what type of wood under formica countertop?


Old 04-21-10, 10:28 AM
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what type of wood under formica countertop?

I am getting ready to make a formica coutertop. What kind of wood should I glue the formica too? I don't really want to use particle board as that is one thing that I don't like about the prefab ones. I am thinking 3/4" ply wood. Let me know what you guys think.

Plus if you have any tips on making my own please let me know. It is going to be a staight top about 9 1/2 ft. long.

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Old 04-21-10, 12:38 PM
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It's always been my understanding that particle board is used under formica because the particle board is straight and flat [at least until it gets wet a few times] I would think regular plywood would be ok as long as you can make it flat/level enough for the formica to have a tight fit.
Old 04-21-10, 01:11 PM
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I agree with Marksr. Don't skimp on the plywood. Go with a cabinet grade so you will get a good 7 ply board and don't use PT as the moisture will adversely affect the adhesion of the contact cement. I would apply a 1x2 on the edge (glued and stapled) for rigidity and to have something to glue your laminate to make a downward return or front lip if you please. The back splash can be made separately and siliconed in place
Old 05-02-10, 04:13 PM
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I don't like particle bd anywhere on a cabinet,but it does have it's place under a laminate top. I do understand concerns about it getting wet. Plywood would be better in this case. However I have replaced laminated plywood tops due to the plys seperating,it happens. My observations with tops ruined by wetness is that by the time you see the tops swell you've got worse problems than the tops. But, to each his own.

If you like that lil stained wood border or a fully stained bullnose on the edge of the top's front use oak or whatever your matching for the 1x2 chandler spoke of. Laminate over the bullnose,then route through the laminate with a profile of choice,sand,stain,and poly. The same edge treatment can be done around the backsplash with 3/4x3/4 pieces. Try a sample piece,it's not that hard to do. Think it thru when routing. You may not want to route the whole edge,in the corners for example.

A trick for tops with backsplashes if your wall is crooked (which would be most of them) is to scribe them in. Make the top 1/4"+ deeper than the cabinet,run several strips of masking tape along the back of the top,shove it against the wall,scribe onto the tape,cut out the humps to that line (a beltsander works good here),then lay the top back on to check the fit. Now with the tape still in place push the backsplash tight along the wall as you mark the tape in front of the backsplash. Countersink and srew the backsplash to the top from the bottom side following the scribed line on top,then cut the masking tape with a utility knife and pull away. You now have tight fits between the top and backsplash,wall and top,and wall and backsplash.

Sometimes with bad walls those wood edges make a handy place to pre-drill and coutersink an 8d finish nail into a stud,to really suck things tight. With the top and backsplash drawn together you won't need that ugly bead of silicone or colorfill smeared into the joint. I still use a lil colorfill for a seal,but it's a very small bead that's hard to see.
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