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Old 10-04-2012, 17:18   #1
Adjuster
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Countertops?

Any of you guys purchase and install these prefabricated laminate countertops they sell at Lowes? Looks pretty straight forward but i would like to hear your stories and any tips and tricks. They even come pre mitered if you need it.

http://www.lowes.com/Kitchen/Kitchen...&rpp=16&page=1


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Last edited by Adjuster; 10-04-2012 at 17:28..
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:40   #2
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I used them in the bar area down stairs. It just happened to be the perfect length so no cuts were needed. I then just applied the edge veneer as one side was exposed. I adhered mine to the base cabinets with silicone adhesive with a bead across the base cabinets then blobs on each corner. I haven't had any issues in 6months but I would recommend screwing them to the cabinets like the manufacturer instructs.

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Old 10-04-2012, 18:00   #3
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They are OK for certain applications and budgets. I've never installed them, I usually go granite. $35-$70 a square foot, installed. Much better.
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Old 10-04-2012, 18:01   #4
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clamp a straight edge and cut the top from the bottom using a skill saw with a good blade.

Use a belt sander to smooth out the cut if you are going to put the end cap on it.

Use 3/4 ply or particleboard to build up the tops so that they sit on top of the cabinet, and so that you can use the end caps. Plus it gives you something to screw the dishwasher to.

If you have a small router, you can a cheap bit to make trimming the cap easier, or you can put the cap on almost flush on the face and then use the belt sander to cut the bottom smooth.

Put the miter together with adhesive, tighten the bolts front to back, making sure the fronts line up correctly. Gently hammer on a block of wood on the top to make the tops level, being careful not to hit off of the block, or hitting close to the backsplash, as you can break the laminate.

The backsplash has a 3/8 lip on the back to allow for fitting it to the wall. You can use a belt sander to sand the lip so that the tops fit to your wall.

If you cut the sink hole before hand, its easier to cut it from the bottom side. If cutting from the top side, tape off the cut so the saw doesn't scuff the top and use a downcutting blade so you don't chip the laminate so bad.

*not responsible for any damage you cause by trying to do any of the above.

Or, find a local countertop shop and have them fabricate the tops for you, so all you have to do is put the miter together and screw them down.

We charge about 5 dollars more a foot than lowes/hd does, but we cut, cap and put the buildups on the top for you. Or we sell the tops at the same piece in the same sizes. I'm sure you can probably a local business to support


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They are OK for certain applications and budgets. I've never installed them, I usually go granite. $35-$70 a square foot, installed. Much better.
Or you could pay $7.50 a sq foot....

If you want granite, make sure you are happy with your cabinets.

Last edited by CaptCave; 10-04-2012 at 18:03..
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Old 10-04-2012, 18:19   #5
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They are OK for certain applications and budgets. I've never installed them, I usually go granite. $35-$70 a square foot, installed. Much better.

Or you could pay $7.50 a sq foot....
You get what you pay for. Save up and get better.
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Old 10-04-2012, 18:26   #6
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You get what you pay for. Save up and get better.
Depending in the house and the kitchen, granite may or may not be a wise choice if you're planning to resell.

Tape the top of the countertop and cut form the bottom with laminate. And don't let it sit in the sun longer than it takes to get it home. The glue holding the back isn;t incredibly strong.
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Old 10-04-2012, 18:58   #7
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We have lived in the same house for 25 years. Looking at the third countertop for the kitchen.
Granite does not make sense for us. She gets tired of the same look-
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Old 10-04-2012, 19:17   #8
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How do I know if I need to build my cabinet up to raise the height of the counter to clear the drawers and doors? Do I just have to purchase the countertop and try it out or is there something I can measure so I will know beforehand? If I do have to build the cabinets up is it always 3/4"? Can I go around the perimeter of the cabinets with something like 3/4" furring strips and the same strips laid across the cabinets every foot or so like joists as opposed to sheathing over the entire cabinets with plywood?


