When finishing up a laminated countertop, many people use a router to bevel the corners and edges for a smoother, rounded look, but you don't need the router at all. If you don't have a router or are uncomfortable using one, you can go low-tech and use a file instead of a router. Although it will take much longer to complete the task with the file, you will have greater control of how much you bevel the edges without worrying about a router kicking up or grinding too deep a groove into your counter.
Things You'll Need
- 100-grit sandpaper
- Tack cloth
- Circular saw
- Fine-toothed handsaw
- Contact cement
- Nail polish remover
Sand down the surface you intend to laminate. Use 100-grit sandpaper to clean up any imperfections and create a smooth surface. Wipe away the dust with a tack cloth.
Cut the laminate sheeting down to size to fit the countertop with a circular saw or a fine-toothed handsaw. Give yourself an extra inch on both dimensions -- you can trim the excess later.
Paint a layer of contact cement on the surface of the countertop and on the back of the laminate sheeting. Work with a team and lower the laminate over the counter so the edges and pattern are all lined up.
Press out any air pockets with a laminate roller to ensure a complete seal. Trim the edges with a fine-toothed handsaw, jigsaw or a file. Repeat the process to install the trim pieces on the edges of the countertop.
Wipe up any excess contact cement with a damp cloth. If the excess cement hardens, remove it with nail polish remover. Allow the contact cement to dry. If desired, file down the edges and corners of the countertop to give it a beveled edge -- this is normally done with a router, but a file works just as well.