Building a Custom Laminate Countertop

Lead Image
  • 3-10 hours
  • Advanced
  • 200-1,500
What You'll Need
4-by-8 feet plywood
Tape measure
Marker
Table saw
Laminate and wood Glue
Laminate sheet
Router

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 countertop 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 - Cut

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 the countertop length is completely covered. The width of the cut you make should be two inches. After cutting the pieces for the front face of the countertop, cut equal pieces for the sides, making sure they will be free from being butted against the walls. Make the cuts as neat as possible.

Step 3 - Attach

man installing laminate countertop

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 the 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 the pieces that are edge facing are snugly secured to the base of the counter top.

Step 4 - Mark 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 there are no creases on any part. Make sure 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 the 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 - Laminate

Spread laminating glue on the counter top base and top. Place the laminate on the counter top and make it smooth so it perfectly clings on to the countertop surface. If any parts have extra laminate, trim it off using a saw. Make sure 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.