Tips for Installing Laminate Countertops – Post Formed

Placing new laminate countertops – post formed, sink and faucet are among the least expensive upgrades to a kitchen you can do with the most return. This can make the kitchen look new.

Using these countertops can be the easiest to install and the least messy IF the application is next to the wall and has one 45 degree angle (or no angle) and does not require anything out of the ordinary.

The preparation work on the base cabinets is the same. Level and fit tightly together in the correct location. Make sure that you leave enough room to insert the range between the finished laminate countertops and enough height to put the dishwasher under the finished countertop.

One area I have experienced trouble with is the spacing between the lower post formed edge and the top of the drawer. It can be a real finger pincher. The post formed edge hangs down ¾”. Measure from the top of the cabinet to the top of the drawer and if it is less that the thickness of your finger add a spacer.

As you can see from the end-view drawing below, the rounded edge and built in backsplash are a major plus for installation.

I like to add a half inch spacer to the top of the base cabinet, this way my fingers do not get pinched by the drawers or the dishwasher. All I do is add a 3” or 4” wide piece of plywood around the edge and across all top railings of the cabinets, flush with the cabinet frame edge.

I like to use Sumo glue as it is fast setting, almost impossible to pull apart and it is waterproof. Use sparingly as it expands when it dries.

All that is left to do at this point is cut the hole for the sink. Place the sink upside down where you want it. Trace around the outside with a marker. Remove the sink. Cut 5/8” INSIDE this line or whatever your sink manufacturer recommends.

Install the kitchen faucet BEFORE placing the sink in the hole. It’s easy at this point.

Follow the sink manufacturer recommendations about sealant under the self rimming sink, some want sealant, others want plumbers putty, others want nothing. My theory is put something to keep liquids from going under the sink.

There you have it.

Dave Altman

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