How to Cut Laminate for a Countertop

What You'll Need
Masking Tape
Metal File
Carbide Tipped Saw Blade
Circular Saw
Carbide-tipped Scoring Tool

Learning how to cut laminate countertop is the first step in installing a countertop laminate. Laminated countertops are low maintenance and are available for purchase at your local home improvement store in a variety of designs and color schemes. The lamination of the kitchen countertop is a easy do-it-yourself project whether you are building a new kitchen or re-modeling your existing one. The following steps will help you cut laminate successfully to create a beautiful countertop.

Step 1: Measuring the Laminate to the Countertop Dimensions

The measurement to be used for the laminate is that of the countertop proportion. There should be an allowance allotted of about 1 inch to extend over the edge. Mark the cutting line on the laminate with a straight edge using a pencil. Let the carbide-tipped scoring tool trace over the cutting line with the heavy duty metal carpenter’s square as a guide to make deep marks. 

Step 2: Breaking the Laminate

Hold the laminate for the kitchen countertop with both hands and then cut the piece along the score line neatly. The cut should be done in such a way that no unnecessary breakage happens to the edges of the laminate piece. 

 Step 3: Trimming the Laminate

The laminate can be glued to the kitchen countertop. From the allotted excess laminate hanging from the edges, cut a 1-inch overhang with the use of laminate trimmer. The trimmer should just be rolled back and forth along the edges of the countertop. While rolling the trimmer onto the laminate, the base should be laid flat so that trimming will be accurate. In cutting the laminate, a circular saw to use is another option. The blade of the saw should have at least 40 teeth to give the edges a clean finish. The blade should be positioned at the thickest part of the countertop and slowly start sawing with a steady movement.  

Step 4: Filing and Sanding

Sanding the countertop is important to create a smooth finish. The rough surfacing of the laminated countertop must be filed. A moderately rough metal file is suggested to be used to do the sanding work. It is suggested that the work direction is downwards. This will protect the countertop from being lifted. The rest of the edges should be smoothened using fine grit sandpaper. Sanding should be along the cut edges of the laminate

It is important that after the filing and sanding of the laminated countertop its edges; the whole renovated area should be cleaned. Dab a soft cloth with a mild polish cleaner and wipe this all over the laminated area. Make sure that the countertop surfaces are cleaned of any dirt or stain that come in contact with it. This way the stains do not stick for long and would easily be removed.