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Old 03-04-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
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How should I build this countertop?


I am currently researching, learning, and planning to build laminate countertops. I took some rough measurements of my current tile countertop. They aren't precise, and could be 1/2 to an inch off. Just something to work with for now.



I've only seen sanded plywood come in 4x8 sheets, though I have not looked around too much yet. If I could find a 10ft sheet, that would be perfect.

So, if I use the 8ft sheets, how should I accomodate for the extra foot that I need? What would be the best route to go as for adding the extra foot?

Should I add it on the left side here:


Or put it on the right side? If I go with the right side, what would be the best way of doing that?






The very left side will have a dishwasher under it. The top and far right side will be at a wall. The sink is in the direct center.

I can get the laminate in 10ft lengths, so I am thinking that once I have the countertop built, I can put the laminate over the whole thing seamlessly.

Any thoughts, suggestions, tips, or idea's?

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:37 AM   #2
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How should I build this countertop?


Drawing # 1 looks simplest----tops are typically 1 1/2" thick at the lead edge----I'd double up the ply in that whole splice area to prevent any possible flexing of the splice----

Will you be able to build this on a bench or must it be laminated in place?

Look in the 'How TO' section---I believe Big Jim wrote a helpful article on laminating---

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:40 AM   #3
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How should I build this countertop?


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Drawing # 1 looks simplest----tops are typically 1 1/2" thick at the lead edge----I'd double up the ply in that whole splice area to prevent any possible flexing of the splice----

Will you be able to build this on a bench or must it be laminated in place?

Look in the 'How TO' section---I believe Big Jim wrote a helpful article on laminating---
Built on a bench, then installed. Yep, I seen his article. Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:41 AM   #4
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How should I build this countertop?


drawing 1 seam on left gets my vote. all the drops left over should be enough to do the small peice,perimeter build up, and seam support.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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How should I build this countertop?


I would go with drawing #3
I would rip the 4'x8' sheet in 1/2 to 24"x8' Then add a 3/4"x1 1/2" strip to the edge using glue and brads. This will bring it out to 24 3/4" Really should be all you need in width.

The 3/4" edging, when done laminating the top, you can use a router with a bevel bit and expose that edge. This was very popular at one time, not sure if it still is.

Putting the splice in the top on the right, will run right down the edge of the corner cabinet, the next cabinet that attaches to the corner cabinet, will also have a edge and support that top piece.
And I would build the top in place and then laminate it in place also.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #6
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How should I build this countertop?


Thanks for the insight! I wasn't sure if there was a proper way to go about it, or which way was better than others.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:31 AM   #7
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How should I build this countertop?


Both bench built and site built work---bench built lets you use a router to trim the edge all the way.

built in place the router can only get so close to the wall--then you need to hand trim---
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:31 AM   #8
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How should I build this countertop?


I'll be building them in the garage, so ill be able to trim the laminate all of the way around. Just seems like the easier approach. Thanks for the information.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:29 AM   #9
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How should I build this countertop?


I take it no sink in this counter top?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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How should I build this countertop?


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I take it no sink in this counter top?
Last part of the first post.

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The sink is in the direct center.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:08 PM   #11
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How should I build this countertop?


if building in garage make sure temp and humidity is close to what house stays around
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:23 AM   #12
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How should I build this countertop?


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if building in garage make sure temp and humidity is close to what house stays around
Is the reason for this because of the wood, or adhesive used with the laminate?
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #13
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How should I build this countertop?


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drawing 1 seam on left gets my vote. all the drops left over should be enough to do the small peice,perimeter build up, and seam support.
Ok, I am going with drawing 1, with the seam on the left. I'm about to cut the large portion to shape. When I cut the add-on piece, should I have the grain flowing the same direction as the large piece, or does this even matter?

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Old 04-16-2013, 03:56 PM   #14
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How should I build this countertop?


Depending on where you live and what building supply stores are available to you (forget such as Lowes and Home Depot): Plywood sheets in 1/2" thru 1" thickness are available in eight (8), ten (10), and twelve (12) foot lengths specifically for making counter tops from real builder supply stores (such as ProBuild and a locally owned builder supply store in our area. These will not be AB (very smooth, good looking) sheets, more like BC. Depending on how thick you want your countertop you can buy different thicknesses and build-up what you need. I have had the pleasure of working with an older cabinet maker off/on over the years and this is how he does it. Your drawing(s) as to where to put the seam are not correct IMO. You are allowing various small lengths of materials on each side of seams no matter which drawing you use. Move the seam(s) more toward the middle of the top on one sheet, then use a stagger pattern on the other sheet so the seams will not be close to each other for strength. The counter top base will be only as good as the glue you use. As you stated you will be using laminate for the top material, no strength to this stuff at all. That's why you need to build the top as strong as possible by staggering joints. You plan on having a dishwasher on one end--most dishwasher will emit some steam/hot water vapors during/after the washing cycle which will get into the counter material(s) and may/can/most likely will cause the counter material(s) to buckle after only a few years. Joe used to put a piece of laminate (usually something leftover from another job) under the counter top before installing to prevent this from happening. You're going to say that this vapor will condense on this vapor barrier and drip down onto something--you're right, so ventilation between the bottom of the counter top and top of the dishwasher is important. You should see the "wood chip/compressed sawdust" type counter tops we have removed due to condensation making them buckle in under two (2) years due to a dishwasher. He made sure that there was at least one-inch of space between these two components. Good Luck

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Old 04-16-2013, 04:00 PM   #15
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How should I build this countertop?


Thanks for the info. Already cut the large portion to shape.

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