How to Install Laminate Countertops

How to Install Laminate Countertops

New laminate countertops are an affordable
way to update an old kitchen. Today’s laminate tops are stylish, available in several colors,
AND can be installed by the average DIYer. Here are a few things to check before buying
your top. First, measure your cabinet depth. To check
length, measure along the back wall for accuracy. Account for any overhangs, too, typically
about ¾- of an inch to an inch. Next, check backsplash height. Your new top
will need to clear any outlets and window trim. Also, you’ll need to finish wall areas
that will show. Lastly, check to see if your walls are fairly
straight with a square and level. A little bow is ok. You can trim the countertop to
fit. Some cases might require a custom top. If you not sure, we can do the install for
you. Visit for details. If you haven’t already removed the old countertop
do it now. Shut off and disconnect the electric and plumbing.
Take off the sink brackets and pull it out. To take off the counter, detach it from the
walls and cabinets. Pull a bit and it should come loose. If you’re installing new cabinets
like we are, this is the time to do it. Then, once you have your new counter, you can cut
the top to length. Mask the finished side where the cut line will be. Flip the counter
over and mark the length. DOUBLE CHECK your measurements.
Attach a guide to keep your cut straight. Make the cut on the BACKSIDE using a saw with
a fine-tooth blade, then file any rough spots. Only file toward the backing. Some countertops
require build up strips to help lift and support, but check your directions. If the cabinet
drawers won’t clear the counter’s front edge, you definitely need them. Hold them
on the underside of the countertop and attach with nails. About every 2-feet and 2-inches
from the ends should do. Next, check the fit. Run a piece of tape along the top of the backsplash.
Set the counter in place, getting the mitered corner as tight as possible, and tighten the
miter bolts. You’ll most likely notice a gap along the wall. Take a compass, set it
to the width of the widest gap, and scribe a line along the back edge. Go ahead and take
off the counters, and remove the excess with a belt sander. Use a file to take off any
burrs then check the fit. Complete the look by adding return splashes where the counter
meets walls and end caps on the counter overhangs. Attach the build up strips, hold the piece
on, and iron. You can trim the edges with a file. At this
point you’re ready for the sink, and rangetop if you have one. Some sinks come with a template.
If you don’t have one, set the top in place, center up the sink, and trace the outline.
Your cut out will be a ¼- to ½-inch inside this line. Place some masking tape around
the edges to protect the top. Drill a few small starter holes in the corners, and cut
out the piece—don’t let it fall. Then file any burrs. It’s smart to add some extra
support near the edges of the cutouts, especially along the back. To secure the top, you can
drill through the corner brackets, or add angle brackets just below the build up strips.
Next, position the countertop, starting with the longest piece. Apply the recommended adhesive
at the miter, and snug the miter bolts. Tap the seam with scrap wood and hammer to get
it even. Tighten the bolts all the way and clean up any excess glue.
Now use #8 screws to secure the top to the brackets. Remember—use short screws. Don’t
be one of those people who drills through their nice, new countertop. Finish up by setting
your sink and rangetop, and applying silicone around the edges, Caulk along the back wall
too. Once you’ve connected the plumbing, reattach the cabinet doors, and drawers, and admire
your work. See what a new countertop can do for a kitchen? For more DIY projects and inspiration,
visit or click subscribe. Now that you’re countertops are done, learn
how to install engineered hardwood floors.

40 thoughts on “How to Install Laminate Countertops

  1. Very useful and detailed instructions to install a stylish and easy to install laminated counter top. At 2:44 you have showed an accurate method to fix the sink. Your home improvement videos are very helpful to DIYers like me.

  2. So easy!  Just make sure you get step number 386 correct – It's an important one.  413 steps later, you are all done!

  3. I cannot access the miter joint with the counter on the cabinets so I have to secure miter bolts with it on the ground and I'm wondering how difficult this will be for my wife and I to lift without damaging the mitered corner. The right miter side is only 61 inches but the left miter side is 9 feet. I'm just wondering if it will be secure enough to lift and set.

  4. "See how a new counter top can change your kitchen" UMMM You just remodeled the WHOLE kitchen!!! Lol even the door is different.

  5. I have had a disaster with buying all new kitchen cabinets and counter tops from Lowes in Naples, FL. The manufacturer of the cabinets would not answer a simple question which I needed to ask because the directions were very poor. The people who delivered the counter top were not very nice and clearly had a bad day before arriving to our home. They cut out for the sink but did not assemble the 90 degree pieces which looked like they would not line up. There was no directions with the counter top, not even any info from the manufacturer. NO PAPERWORK what so ever! We spent thousands of dollars and this has not been a good experience. I doubt this thing will fit! EXPECT NO back up from the manufacturers. We called the store and they referred us to their install people. They told us they will not work on a mobile homes and provided us with no assistance. Bad experience!


  7. Question on the inside joint that you tighten.  When the two larger pieces meet at 2:08 (mitered corner) do you not put any type of caulk or silicon between them then tighten?  What happens if one side is slightly higher than the other causing a bump on the mitered joint?

  8. what if the longest length they sell is 10 ft and I need 15 feet of counter. do I add the extra 5 feet with the toggle bolts? There is no bend in my counter 15 straight? any ideas how to do it?

  9. I am trying to install my counter tops at the miter but I can't get to the bolts because of the lazy susan cabinet below…??????help…..thanks

  10. Cannot believe the US is still using Imperial measurements as the world is now metric. 196 out of 197 countries are metric. Come on USA, get with it.

  11. so I shouldn't have put the wood flooring planks down where the cabinets will go… I guess it's a good thing i watched this before installing the cabinets. Not a huge lose and I didn't even caulk the edges yet… I didn't know what the heck to do to make sure the appliances would fit… i guess i'll find some 5/8th plywood instead… the planks do seem too weak with the underlayment play.

  12. Fitting laminate sheets is not an easy task but this video is really helpful, thanks! There's a great ultimate laminate guide that can help with you with any other questions you have here –

  13. For the love of god when you cut in to a counter top with a jig saw, DO NOT cut in to the corners of the holes you drilled.

    Corners are starting points for where the laminate will start to crack over time. So when you cut the hole out for the sink, make sure not to make a corner with your cuts. Just go right up to the pre drilled hole, that way the 4 corners of the cut are rounded.

  14. Excellent video. Any moderate diyer could tackle a project like this no problem. Take it with a grain of salt, some steps like scribing are not necessary if you just use caulk.

  15. This is not installing Formica countertops.
    Good luck finding only Formica, there is only one store in Anchorage that sells it & it’s not Lowe’s.

  16. What the heck is "the recommended adhesive"??? That is literally the only thing left that I need to know. Would standard wood glue work?

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