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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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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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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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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if building in garage make sure temp and humidity is close to what house stays around
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
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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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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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Anyway you do the splice is fine as long as you run build up across the joint underneath. Make sure to belt sand the seam after the glue dries. Also lay the laminate sheet out flat over night before you laminate.
That was what I was thinking. Thanks for the reassurance and confirmation. As for the laminate laying out, I've had it laying out perfectly flat for the last 2-3 weeks in a spare bedroom.

Any suggestions on the best way to put the two together, besides the build up strips? Screws / nails? I don't want to run a nail through the sides unless I have too, in fear of splitting the ply's.
 

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The best would be glue and biscuits with a clamp but an easier way would be to screw some bracing strips on the bottom of the joint on one side. Put some wood glue on the seam. Then put some pressure on the joint as you screw the braces to the other side. Just make sure its the bottom side so you don't have any damage on the side the laminate is glued to.
 
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