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Old 10-04-2012, 19:34   #9
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The lip might not clear your top drawers and the dishwasher. Just meassure the lip at the store then you can build up if need to. I always built up solid instead of furring strips. If you do this really pay attention cutting out for the sink.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:35   #10
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We updated our kitchen with similar counter tops a couple of months ago. We looked at Granite and quartz but ended up going with laminate. Ours looks and feels like Granite. I initially thought I could install it myself but after watching the Pros. install it for me I realized there was no way in hell I could have done it myself. We went with a company that specializes in laminate. The price was similar to buying it from and having it installed by Home Depot but we had at least two hundred different colors and surfaces to choose from. Our kitchen is U-shaped and they had to make angle cuts and glue and screw pieces together. You can't see the seam. The price was about a third of real Granite. Worth every penny. And in a few years when Granite is pase we can update with a new surface and still be ahead of the game.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:54   #11
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And in a few years when Granite is pase we can update with a new surface and still be ahead of the game.
Granite, and solid surface tops in general, are never going to be passe. They're a "premium" product that has become mainstream, and gotten massively less costly over the last few decades. Not only are they naturally beautiful, but they're also a great value for the dollar. Granite has been the bomb-diggity for decades, and it's not gonna change.

OP, you will need to build-up the bottom of the c-top by cutting and gluing pieces of MDF or ply-wood, which you can also get at Lowes. And the biggest issue, if you are going to buy one with a back-splash molded in, is cutting it to fit. If you have the right type of saw (machine), no problem, if not....big problem.

Do yourself a favor and let the kitchen design folks order one made to order for you. It will come sized to fit, already built up (make SURE they order it that way), and it's not that much more expensive. And will look much better than if you do it yourself. They could also send someone out to do a template if it is a complicated top, like an L or U shaped top.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:38   #12
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Home Depot......

This spring, we just did a major home remodeling project, removing a wall (kitchen/dining area) and installed new kitchen cabinets and counter tops from Home Depot. We couldn't be more satisfied. Very good quality. Everything in stock, no waiting. We used a contractor that really knew what he was doing.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:38   #13
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Just got back from Lowes and I am definitely going with these countertops. Cant beat what you get for the price. So I have to purchase two 10' sections and cut them down to size. I am scared outta my pants over making these cuts. All I have available to me is a circular saw. I do have a brand new unused 140 fine tooth blade that came with the saw kit. I am assuming I should use it. Not only do I have to cut across the flat top but also down the odd shaped 4" backsplash. Please walk me through this and tell me how easy it is going to be. I am aware of the trouble with chipping etc when cutting laminate.



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Old 10-05-2012, 11:53   #14
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Cut from the back side.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:54   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&P15T View Post
Granite, and solid surface tops in general, are never going to be passe. They're a "premium" product that has become mainstream, and gotten massively less costly over the last few decades. Not only are they naturally beautiful, but they're also a great value for the dollar. Granite has been the bomb-diggity for decades, and it's not gonna change.

OP, you will need to build-up the bottom of the c-top by cutting and gluing pieces of MDF or ply-wood, which you can also get at Lowes. And the biggest issue, if you are going to buy one with a back-splash molded in, is cutting it to fit. If you have the right type of saw (machine), no problem, if not....big problem.

Do yourself a favor and let the kitchen design folks order one made to order for you. It will come sized to fit, already built up (make SURE they order it that way), and it's not that much more expensive. And will look much better than if you do it yourself. They could also send someone out to do a template if it is a complicated top, like an L or U shaped top.
thats me i make templates all day for granite & corian
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:02   #16
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thats me i make templates all day for granite & corian
Not to hijack, but what do you use to make your templates SCC? I worked in the solid surface industry for 5 years, but I've been away from it since '03. When we finally got a CNC machine, life got soooo much easier.

To the OP: there's a lot of good advice in here. The best might be, if you don't have the tools/know-how to tackle this project, then pay a bit extra to have someone come do the install for you.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:08   #17
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[QUOTE=M&P15T;19487107]Granite, and solid surface tops in general, are never going to be passe. They're a "premium" product that has become mainstream, and gotten massively less costly over the last few decades. Not only are they naturally beautiful, but they're also a great value for the dollar. Granite has been the bomb-diggity for decades, and it's not gonna change.



