How to Trim a Laminate Countertop

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 60-300
What You'll Need
Laminate trimmer
Masking tape
Circular saw
Pencil and measuring tape
Metal file

In your installation of laminate countertops, you will need to know how to properly trim laminate to correctly size and install your countertops. Most DIY enthusiasts can accomplish the installation of laminate countertops without difficulty. Laminate countertops are attractive and create a rich and distinctive look. These countertops add an eye-catching feature and instantly dress up a room. When installing these countertops, one of the most important aspects to know is how to trim and properly size the laminate.

With a Laminate Trimmer

If you have access to a laminate trimmer, you can simply and easily trim your laminate to the desired size. Simply roll the laminate trimmer over the edge of the countertop and the trimmer will create the perfect, smooth cut for you.

Without a Laminate Trimmer

If you do not have a laminate trimmer, do not worry. You can still easily trim your laminate with other tools.

Step 1 - Setup Saw

For this project, it is best to use a blade on your circular saw that is designed for fine cuts that has a narrow kerf and carbide tips. Install this blade onto your circular saw.

Step 2 - Mark Cut Line

Using the pencil and measuring tape as a straight edge, you need to mark your cut line. Make certain your line is straight and dark enough on the laminate for you to see through tape.

Step 3 - Tape the Cut Line

Once your cut line is drawn, you need to apply masking tape directly over the cut line. The masking tape will protect the laminate and prevent chipping while you are cutting, so the side of the laminate you are keeping is not damaged by the saw or other tools. Redraw your cut line on top of the tape so that you can clearly see it while cutting.

Step 4 - Cut the Laminate

Now you are ready to use the circular saw to cut the laminate. When cutting, move slowly and steadily across the laminate to keep your cut smooth and straight.

Step 5 - File the Edges

Next, you can file the edges of the laminate countertop using the metal file. You want to file slowly and just a little at a time. When filing, always file in a downward motion to prevent chipping the top of the laminate. File the edges until they are free from any sharp points or shards.

Step 6 - Sand Until Smooth

The final step in trimming the laminate countertops is to smooth the edges. You can use the sandpaper for this task. Rub the filed edges slowly and easily to create a buffed and smooth surface along the entire cut edge. Again, apply the sandpaper in a downward direction just as with the file to prevent chipping or sanding of the laminate. Once you have completed the sanding and the laminate is smooth, you can remove any tape that is on the laminate countertop.