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Installing a countertop

Post-formed countertops are where no laminating is needed and the mitered corners are precut. These are terrific for DIY'ers. Stock countertops generally come in two feet increments and this requires some work to install. You will first need to scribe it to fit against any end wall and then cut it to length if it turns a corner, you‘ll join the precut mitered 45-degree ends. After you have installed the countertop, cut out a hole for the sink.

Before you begin it's a good idea to remove the cabinet doors as well as the drawers form the base cabinets.

Getting a perfect Fit
It would be terrific if all the walls in your home were as true and straight as the edges of the countertop however this is rare.

To check if a corner is square, do the following…
  1. Start in a 90 degree corner, measure out three feet and mark the spot.

  2. From that same spot, measure out four feet in the opposite direction and mark the spot.

  3. Using a tape rule, measure the distance from the end marks of the three and four feet markers.

If the wall is truly square the distance from the two markers will be five feet. If you find the walls are not square, it's probably best to hire contractor to do the installation.

To shape the edges of the countertop, use a compass to scribe or transfer the walls contour on to the laminate.
  1. Set the countertop exactly in place where you plan to install. Check that it's level. If the countertop is not level, slide shims between the countertop and the support struts of the cabinet frame to level the countertop. These will remain in place after you secure the countertop.

  2. Set your compass to fit the widest gap between the countertop and the wall.

  3. Move the compass along the wall to draw a pencil line on the surface of the countertop that matches the wall contour.

  4. Remove the countertop and set it on a pair of sawhorses.

  5. Secure the countertop and set it on a pair of sawhorses.

  6. Secure the countertop to the sawhorses with squeeze clamps

  7. Remove the excess countertop with a belt sander and a coarse sanding belt

  8. Reposition the countertop and check for tight spots

  9. Touch up any tight spot with the sander and recheck the fit again before cutting to length.

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