Laminate is a popular choice for countertops because it is simple, economical, durable, and easy to clean. It can be bought in two-foot intervals from 4 feet to 12 feet. Unlike other countertops, the top coat of laminate is thin so it easily chips off when cut. Although it may seem difficult, cutting laminate countertop is fairly easy when you know the right tools and strategies to use. Listed below are suggested steps to take when cutting laminate countertop.
Step 1: Prepare for the cut. Grab a jigsaw, a circular saw with a kerf carbide blade that has at least 40 teeth, a rip fence (or wood), masking tape, sanding block or belt sander, 220-grit sandpaper and safety goggles and gloves for eye and hand protection. A jigsaw will suffice if you don’t have a circular saw, but it won’t be as easy.
Step 2: Mark the length of the laminate you want to cut.
Step 3: Prevent the laminate from chipping by placing masking tape on the cutting line. It is also advisable to put masking tape over the whole counter or on the parts that may be affected by the saw base to prevent your counter from scratching.
Step 4: Attach the rip fence to the saw and use it as a guide when cutting the laminate. If you don’t have one, you can use a piece of wood as long as it is securely fastened to the counter.
Step 5: Set the saw blade’s depth to 1/8 inch deeper than the thickest area of your counter. A thin carbide blade is advisable because it can push through the counter easier thus producing a smoother cut.
Step 6: Use the circular saw to slowly cut through the laminate by gently and steadily pushing the saw forward. For best results, it is advisable to put the blade into full speed before cutting or to practice cutting on an unneeded part of your counter. For example, if you are cutting 1 inch of your counter, you should practice cutting on ½ inch first.
Step 7: If your counter is stuck to the wall, the circular saw’s base may prevent you from cutting the laminate all the way. A jig saw can be used to cut this part. It is best to use either a fine tooth metal cutting blade or a laminate cutting blade. It is also advisable to cut a little less than your desired length and then just sand the remaining laminate away. This will ensure a smoother edge for your countertop.
Step 8: With the masking tape still in place, sand the edge of your countertop. To ensure that the laminate is not pulled from its base, make sure to use downward strokes when sanding. Hold the sander parallel to the countertop’s side.
Step 9: Remove the masking tape.
Step 10: For the finishing touches, use a metal file to file the edge also in a downward direction.
Step 11: Use the sandpaper with the sanding block to round and smoothen the edges. This will remove any chipping or sharp edges that may occur while the laminate is being cut.
To prevent injuries, always remember to wear safety goggles and gloves when working on your countertop.
Laminate is a great addition to your countertop, because it is very durable, economical, and easy to clean. However, it can chip easily and is therefore difficult to cut. As you can see from this article, cutting laminate countertop is not as difficult as it seems. In just a few short steps, you can apply laminate, remodel, or put in a new appliance in your home. You don’t have to spend a lot and hire a professional just to cut your laminate countertop. In fact, following the aforementioned steps carefully and correctly will result in a countertop that looks brand new.