The newest trend in home kitchens is the solid surface countertop. Homeowners choose these countertops over other types because of the variety of styles, patterns, and materials available. In most cases, homeowners hire professionals to install them, but if you'd like to avoid this expense by doing the job yourself, here are 6 steps you can take to install your new countertop.
Remove Old Countertop and Sink
Before installing your new countertop there are several things you'll need to do to prepare for it. Start by removing your old countertop. Remove screws you'll find inside the cabinets on top of which your countertop is resting. To do this, you'll need to remove the screws that fasten the old countertop to the cabinet. Shut off water to the sink, disconnect plumbing and remove the sink.
Check Cabinets for Damage and Level Surface
With your old countertop removed, this is the best time to check your counter. If it's not level, or if it's damaged, this will be the best time to level and repair it before the new solid surface countertop is installed.
Add Necessary Cabinet Supports
If your cabinets are old, or if you have an empty space such as that in which your automatic dishwasher fits, you'll most likely need to add supports that can help bear some of the new countertop's weight. You can add these supports by screwing them into the wall behind the cabinets. Be sure you're sinking the screws into wall studs.
Attaching the New Countertop
Place the new countertop on top of the counter and check to be sure it's resting securely. After raising the front of your countertop, squeeze out a bead of caulk on the top edge of the counter where it will meet the undersurface. Use your level to be sure the countertop is lying level against the caulk. If you need to adjust for level, press down gently on the countertop so that it forces some of the caulk to spread and allows it to settle until it's level.
Secure Connections for Separate Pieces of Countertop
If your countertop comes in more than one piece, apply tinted epoxy to the edges that will be joined together. Apply hot glue at the corners of the countertop where separate pieces will unite. Connect clamps and tighten them so they hold the countertop pieces together while the epoxy and glue harden.
Cleanup and Finish
When the epoxy, caulk, and glue have set, clean off any excess. Remove the clamps and attach your sink and plumbing. Caulk the edges of the sink where it meets the countertop. When this caulking if set, clean off any excess, and your solid surface countertop should be ready to use.