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jdixon 03-13-2008 07:17 PM

laminate countertop ?
I am planning on installing some new laminate on an island in my kitchen. 2 questions. First is MDF the best substrate to use under sheet laminate or is there something else you would reccomend? Next when trimming the laminate to size can a router with a flush trim bit be used or do you need a laminate trimmer. I just wasn't sure if there was a specific advantage to having a laminate trimmer as opposed to a full size router which I already own. Thanks!


Ron6519 03-14-2008 07:39 AM

Whenever I had laminate counters made up for customers, I used exterior grade plywood and sealed the overhang before installation.
You can use a trimmer bit in a regular router. Laminate trimmers are easier to handle day after day, but for occasional fabrication a regular router is fine.

mikey48 03-14-2008 08:25 AM

I have used both plywood and MDF. I prefer MDF but it is very heavy to handle and saw dust galore. Saws well and sands well. Plywood seems lighter but it does not seem to lay flat without using many screws. When sanding plywood edges beware of splinters and double coat the contact glue on the edges.

AtlanticWBConst. 03-14-2008 07:37 PM

Use the standard material for counter top fabrication: particle board.

jdixon 03-14-2008 10:18 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone. Question re: particle vs mdf. Since there will be an overhang on one end of the island for an eating area strength is a concern. I have 3 boys who hang, sit and lean on everything so mdf would be a better choice than particle board, correct?

Good to know about using a router vs trimmer. I think I'll just look for a good ball bearing, fluted, flush trim bit.

Ron6519 03-15-2008 08:42 AM

The overhang will be(should be) supported underneath no matter what material you use. If you use particle board, you should seal it. If it gets wet, it swells and blows out the laminate seams.

Boz 03-17-2008 12:50 AM

Particle board, with 1/8" overhang, double it, or glue and nail 2" strips around perimeter, depending on size of island. 1x2 pine, glued and brad nailed on all edges. Mark 2 pencil lines, one on pine, one on partical board, belt sand untill both lines are gone. Sealing not neccesary if laminate is installed correctly. Use a roller bit, and vasiline on facing to prevent burning.

bellcabinets 03-19-2008 08:58 PM

I have been installing kitchens and countrtops for 20 years and have never once seen an mdf substrate on a top.
in certain areas of the country we used plywood if it is near the ocean,
but 99% of the time we use the industry standard which is particle board.
it doesnt matter which type of router you use as long as it has a laminating
trimmer bit.

Allison1888 03-19-2008 09:06 PM

countertop overhang
You may also need brackets to support the overhang, depending on how far out it goes and how rowdy the kids are!

bellcabinets 03-19-2008 09:15 PM

keep in mind that if you use either plywood,mdf,or particle board,it is not a good idea to dance on the tops if you have a ceiling fan above

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