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Laudable Laminate, Fearless Formica'ing or Countertop Replacement

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Picture of Laudable Laminate, Fearless Formica'ing or Countertop Replacement
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This adventure in DIY started with a yardsale find of a kitchen island without a top. The island was a lot nicer than the contractor- grade island in our kitchen and much more accessible innards. After several trips to our favorite second-hand home improvement stores 50 miles on either end of our pennisula we were not able to find a piece of granite for less than $35/ square foot.Un-willing to drop $700-800 for a single countertop, my dedicated research assistant (Suzy Sledgehammer) sent for several samples of laminate and we decided on Golden Mascarelo from Formica. We ordered a piece directly through one the the big box stores. A little research and some supplies and this turned out to be a very easy project. You can do it!

 
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Step 1: Supplies, Tools, and Protective Equipment

Picture of Supplies, Tools, and Protective Equipment
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Some bare essentials for this project:

Tools:
  Router and bit to trim the edges (I used my Bosch but it was a little oversized for this job.)
  Circular saw with 40-80 teeth or greater
  hand file approx. #40
  paint brush (to spread the adhesive)
  J-roller (or similar roller for pressing down hard on flat surfaces)
  Pencil Compass (for curve drawing)
  Straight edge/ yard stick
  Tape Measure
  Compass (geometric drawing style)

Material and Consumables:
  Contact Cement/Structural Adhesive (coat parts to be glued together; let it dry to touch; press together; Roller press down hard)
  Foam board approx 1/2" thick (sacrificial surface for cutting the laminate with a circular saw)
  Particleboard, composite wood-board or plywood
  Dowels, longer than your counter is wide. I used bamboo from our gardening supplies
  Sanding block or paper
  Acetone
  Drop Cloth (Glue spills are not fun to clean off floors)
  Masking Tape (great for clean caulk lines, protecting edges, stopping splintering, ball for your cat to bat around, multiple uses)
Personal Protective Equipment:
  Eyewear
  Ear plugs/muffs
  disposable gloves
  dust mask (for sanding and minor adhesive fumes)
kuhldad (author) 24 days ago

The top surface was flat enough that the bearing on the router's bit acted as my vertical guide as it went along the sides.

How did you manage not overdoing it with the router, since you don't have a vertical guide?
sunshiine2 years ago
I love those counter tops! What a great improvement!
sunshiine
kuhldad (author) 2 years ago
Update: Finally found the rest of the countertop pics with the new laminate installed. See page 1.
jimmyf2 years ago
Looks great. Thanks for sharing.
ringai2 years ago
Nice one.
kuhldad (author)  ringai2 years ago
Thanks.