How to Glue Laminate to a Countertop

Lead Image
  • 3-24 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15-265
What You'll Need
Sandpaper/buffing material
Contact cement
Dowel rods

Using glue to attach laminate to a countertop is quite straightforward. Laminate provides a very durable and waterproof work surface. This is perfect for kitchen countertops. Laminate will be installed over the existing countertop by using a type of glue. It is possible to put new laminate over old laminate and plywood.

Step 1 - Take Preparations

In order for the laminate to stick to the existing top, it will need to be prepared. A glossy shiny countertop is not desired. Buff and sand the surface until it is dull and very flat. Then clean up all of the dust so it does not get mixed into the glue.

Step 2 - Cut the Laminate

Measure all of the different countertop sections and cut out the laminate pieces to match the existing material. Use a jigsaw and leave a 1-inch overhang. This is done by adding 1 inch on all sides of the laminate pieces.

Step 3 - Use Contact Cement

Contact cement is the best glue to use to glue laminate because it will only stick to itself. Therefore, brush the cement onto the existing countertop and to the back of the laminate pieces. Let the cement dry a bit, say 15-20 minutes. The cement itself will not feel sticky, but will immediately bond with other contact cement. It is very important that the laminate pieces and the countertop do not touch each other. There are two different types of contact cement. Water-based cement will take a long time to dry though this is not flammable. Solvent-based contact cement will set very fast but is extremely flammable. Use caution while applying solvent-based cement and keep the area cool for 24 hours afterward.

Step 4 - Apply Countertop

Once the cement has dried a bit lay it onto the existing surface. Be very careful, as it can be difficult to move the countertop once the two cement sides are in contact. Use a rolling pin or another tool to roll over the laminate to get out any air bubbles and ensure that the laminate bonds flat.

Step 5 - Deal with the Overhang

The overhang is not necessary but it makes the job much easier by allowing for an exact fit. If the laminate is exactly the size of the counter then there is a very good chance that you will not achieve that perfect fit the first time. To avoid this, simply make the piece a bit bigger than necessary and then use a router to cut off any of the overhand.

Step 6 - Use Dowel Rods

Dowel rods can also be used to ensure the laminate is fit properly. Position the dowel rods from the front to the back and ensure that they span the entire length of the countertop. Set the laminate down on the dowel rods. Once the laminate is in the correct position, pull out the rods and roll over the laminate surface to secure it in place.

Step 7 - Use Weights

While contact cement will immediately bond, you can add some weight to the laminate surface for the first few hours. This will ensure that the laminate will completely bond together as well as prevent air bubbles.