How to Make Plywood Countertops How to Make Plywood Countertops

There are many different materials that can be used to build kitchen countertops. Plywood is quite popular and is often used as a support underneath many other materials. Plywood is very durable even when wet, which makes it very common in the kitchen. Plywood is an inexpensive but durable option for countertops as they can take a lot of use and still look great when properly maintained.

Tools & Material:

  • ¼ inch thick plywood
  • 2 inch strips of the same plywood
  • Adhesive
  • Jigsaw or circular saw
  • Stack of books
  • Sealant
  • Stain
  • Beeswax

Step 1 – The Wood

The best type of plywood is veneer plywood. The thickness for a countertop should be ¼ of an inch. This is usually available for $1 a square foot. Maple and birch can be found sold in large boxes for under $50. It may also be possible to find some dark brown walnut or red cherry depending on what is available at your local lumberyard. It is also a good idea to purchase some 2 inch strips of the same wood in order to hide the cut sides of the countertop.

Step 2 – Remove the Sink

Depending on where your countertop is going it may be necessary to remove the sink and cook top. This is only for installation. Ensure that the water supply lines and drain stem will accommodate the plywood height.

Step 3 – Placing Seams

As you begin cutting, it is a good idea to try to place the seams well. Seams are best found at turns, breaks or narrow areas behind the cook top. Decide the best place for seams as you measure the different areas of the countertop.

Step 4 – Cutting

Use a jigsaw or circular saw to cut all of the wood to the correct lengths based on your measurements. When cutting, flip the wood so that you are cutting through the reverse side. This will minimize any chips to the veneer and produce a great finished surface.

Step 5 – Glue

Clean off the current countertop well. Apply a layer of high grab construction adhesive to the existing countertop and lay down the new one. Weigh down the panel with heavy objects such as stacks of books. To get everything flat rolling the plywood using something as basic as a rolling pin will help. If there are any tricky spots that are not adhering well then use 4 penny finishing nails to secure the new countertop. One the main panel is secure, glue on the 2 inch strips to any area that is showing a cut side.

Step 6 – Sealing & Staining

It is important to seal any edges of the cutouts for the sink and cook top. For the sink, a bead of silicone sealant around the edge will do when reinstalling the item. For additional protection, a satin stain can help to avoid any possible yellowing over time. Beeswax polish will also help protect the countertop.

Step 7 – A Base

Besides being a lovely countertop on its own, plywood countertops will function as the base for tiled countertops and other material. The grade of plywood used is different as veneer plywood is not necessary. This is because the plywood will be covered up. Once the plywood is installed, additional prep will be needed depending on what is going on top of the plywood.

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