Formica countertops are one of the easiest to install on the market. Making sure that they are correctly installed can be a bit of a chore, but once they are put on, they are easy to maintain and replace. When putting your countertop in, it might be a good idea to have a hand, so get some buddies round, and you should have a great Formica kitchen countertop in less than a day.
As well as being quick and easy to install, Formica is also a very cost-effective way of covering your counters. It's cheaper than buying granite or slate countertops, and you won't usually have to bring in professional assistance to get your Formica countertops in place.
Step 1 - Measure the Tops
Measure the countertop to make sure that it fits correctly. If the Formica countertops do not quite fit against the walls (walls may be misshapen, or tiles may be slightly out-standing against the wall), then you should use a scribe file to strip the Formica countertops down slightly. Repeat until all the countertops fit.
Step 2 - Make Holes for the Fittings
You may need to make holes for the sink and faucet attachments, for the cooker if you have a range and for any other fixed equipment in the kitchen.
Step 3 - Install the Countertops
With your friend's help, slide the Formica countertops into place. While he holds it steady, screw the tops into place. You can do this by screwing from underneath the countertop, through the sides of the cupboards or support, and then through to the middle of the Formica countertops. Be careful not to screw right through to the top of the Formica, or you will have an unsightly screw sticking through your countertop.
Step 4 - Replace Fittings
Replace all the fittings that have been removed to install the Formica countertops. Wipe the top of the Formica with an alcohol-based cleaner to get the appearance just right.
Step 5 - Cleaning the Countertops
Once you have your Formica countertops in place, a good idea is to 'refinish' them in the color and style of your kitchen. You can do this by wiping the counters with alcohol, sanding the Formica down and then adding an oil-based sealer or primer to it.
If you are inserting the countertop in an awkward position, such as an L or U shape, it's a good idea to get several pairs of hands to assist you.
Formica is also very easy to replace, so if you change the color or decor of your kitchen, it is a simple matter to rip up the old counters, and update them with new Formica countertops.
If you are planning to use the Formica countertops regularly (to prepare meals, for example), then it may be worth investing in a wax or sealant to cover the surface of the countertop. This will help to limit damage caused by chopping or exposure to hot pans. Formica protection should be available at local home improvement stores.