A countertop base can just be ordered from a conventional or online store and is available in various styles and customizations. You can have wood, custom marble, laminate inserts and overlays, or mirror bases that will surely fit your style of countertop. However, such a base can easily be build at home, and you can create it according to a design that you prefer.
Building a Base for a Tile Countertop
If you are intending to have a countertop made from tiles, you can make a base for it with the use of ¾ inch plywood. Make your base equal to the size of the base cabinet on which you will be creating the countertop. Your plywood base should be laid over with cement backer board that is ½ inch thick. Make sure that the countertop base is level before attaching it to the base cabinets. If it is necessary, you can use strips of plywood that are 3 inches thick, but they should be sturdy enough to support the countertop weight.
Preparing a Countertop Base
If you are going to use a laminated material as a base for your countertop, you can prepare for tiling by working on the surface with sandpaper. If you have another kind of material as a base though, you need to take it out and replace it with plywood that is ¾ inch thick. Take the dimensions of the old countertop and transfer it to the new plywood base. Cut it according to your desired size and design with the use of a table or circular saw.
Countertop Base for Granite
If you are going to make a granite countertop, you need to have a template of the countertop base. This is the one that you will bring to the granite supplier so that he can cut your granite according to your desired size and shape. Tell the supplier what kind of finish you want to have, as well as the edging that you are going to use. The granite will be laid directly on top of your countertop base, so make sure that it is strong enough to support the weight, as well as the other things that frequently get placed on top of a countertop.
Making Your Countertop Base Strong Enough
You can use ¾ inch plywood for your countertop base if you are not going to use granite or other heavy finishes and you will not sit or stand or place heavy groceries on top of your countertop. To make your countertop base sturdy enough for you to stand on when you replace the kitchen light, use a couple of layers of ¾ inch plywood with a ¼ inch backerboard. To make sure that your backerboard will be strong enough to support granite and to fill up any gaps in between the material and the plywood, use a thinset.
Making a Countertop Base for Laminates
If you are going to use laminates as a finish for your countertop base, you should clean and sand its surface very well. If there is old varnish or paint that is on the material, take them off before applying the laminate. Hi density particle boards are the usual material for commercial countertop base, but you can make do with regular particle boards as well as plywood.