Kitchen Remodeling - Applying Laminate to Countertops Kitchen Remodeling - Applying Laminate to Countertops
1. When spreading the adhesive for the counter top, it is most easily done with a paint tray and a mohair-covered paint roller. Lay the cut plastic laminate on the floor on top of newspapers and roll the contact cement on, covering the entire surface. Apply a slightly thicker coat of cement near the edges. Next, cover the counter surface and allow both to dry about 15 minutes or until the brown paper will not stick to the adhesive.
2. Wood dowels work better to keep the laminate from sticking to the cemented counter surface than brown paper when laying the counter top. Place them at one foot intervals. Then lay the laminate, adhesive side down, on the wood dowels. Put the factory edge against the backsplash and set the tip of the diagonal cut into the comer. This corner is where you will begin.
3. Pull out the wood strip nearest the corner while pressing the laminate into position. Again, be sure the laminate is exactly where you want it. Use a sweeping motion so no air bubbles are trapped beneath the laminate. Work along the counter, pulling out strips of wood and pressing down the laminate. Then, immediately roll the surface with your rolling pin or hand roller, applying extra pressure near the edges.
4. When placing the second piece, make certain the diagonal seam at the corner is very tight and roll the seam thoroughly.
5. If the laminate fails to form a bond or creates a bubble at some point, place a piece of the brown wrapping paper over the spot and place a hot iron (set for cotton) on to of the paper until the laminate feels hot to the touch. The heat should soften the contact cement enough to regain some of its stickiness. Then use the roller again with a firm, steady pressure until the laminate has cooled.
6. Before router trimming the counter top, put masking tape around the newly laminated edges so as not to mar them. Router off the excess as you did with the edges, moving the router from left to right. Then, replace the bit with a 22 degree bevel bit and bevel the seam at the top of the counter moving, as always, left to right.
Tip: Practice this technique on some scrap before doing the final project.
7. Finish the bevels with a 14-inch single cut mill file. Apply pressure on the downward stroke. Check each angle with your finger tip to assure there are no rough edges that may later result in cracks. Inside corners are particularly prone to cracking if they are not filed smooth.