON HAZELTON: We are ready to put this in place, absolutely.  You guys flip it over, I’ll kind of mind the cords here, inspect some of that sealant may squish out, but that’s okay.  You like it?

LINDA REITS: Oh, I love it.

RON HAZELTON: Yeah, it’s going to be such a pleasure to wash dishes in this. 

LINDA REITS: Oh, I think Eddy will really enjoy doing dishes.

ED REITS: I guess so.  I have to end up doing them after all.

RON HAZELTON: You know, sometimes lying down on the job is inevitable.  Well, someone has to tighten the clips that hold the sink to the countertop.  Now after the final connections are made, plumbing works and countertop, I think, looks great.

ED REITS: It does.

RON HAZELTON: Congratulations on the color, by the way.

ED REITS: Thanks.

RON HAZELTON: That was very bold of you.  I like it; it goes beautifully with the cabinets.

ED REITS: You made it easy. 

RON HAZELTON: Yeah, it only took us, you know, a little over half a day to do this.  And you guys were great to work with.  You are such good sports.  I love your sense of humor.  Go team!

ED REITS: Yeah.

Give Your Kitchen a Fast Face-life with a Pre-fabricated Countertop in an Updated Color with a New Sink

Take a day for a DIY project to update your kitchen with a new countertop and sink. This custom-ordered countertop comes from the factory pre-fabricated and laminated in the specified color and providing a partial cut-out for a designated sink size and configuration. Just remove the old sink and countertop and follow a few easy steps to install the new components.

Disconnect the Water Supply Lines and Drain Pipes
Step 1

Disconnect the Water Supply Lines and Drain Pipes

Shut off both water valves under the kitchen countertop directly beneath the sink. Put a tray under the piping to catch residual water and then disconnect hot and cold water lines and the drain's P-trap.

Loosen Fasteners and Remove the Countertop and Sink Unit
Step 2

Loosen Fasteners and Remove the Countertop and Sink Unit

Remove screws and blocks that secure the old countertop. Use a utility knife to cut caulking at the backsplash and a pry bar and putty knife to loosen the countertop. Remove the countertop and sink as a unit.

Confirm the Size and Shape for the Pre-made Sink Cutout
Step 3

Confirm the Size and Shape for the Pre-made Sink Cutout

Bring in the new pre-fabricated kitchen countertop and confirm that the sink cutout is the right size and shape for the new sink. Cut the cardboard sink template from the sink packing box and compare it to the countertop cutout.

Support the Cutout and Finish Cutting It with a Jigsaw
Step 4

Support the Cutout and Finish Cutting It with a Jigsaw

Use a jigsaw to finish sawing out the cutout. Screw some scrap lath strips into the top of the cutout--not into the countertop--to support the cutout while finishing the cut.

Position the New Laminated Kitchen Countertop
Step 5

Position the New Laminated Kitchen Countertop

Set the kitchen countertop in place on the base cabinets. Helpers make the unwieldy countertop easier to handle. Secure the countertop to the cabinet base with wood screws and blocks in the same way that the original unit was attached.

Apply Plumber's Putty and Install Sink Fixtures
Step 6

Apply Plumber's Putty and Install Sink Fixtures

Apply plumber’s putty to drain cutouts, working from the upper side of the sink. Insert and tighten each sink basket against the putty to make waterproof seals. Repeat the process to install the tap and faucet fixture. Clear excess putty.

Apply Waterproof Sealant and Position the Sink in the Countertop
Step 7

Apply Waterproof Sealant and Position the Sink in the Countertop

Apply a bead of silicon sealant around the sink’s lip to ensure a watertight bond. Position the sink over the countertop cutout and drop it into place. Clean off excess sealant to make a neat seal.

Attach the New Sink, Water Lines and Drain Components
Step 8

Attach the New Sink, Water Lines and Drain Components

Secure the sink to the counter. Attach both waterlines beneath the new sink. Apply pipe thread compound to the connecting threads on the drain components and tighten the compression nuts. Restart the hot- and cold-water supplies.