How to Replace Formica Countertops

  • 4-12 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-750
What You'll Need
Wrecking bar
Claw hammer
Miter saw
Countertop wood edging
Replacement countertop
1/4 or 1/2-inch plywood
Countertop glue

Formica countertops can be replaced for another countertop by following the steps and tips provided in this article. You can replace your formica countertop with tiles, another formica countertop, concrete or any other kitchen countertop surface you like. You should use whatever material that your budget and taste calls for. Get a sense of the different costs for different surface types before deciding.

Step 1: Remove Existing Formica Countertop

Take all items off the formica countertop in preparation of the demolition. You will need a wrecking bar and hammer to remove the formica countertop from the plywood underlay. Since the formica is attached with glue, this process may take some time depending on how much glue was used to attach the formica to the plywood.

Use the wrecking bar to wedge the loose area of the formica countertop and pull it up using the hammer. Pry all of the countertop up and place it in a garbage can or container.

Step 2: Replace Damaged Plywood Sheets

If the plywood is heavily glued, you may be unable to avoid damaging it while removing the old formica countertop. If this is indeed the case, remove the plywood and replace it with new sheets of 1/4 or 1/2-inch plywood purchased at a home improvement center.

Step 3: Select Replacement Countertop

While at the home improvement center, select a replacement countertop. The replacement can be from a variety of materials from paper to concrete and everything in between. The type of replacement countertop that you choose will be driven mostly by the budget that you have available for the project. Make sure that you take measurements of the countertop area being replaced in order to have the new countertop cut to the appropriate size.

Step 4: Prepare Countertop Surface

Use countertop glue (or adhesive material recommended for the type of surface that you purchase) to prepare the plywood for the new countertop. Spread the glue evenly and make sure that the entire surface area is covered. Wherever possible, try not to use too much adhesive on the plywood but the appropriate amount to adhere the new countertop surface to the plywood.

Step 5: Install New Countertop

Position the new countertop surface over the plywood and press down. Use a rag to clean up any adhesive that may have oozed out from the underneath the countertop. Use large clamps to secure the countertop to the plywood, allowing at least 24 hours for the glue to properly adhere and dry.

Remove the clamps after 24 hours and wipe the countertop surface clean. Pull on the edges of the countertop to make sure that the glue has bonded and the countertop is properly attached. Once this has been complete, clean up the entire work area and replace the items removed from the old formica countertop. You are now ready to enjoy your new countertop.