Tips for Installing a Laminate Countertop Tips for Installing a Laminate Countertop
It has become more and more common to find a laminate countertop in kitchens and bathrooms nowadays. This is probably because they are easy to clean and you can find it in a wide choice of different patterns and colors. Keep in mind that a laminate countertop that has a solid color is one of the easiest to install and such countertops require only a little maintenance.
1 – Preparing the Project Area
Before you start the installation of your laminate countertop, make sure that you prepare the project area properly. Prepare several surfaces for the laminate and make sure that all surfaces are flat. Use a tape measure and a pencil to mark the maximum length required to cover your countertop’s wooden surface.
2 – Using the Router
Make sure that you have equipped the router with an appropriate laminate bit so that you will finally have an excellent result. Use a clamp to put the straightedge over the laminate and cut the first laminate length with your router, making sure that the router bit is away from the base of the router.
Repeat the same procedure for the other laminate lengths that you need to cut. Remember that if your countertop has a corner, measure on the legs of the countertop and pretend as if you intend to make an overlap between the countertop’s sections.
When you are going to cut the laminate for the depth of the countertop, add an extra inch to the actual measurement. Use a pencil to make a marking on the laminate, and then use a clamp to fix the straightedge to the laminate in order to make sure that you will make a straight cut. Finally, cut the laminate with the router.
3 – Applying Contact Cement
Use the router again as you did to cut the laminate lengths earlier, but this time cut 2-inch strips. Put them aside away from the remaining laminate because you will apply the strips to the wooden countertop’s edge.
Apply contact cement with a paintbrush onto the front sides of your countertop as well on the strips. Make sure that you let the contact cement dry enough until you see that the texture is a bit tacky.
4 – Laying the Laminate
Always start laying the laminate onto your countertop from a corner and on the front sides. Make sure that the strip is hanging over the upper and lower edges of the wood. Now use a rubber roller and a mallet to roll and tap the laminate gently.
Use the router to cut the laminate until it is smooth against the surface of the wood. You will now have an edge which is rough. Smoothen the strip’s upper edge with a belt sander until it is flat and level with the surface of the wooden countertop.
5 – Filing the Inner Corners
On the other hand, you cannot use the router for the inner corners. You need to utilize a flat file instead and apply some pressure with the file’s edge. You need to be very careful when using the flat file because you risk breaking the laminate under the surface of your countertop.