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How to Make a Laminate Counter Top and Install It


Build a new laminate kitchen countertop with bullnose edging and replace the sink to update your kitchen decor.

Update your kitchen by building a new particle board base covered with attractive laminate with matching bullnose edging. Removal of the entire countertop and sink is required. Replacing the sink with a new stainless steel or porcelain model is no extra work, but it will provide extra value in enhancing your kitchen and bringing it into the current decade.

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Prying the existing countertop
Step 1

Remove Existing Countertops, Backsplashes and Fixtures

Remove existing countertops, backsplashes, the sink and its plumbing, and below-counter appliances. Use a putty knife, pry bar, utility knife, hammer, and cordless driver, but be careful not to mark the existing walls or tile.

Tracing the original countertop
Step 2

Trace the Old Countertops onto the Fiberboard

Using the original countertop sections as templates, trace their exact size and shape onto 3/4-inch thick medium density fiberboard (MDF). Once the old pieces are traced for the new MDF blanks, they may be discarded.

Using a jigsaw
Step 3

Cut the Blanks with a Circular Saw and Jigsaw

Place two-by-fours underneath the MDF sheet to support it while you use a metal straight-edge as a guide to cut the blanks out with a circular saw. Insets and other shape details should be cut with a jigsaw.

Securing MDF cleats with glue and screws
Step 4

Reinforce Pieced Blanks with MDF Cleats and Double the Edges

Glue the blanks' edges together, clamping them until the glue dries. Working from the bottom, use glue and countersunk screws to secure MDF cleats across joints as reinforcement and along the forward edges to make a double-thickness lip.

Transferring measurements
Step 5

Transfer the Countertop Blank Dimensions to the Laminate with Allowance

Transfer the blanks' dimensions to the laminate with a 1-inch allowance to overhang on all sides. Cut laminate panels for tops and thin strips for hidden edges, scoring the laminate with a carbide-tipped tool and breaking it along the score-line.

Using a J-Roller
Step 6

Apply Contact Adhesive on Both Sides and Press in Place

Apply two coats of contact adhesive to the blank surfaces and one coat to the laminate, beginning with the hidden edges. Let the adhesive dry. Position the laminate, pressing each piece firmly in contact with the blank with a J-roller.

Trimming the edges
Step 7

Route the Edges of the Laminate from Left to Right

Trim the allowance from the edges with a laminate trimmer/router. Hold the trimmer perfectly flat against the laminate, moving from left to right. Repeat this process for all the top panels.

Step 8

Join the Decorative Edging and Countertop with Dados and Glue

Route a dado into the exposed countertop edges to fit the wooden tongue on the back of the decorative laminate strips and miter the ends for corners. Brush the dado, tongue and adjoining surfaces with glue and press place.

Applying clear caulk
Step 9

Secure Countertops and Apply Caulking to Waterproof Joints

Screw countertops to support brackets. Apply construction adhesive to the backsplashes, pressing them into place. Squeeze a bead of white silicon caulking along the backsplash-tile joint, but use clear caulking at the countertop-backsplash joint. Smooth the caulking. Replace the appliances.

Re-attaching the plumbing
Step 10

Install the New Sink and Reattach the Plumbing

Tracing the sink upside down along the countertop. Draw a second line 1/4 inch inside the original outline as the cutting line. Drill starter holes at each corner and cut the opening out with a jigsaw. Reattach the plumbing.


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