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Old 02-17-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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Cutting Formica


My wife and I are refurbishing our kitchen and have run into a problem. We have formica counter tops and we are replacing our existing slide in stove with a new free standing range. The problem is that the new range won't slide into the existing space because it is not large enough. Therefore, both the counter tops need to be cut approximately one inch on both sides and the back splash needs to be removed.

In order to get a good finished appearance, I believe the proper way to do this is to pop the counter tops and cut them on a table saw. My wife is thinking they can be cut in place. If any of you are experienced in this type of work would you please give us your opinion and also a guess as to what it would cost to have a professional do this and who is the best person qualified to do such a thing.

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Old 02-17-2009, 10:39 AM   #2
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Cutting Formica


Cutting formica on a table saw will inevitably chip the edges a little. You'd be better off to use a circular saw and a sharp blade (or a table saw) to remove the bulk of the material, then a router and a long straight bit with a top guide bearing and a straight edge guide to take the final 1/4" or so in a couple passes.

As for cost, this is a DIY site and discussions of cost for contractors to do work for you are strongly discouraged.

A countertop company would be your best bet. A carpenter/handyman could probably handle it....As long as they use a router. Your average hack will use a saw or a jigsaw for the finished cut, which will leave that laminate with a less-than-perfect edge.

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Old 02-17-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Cutting Formica


Thanks for the reply but one point wasn't answered. Should the countertops be popped off and then cut or can a good handyman do it while they are in place?
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:05 AM   #4
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Cutting Formica


Teddy: NO dont have to remove IF: You have a good jigsaw that takes the Bosch style blades. Bosch makes a BR101 I believe but the BR is the important thing. The blade is REVERSED TOOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It cuts on the DOWN stroke. Mask the top with blue tape, mark it, cut it take a fine file to the edge and you should be done.

Termite: u snuck in when I was typing :} Is you calling me a Hack?????????? ROFLMAO I have done this many times and it does work.

Last edited by skymaster; 02-17-2009 at 11:08 AM. Reason: comment
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
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Cutting Formica


Correct a jig saw used correctly will do fine. finishing the last piece next to the wall will still be an issue. I Fein Multimaster will be able to handle this. And a table saw with a 80 triple tooth ATB blade cuts formica with no chips what-so-ever. Cut mine this way all the time. Final cuts in ever case needs to be made with a router using a flush trim bit. I also use a finger belt sander to get into the tight space next to the wall for these installation situations. That being said. it will be better to remove the counter top to make the correct cuts in your situation.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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Cutting Formica


You can actually do it yourself. Get some blue masking tape and a reverse tooth jigsaw blade. Mark where you want to cut, then put the blue tape over the line. Mark the line on the tape. Then cut with the jigsaw. You don't have to pop the countertop out, but it isn't a bad idea to do so. Once you finish cutting, remove the tape, and put the counter top back in place. An hour and a half job, tops.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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Cutting Formica


Agreed, a jigsaw with a downstroke blade will do it but not as neatly as a router . Although inconvenient, I feel it would be best to remove the top to do a neat job. That jigsaw won't cut all the way to the wall, and most DIYers don't have a Fein Multimaster laying around.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:31 PM   #8
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Cutting Formica


Remove the countertop. Tape the edge where you are going to cut with a strip of painter's tape. Draw clear distinct lines to cut with a jigsaw equipped with a downstroke blade(bosch makes one that is great). Use a fine tooth japanese saw to finish the end where the backsplash is. If you are careful you won't chip or mar the finish. Cut downwards with the japanese saw as you use it.

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