You may be right about about that but styles change. Remember when Avocado appliances were in style? Or when Oak was the furniture to own.How about Corian?While the granite itself might be still be popular the color itself might not be. Some people are installing black . Hows can you decorate around that when black is out of style?
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:17   #18
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Not to hijack, but what do you use to make your templates SCC? I worked in the solid surface industry for 5 years, but I've been away from it since '03. When we finally got a CNC machine, life got soooo much easier.

To the OP: there's a lot of good advice in here. The best might be, if you don't have the tools/know-how to tackle this project, then pay a bit extra to have someone come do the install for you.
1/4 Luan plywood cut in to 1 3/4 wide strips we buy sheets of it then rip it into the 1 3/4 strips ..
but now its all going to Digital will be doing that by the end of the year

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:31   #20
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1/4 Luan plywood cut in to 1 3/4 wide strips we buy sheets of it then rip it into the 1 3/4 strips ..
but now its all going to Digital will be doing that by the end of the year
We used corrugated cardboard for the longest time. Then, we switched over to a thin white plastic, probably similar to the method you use with the Luan. We used 2" stips of cardboard hot melted (glued) around the edges to get the scribe for wall right. I much preferred new construction, as templating over existing counters can be a huge PITA. I think we tried the digital stuff, but it wasn't very mature then. I'm sure it's MUCH better now. What are the countertops in the first few pics made from? It looks really nice, but I didn't think you could do that with granite (what it appears to be).
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:38   #21
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We used corrugated cardboard for the longest time. Then, we switched over to a thin white plastic, probably similar to the method you use with the Luan. We used 2" stips of cardboard hot melted (glued) around the edges to get the scribe for wall right. I much preferred new construction, as templating over existing counters can be a huge PITA. I think we tried the digital stuff, but it wasn't very mature then. I'm sure it's MUCH better now. What are the countertops in the first few pics made from? It looks really nice, but I didn't think you could do that with granite (what it appears to be).
it's granite
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Old 10-05-2012, 13:00   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjuster View Post
Just got back from Lowes and I am definitely going with these countertops. Cant beat what you get for the price. So I have to purchase two 10' sections and cut them down to size. I am scared outta my pants over making these cuts. All I have available to me is a circular saw. I do have a brand new unused 140 fine tooth blade that came with the saw kit. I am assuming I should use it. Not only do I have to cut across the flat top but also down the odd shaped 4" backsplash. Please walk me through this and tell me how easy it is going to be. I am aware of the trouble with chipping etc when cutting laminate.



/
Like I said earlier, tape the top and cut from the back. Make sure your saw is big enough to cut all the way through.

Measure everything. Then do it again, and continue to measure until you get everything right. Cutting through a $150 piece of wood is going to be a nerve wracking experience.
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Old 10-05-2012, 15:55   #23
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Like I said earlier, tape the top and cut from the back. Make sure your saw is big enough to cut all the way through.

Measure everything. Then do it again, and continue to measure until you get everything right. Cutting through a $150 piece of wood is going to be a nerve wracking experience.

Yes you are correct about nerve wracking. The countertops are purchased and sitting in my living room. I am too scared to saw them. I am also scared how warped my existing walls are going to reveal when I put the countertops up against them.


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Old 10-05-2012, 16:03   #24
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There is a lot of good advice on here.

I will add that you should paint the underside of the counter top before installing it. Couple coats of paint does wonders for keeping the particle board together against any future water leaks from above or from leaking pipes. Do it after you've made the cuts. (White is best if insects lurk in your area.)

Seal the sink's perimeter to the counter with plumber's putty. Seal the faucet and the sink drains to the sink with plumber's putty as well.

Have fun, you'll love it when you're through. Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:05   #25
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Yes you are correct about nerve wracking. The countertops are purchased and sitting in my living room. I am too scared to saw them. I am also scared how warped my existing walls are going to reveal when I put the countertops up against them.


/
Run a string line along the wall at the elevation of the back splash. "Adjust" as necessary to make it straight. Do not worry about anything 2" or more below that line.
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