Building a Custom Laminate Countertop
A laminate countertop is generally made by placing a sheet of laminate or plastic on a slab of wood or fiberboard. There are many varieties of laminate tops available, both in patterns and the material used. A custom laminate countertop is a great utility addition to your kitchen, as any kind of kitchen work is made easier. Instead of purchasing a costly countertop from a home improvement center, make one over the weekend. Here's how.
Step 1: Initial Steps
Measure the dimensions of the base slab and mark the portion where the countertop is to be attached. Generally, a 25-inch deep counter top is ideal for most kitchens, although you can choose the size you desire. Note the dimensions of the cabinet that is to be set under the countertop. Double check the measurements.
Step 2: Cutting
Cut the plywood using a table saw that is pre-set to 25 inches on its guide fence as the width. Make sure the saw blade is several inches deeper than the plywood's thickness. Cut the appropriate size so that the countertop length is completely covered. The width of the cut you make should be 2 inches. After cutting the pieces for the front face of the countertop, cut equal pieces for the sides, making sure that they will be free from being butted against the walls. Make the cuts as neat as possible.
Step 3: Attaching
Evenly spread wood glue along the sides of the base of the countertop and the upper surface of the side that faces the wood pieces. Position the edge such that it is at a same level with the base’s upper portion. Once this alignment is made, attach them by driving nails at 10 to 12 inches intervals, such that the pieces that are edge facing are snugly secured to the base of the counter top.
Step 4: Marking Measurements
Check the length of the base again after the edge facing has been attached. This will be ¾ inch more than the measurement of the countertop before attaching the side pieces. Carefully mark this measurement on a sheet of laminate that is the same dimension as the uncut plywood sheet. Lay out the sheet on a flat surface like a table, so that there are no creases on any part. Make sure that the markings are made with a temporary marker or chalk line on the back side of the laminate sheet. Adjust the table saw’s guide fence to the width that is same as that of the counter top base and edge facing. Cut along the marked lines on the laminate sheet using the saw.
Step 5: Laminating
Spread laminating glue on the counter top base and top. Place the laminate on the counter top and make it smooth so that it perfectly clings on to the countertop surface. If any parts have extra laminate, trim it off using a saw. Make sure that the lamination is applied on the edge facing portions attached as well. Trim the extra laminate after setting it up in the same manner as above. Let the countertop remain undisturbed for a few hours before you use it.