End caps are integral to kitchen renovations wherein a new countertop is being installed. Note where the countertop will fit, since any exposed, unfinished edges need to be covered with end caps. Such edges are created because countertops are usually mechanically fitted and do not come in custom-made sizes. The degree of exposed surface of the countertop directly affects the number of end caps you will need to secure the edges.
Generally, manufacturers supply pre-shaped end caps to cover the countertop’s finished edges but end caps that are self-installed using the plastic laminate strips are regarded as the best in terms of durability and for lending a firm grip to the countertop. Installing end caps is a trouble-free task, as long as some basic instructions are followed.
Installing End Caps Along The Kitchen Countertop
Step 1: Turn the kitchen countertop on its head on a flat, dry surface. This is crucial for preserving the finish of a new countertop. Pour a long layer of wood glue along the edge of the countertop, where the end caps have to be installed.
Step 2: Upon the glued countertop surface, press the extended wooden strip for increasing the width of the countertop’s edge. Drill some screws into the wood strip. Generally, 4 to 6 screws are sufficient for most countertops. Turn over the countertop and ask someone to hold it in place.
Step 3: Using a paint brush, apply a layer of the contact adhesive along the sides of the countertop where the end caps have to be installed. Allow the glue to dry-out a bit, creating a thick, sticky layer.
Step 4: Place the end caps on the glued surface and lightly press them. Ensure that the end caps are evenly placed and don’t crowd each other. Using the seam roller, press down along the glued end caps. This is to ensure that any air bubbles that might have been trapped between the glued surfaces are forced out. Leave the glued end caps to dry for a few hours.
Step 5: Rub some petroleum jelly along the surface of the end caps. The jelly is useful as a lubricant to prevent friction or damage to the countertop’s laminate. Using your router, trim away the excess caps from the edge of the countertop. With the file, smoothen the small edges that are visible around the end caps. The best way is to file towards the countertop to ensure that the end caps do not chip. If there is any extra glue or jelly visible around the edges, remove them using the adhesive solvent.
WARNING: Petroleum jelly can stain clothes, so be careful what you wear while doing this DIY task.