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Revive your kitchen with new laminate countertops. They’re available in a variety of colors, tones, textures and patterns to ensure you find a look that suits your style. What’s more, since they’re moderately simple to introduce, you’ll get a good deal on establishment costs.
Before You Buy
First, measure your cabinet depth. Standard depth is 23 3/4-inches. To check the profundity, measure from the back divider for exactness. If you want a bit of overhang – the standard is 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches – add that to the measurement.
Next, measure your current backsplash height Your new top should clear any outlets and window trim. It should also cover unfinished areas, unless you plan to refinish and repaint the wall area.
Finally, check to see if your walls are fairly straight with a square and level. A little bow is okay. You can trim the countertop to fit. Some cases might require a custom top. Also, check if the walls meet at 90 degrees.
Before you begin, remove cabinet drawers and doors, and turn off the electricity to the kitchen. Changing a kitchen countertop is fun and exciting, however the installation process can be a bit complicated. If you don’t want to hire someone to install the countertop in your place, you can follow some steps to do it yourself. First you have to properly uninstall the countertop that you are going to replace. Then, make sure that the new laminate, wood or granite countertop fits securely in place before holding it on the kitchen cabinet.
Step 1: Use a compass to straighten the edge of the countertop. Place the new laminate worktop where the previous one was and make sure it is as level as possible with the wall. Find the part of the new dashboard that separates more from the wall and adjusts the compass to this exact width. Draw a line along the back edge of the dashboard with the compass open to the same width.
Step 2: Sand the edge of the countertop with a belt sander. Remove the pieces from the countertop. Use a belt sander to sand the edge of the dashboard along the entire line you have drawn.
Step 3: Join the edges with a sealer. Apply a thin layer of silicone sealant to all edges of the countertop that will be connected to other parts. Press the joined edges for several seconds or for as long as the sealant instructions indicate. Once the countertop pieces are glued and pressed, place the entire back of the countertop in place.
Step 4: Place and adjust miter presses. Make sure the countertop is level against the wall and use a miter press to adjust and hold it in place. Use a wrench to first adjust the presses that are furthest from the dashboard and then those that are closest.
Step 5: Seal the joints with silicone. Use a silicone sealant to fill the joints between the dashboard and the wall. This will help keep the countertop in place.
Step 6: Remove the disposal and drain trap and disconnect the water supply and drain lines to the area. Take off the sink brackets and pull out the sink.
Step 7: Cut the sealant along the backsplash. Remove the corner bolts and screws from underneath the countertop holding it down to the cabinets. In some cases, you’ll also have to cut the glue. Also, check to make sure your dishwasher isn’t fastened to the underside of the countertop.
Step 8: Pull a little on the old top; it should come off in one piece. You can use the old countertop as a template for cutting your new laminate countertop.
Step 9: Cut the new countertop to length on the back side using a fine-tooth saw blade. File the end smooth, filing in only one direction.
Step 10: Check to see that the cabinet drawers will clear the front edge of your new laminate countertop If not, you can join to develop strips underneath the ledge. Some laminate comes with these strips. You can also make your own with 1-by-2 pieces of lumber. Hold them on the cabinets, drill pilot holes and attach the strips with nails or short wood screws about every 2 feet, staying 2 inches from the ends.
Step 11: Now, check the fit. Run a piece of tape along the top of the back splash to be marked later and set the countertop in place. Try to get the mitered corner as tight as possible and tighten the miter bolts.
Step 12: You’ll probably notice a gap along the wall. Set a compass to the width of the widest gap and scribe a line along the back edge. Take off the new counter-top and sand to the line with a belt sander. File any burrs, filing in a single direction away from the surfaces. Recheck the fit, making any additional adjustments.
Step 13: Add return splashes where the counter meets the walls. Add end trim and finish where the counter meets the walls and where it overhangs. If you have an iron-on end to cover exposed edges, stick the piece on, hold a damp cloth over it and press with an iron. The edges can be trimmed and touched up with a file.
Step 14: If you need to make a cut-out for the sink and range top, use the old laminate countertop as a guide. In case you’re introducing another sink or range top, utilize the format that comes in the crate.
On the off chance that your sink or range top didn’t accompany a format, but the thing topsy turvy over the new ledge. Center it and trace the outline. Trace a band 1/2 inch around the edge on the inside of the outline.
Step 15: Your cut will be on the 1/2-inch line inside of the template edge. Place masking tape around the edges to protect the countertop. Drill a few 1/2-inch starter holes in each corner of your guide. Cut out the piece completely, being careful not to let it fall. File any rough edges until smooth so you won’t cut your hand or get splinters installing the range top or sink.
Step 16: Before you attach your new laminate countertop to the base cabinets, you might want to add extra support near the edges, especially along the back.
Step 17: To secure your new laminate countertop, drill through the build-up strips or add angle brackets inside your cabinets. Set them just beneath the highest point of the strips. Position the countertop, starting with the longest piece. Apply the recommended adhesive at the miter and snug up the miter bolts. Tap the seam with scrap wood and a mallet to get it even.
Step 18: Tighten the miter bolts all the way, avoiding cracking the substrate. Clean up any excess glue. Use #13 Panhead screws to secure the top to the brackets.
Step 19: Finish by setting your sink and range, applying silicone around the edges and back wall. After you connect your plumbing, it’s time to install your cabinet drawers and doors.
Step 20: Step back and admire your updated kitchen.