How to Laminate a Countertop

installing countertop
  • 4-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Plastic laminate
Fine-tooth hand saw
Power sander
Steel square
Sanding block
Utility knife
Fine-tooth backsaw
Fine-tooth blade for power saw
Contact cement
Wooden mallet
Work gloves
Dowel rods
Hand cleaner
Power saw

This article will provide you with helpful information to cut not only the cost but also labor for your plastic laminate countertop project. Laminates are retailed in a wide variety of styles for many different purposes.

The general process for manufacturing laminate plastics is to add a resin to multiple paper layers which are subsequently bonded together into a hard surface. Read this article for advice on preparing the work area, sizing and laying laminates, and completing the countertop project.

Preparing the Surface

When purchasing materials, keep in mind that 1/16-inch laminate is generally preferred for flat surfaces while vertical projects require 1/32-inch material.

The workspace but he smoothed with sandpaper and free of debris before you begin work. Lay plywood on the surface as a base for the laminated plastic.

Cutting to Fit

Use a fine-tooth blade saw to cut material. Lay masking tape on the surface to prevent damage. Cut the boards so that they are slightly oversized. You can use a specially designed utility knife to trim the excess material.

Simply press the blade into the material and make a long cut through the top of the surface. Then repeat this motion until you make a clean cut through the entire sheet of laminate.

Applying the Material

Use contact cement to bond the laminated plastic to the underlying surface. After sanding the plyboard, apply the cement to both the surface and the laminate in order to form a strong bond. Apply the adhesive with a paintbrush.

Lay the sheets correctly on the first attempt in order to make the strongest surface, lay the sheets, and allow the cement to settle according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once the laminate and the underlying surface have dried, position the completed laminate material using wooden strips and dowel rods which are spaced every 12-inches.

Completing the Project

Once the surface is in place, remove the dowels and use a roller to eliminate air pockets. Use a roller to apply pressure to the newly laid sheets of laminated plastic in order to remove the air pockets.

Joint multiple laminate panels with a seam, which is formed by bonding the pieces at their ends. Complete the seams with wax paper, dowel rods, and some more cement. You can complete the edges with pre-designed molding, which is also bonded to the surface with cement. The edges should extend slightly beyond the surface.

To make the final touches, you can use either a file the edges or cut them to shape with a flush-cut and beveled blade. A guide may help use the blade properly. Use a special solvent to remove any excess cement.

Information in this article has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors.