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SimpleJack 02-20-2010 05:34 AM

Formica Laminate Countertop How to?
I want to put in new Formica counter tops in my bathroom and kitchen, But I figure I would do the bathroom first as a practice run.

I want to install the same style as what is there now just to make it easy and cheaper then a fancier style of counter top.

Can someone explain to me in a simple way how to remove the old counter top and install the new stuff?
I have a dremmel, is there any bits I can get for it so I don't have to buy another tool for this job. Like for cutting out the holes and the edges?

I would think i could just use a chisel to start pulling up the old stuff starting at the sink hole and working my way out. same with the back splash? just pull back a end and rip it off the wall?

Once it's all out. Sand it down to a smooth flat surface. Lay down my glue and wait for it to get tacky and then carefully drop the sheet on top starting with the back edge to make sure it's properly aligned the first time I set it down.

Then how do I cut the edge to get it close without scratching the front wood strip? If I have a 1/4" overhang, I don't want to have to use a hand file all the way across if I don't have to

There might be a better explanation of doing this, but is this pretty much the right idea on how it's done or do I have no idea what I'm talking about? lol :whistling2:

I would really like to find a good how to on the Internet somewhere that has lots of picture of the same style of counter tops I'm working with.
Most the ones I found online are all text..

Any help would be greatly appreciated

SULTINI 02-20-2010 07:01 AM

It would save yourself trouble and look nice if you just took the whole top of and installed prefab counter top from HD or L's. They have a good variety and instructions. While your at it install a new sink.

I have replaced just the Formica, it's no picnic and can be a real hassle plus it never seems to last the glue always gives out.

It's your call but I would install a new counter top already prefabbed.

SimpleJack 02-20-2010 07:03 AM

Well doing that would cost me over $400 just for the kitchen. Not looking to spend that much.

And I already have a new sink installed

tpolk 02-20-2010 07:23 AM

is that sidesplash buried in the wall they are usualy1/2" thick

SULTINI 02-20-2010 07:23 AM

Good luck on your new counter top.

tpolk 02-20-2010 07:31 AM

you will spend that much some how

SimpleJack 02-20-2010 07:33 AM

Why is that?

SULTINI 02-20-2010 08:11 AM

You'll see.

SimpleJack 02-20-2010 08:15 AM

Why you even respond to my topic if you give no useful information at all?

SULTINI 02-20-2010 08:26 AM

Sorry Jack I did respond to your topic.

I am just trying to inform you that if you want to replace the counter top Formica by the time you are complete it will cost you more and the job probably won't look as good as the replacement top.

You still have to remove the sink anyway to install the new laminate.

contact cement
silicon for reinstall sink
touch up around edges at back splash and where counter top touches wall
sanding old top to roughen up for new laminate to stick.
It' really a lot of work trying to cover an old counter top and to get it right and look good is another thing. And to last, when counter tops are made they are put under pressure with heat that's why they stick so good. Hope this little bit of rambling helps.

tpolk 02-20-2010 08:31 AM

and you will need edge router and you will need to stick it right the first time otherwise redo all of the above

jlhaslip 02-20-2010 09:13 AM

I do Kitchen/bath countertop replacements all the time, and have for quite a number of years.
Trust me when I say that the cheapest method is to fully replace the tops with store-bought ones if you can find the colour and finish you like.
On the other hand, the best method is to build from scratch. It will generally cost about 25% more for materials than for a replacement countertop from the Big Box store. I already own the tools, so have no expenditures for them. That would be an additional extra.

tpolk 02-20-2010 06:18 PM

sometimes you can find misfabs or returns at box stores that are cheper and they will haggle price on that stuff

Big Bob 02-20-2010 07:08 PM

Check to see if there is a counter top fabricator near you.

You might be surprised at how low their prices might be.
Most of these folks need business right now.

(presswood can be fine to use if you seal cut & exposed edges) and less expensive than the high grade plywood that should be used for this kind of application.

You would need to make a drawing that they could build from. Fax or scan and Email so they can give you a price. Save time and have the Laminate
manufactuers number and color name on the drawing... provide a 1st and 2nd choice... as inventory and availability might be an issue.

They might be able to reuse the matching edge wood on your vanity top if you can remove and clean it.

recovering might make CENTS if you have a bunch of apartment kitchens
to redo and plenty of time to devote.

cost of materials & waste factors
learning curve is long and unforgiving.
Tooling up... router, jig saw..blades & bits
Not the kind of project to attack with out the
right tools.

It looks like metal bead on your counter top to backslash..this will be very hard to find these days. It was a good way to install..., but builders taking $ out of new construction set a new design standard. Now the bead
looks dated. Be sure you seal and set with a good bead of a good adhesive caulk when you install the backsplash.

Have fun.

SimpleJack 02-20-2010 07:14 PM

Thanks for all the helpful info.
I will just do this project after I finish all the others and I have the money to invest in the premade counter tops from Lowe's or Home depot.
I would have rather have gone that way because it's a much better look and it more up to date then the old style.
Then when I'm ready I will probably try to find a private contractor on craigslist to install it if they don't charge too much.
I have many projects right now I'm trying to get done in the next 2 months, so I'm trying to coordinate which ones to start first and finish last. Counter tops will probably be the last.

Thanks again :)

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