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» Install a Laminate Kitchen Countertop

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Install a Laminate Kitchen Countertop
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Today, laminate countertops can give you the look of natural stone at a fraction of the cost. And, you can easily install your own laminate kitchen countertop.
Today, laminate countertops can give you the look of natural stone at a fraction of the cost. And, you can easily install your own laminate kitchen countertop.
Kitchen countertops can get expensive quick, but it’s possible to do the job without completely emptying your bank account if you plan it correctly. Choose a low-cost countertop material like laminate or ceramic tile and consider installing it yourself.

The process of installing a post-form laminate countertop (one that doesn’t have seams or edging) is very easy for any homeowner with even minimal do-it-yourself home improvement skills.

You can pick one up at a home improvement store or, if you’re looking for a unique color or finish, you might need to check with a countertop manufacturer.

Follow these simple steps to select and install your countertop:

  1. Measure the existing countertop, or if you don’t have one in place already, measure the cabinets. Then disconnect the plumbing and remove the sink. Remove the drawers. If there are any electrical appliances under the counter, shut off the power.
  2. Remove the existing countertop by taking out the screws that attach it to the cabinets and cutting the caulk that attaches it to the wall with a utility knife.
  3. Pick up your cabinets in the correct size. If you will have to join two separate countertop pieces at a corner, have the end cuts made for you and ask them to clamp the pieces together. This will insure that those ends fit together without gaps. If you have to make the cuts yourself, clamp a straight edge to insure that you’re going to cut straight and then make the cut with a jigsaw.
  4. You may need to attach what’s called an “endcap” to the end of the counter if it isn’t capped. An endcap kit is the easiest way to do this. Follow the kit instructions; generally you’ll need wood glue, brads, and an iron to attach it.
  5. Put the countertop into place and make sure that it’s both straight and level. Make sure that the cabinets and drawers open and close; it would be very unfortunate to find out after the installation is complete that your new countertop keeps the drawers from opening.
  6. If your countertop has a built-in backsplash, check to make sure that it’s flush with the wall. Sand down the back as necessary to make it lie flat against the wall. If your new backsplash is smaller than the old one, sand down and repaint the newly exposed area.
  7. If you need to cut out an area for a self-rimming sink, set the sink upside down on the counter and trace it. Drill a pilot hole inside the line and cut out the area with a jigsaw.
  8. If you weren’t able to get the store to the pieces together to make a corner, use silicone caulk and hold or clamp them together until it dries. Then install miter take-up bolts under the counter. (Ask for them when you have the pieces cut at the store.)
  9. Fasten the counter to the cabinets with wallboard screws. Make sure that the screws aren’t too long to crack the laminate.
  10. Seal the backsplash to the wall with silicone caulk and run a wet finger over it to smooth it.
  11. Install your sink and hook up the plumbing.

Comments

6 comments
  1. Shelly Tales
    March 17, 2009

    I was really unsure of replacing my counter tops myself..until I read your article. Wish me luck, I think I can do it. Thanks for the detailed site. Shelly

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  2. JamesEnter Your Name
    April 15, 2009

    Enter Your Comment: I purchased preformed, laminated replacement countertops with plans to make the necessary butt-joint (cabinet is 16′) at a midway point under the sink. A cabinet person informed that I could not join pieces under the sink. Can you tell me why not?

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  3. K√łkkener
    September 15, 2009

    wow that is so good, thanks for sharing it.

    Leave a reply
  4. William Dorrity
    March 6, 2010

    Shelly Tales said, “until I read your article.” I recommend she read others also.

    Leave a reply
  5. David
    September 8, 2010

    I don’t know you or you me, and I’m sure you mean well with you written instructions.But if you really wanted to be helpful you would put out a step by step video showing people how to cut the preformed laminate , from cutting a 45 degree cut on the ends to cutting a opening to putting in a kitchen sink. Or don’t you know that most people can read anything but gets a better understand of things by watching it done before their eyes, I mean if your not going to put out a vidieo, At lease refer people to a site that wiill. How ever I commend you for efford to help, but think about what I said.

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  6. frances
    October 14, 2011

    Joining 2 pieces of countertop at the sink area weakens the support needed for the weight of the sink; especially when in use it is filled with water and therefore much heavier.

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