Wrap-Around Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Countertops

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When homeowners remodel a kitchen, they often gut the entire kitchen so they can start from scratch. These types of projects can be very expensive, so any part of the remodel that you can complete yourself can save you money. One of the fairly easier parts of this project is building and installing wrap-around countertops. These countertops span multiple walls and meet in a corner.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 3/4-inch medium density fiberboard
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Laminate
  • Straightedge
  • Utility knife with carbide-tipped blade
  • Contact adhesive
  • J-roller
  • Router
  • Clear silicone adhesive
  • 1 5/8-inch screws
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • 1 1/4-inch screws
  • Clear silicone caulk
  • White caulk

Building the Countertops

  • Measure then mark the outer dimensions of the countertop section that contains the sink onto 3/4-inch medium density fiberboard. If the new countertop is the same size as the old one, just trace the old countertop onto the fiberboard; otherwise, mark off the dimensions with a tape measure.

  • Mark holes for the sink and faucet onto the fiberboard. Measure the location of the plumbing in the cabinets that the countertop will be placed on and transfer these measurements onto the fiberboard. Trace the template for the sink onto the fiberboard in its installation location.

  • Cut the countertop out of the fiberboard with a circular saw. Make the inset cuts for the faucet and sink with a jigsaw.

  • Measure then cut strips of fiberboard for the countertop's backsplash. These strips should be the same length as the countertop, and their width is determined by how high you want the backsplash to be.

  • Cut sheets of laminate to cover the edges of the countertop and backsplash that will be visible once the countertop is installed. Add 1 inch to each side of the fiberboard surfaces when cutting the laminate. Cut the laminate by holding a straightedge against the cut line then scoring the laminate with a carbide-tipped blade and snapping it at the scored line.

  • Apply one coat of contact adhesive to the back of the laminate and two coats to the surface of the fiberboard where the laminate will be attached. Let the contact adhesive dry until it's tacky to the touch.

  • Place the laminate on top of the fiberboard and center it so that the laminate hangs over each side by 1 inch. Roll the laminate with a J-roller to form a tight bond between the laminate and fiberboard.

  • Remove the excess laminate from the edges of the fiberboard with a router. Apply the laminate to all surfaces of the fiberboard as needed. Construct the countertop section for the adjoining wall with the same process.

Installing the Countertops

  • Place a thick bead of clear silicone adhesive along the top edges of the bottom cabinets.

  • Install the first section of countertop onto the cabinets by pushing the countertop tightly against the top of the cabinets and the wall.

  • Run a bead of clear silicone adhesive along the angled edge where the two countertop sections will meet.

  • Install the second section of countertop positioned so that the angled edges meet. Push this countertop section tightly against the cabinet, wall and first section you installed. Wipe off any adhesive that seeps up through the joint.

  • Screw the countertop sections to the cabinets by going underneath the cabinets and driving 1 5/8-inch screws through the mounting blocks on the cabinets and into the bottom edge of the countertop sections.

  • Cut two pieces of 1/2-inch plywood that measure 2 inches wide by 6 inches long.

  • Hold the strips against the joint along the bottom edge where the two sections meet. Drive 1 1/4-inch screws through the plywood and into the bottom of the cabinet. Use one screw on each side of the joint.

  • Run a thick, zigzag bead of silicone adhesive onto the back of the backsplash strips and install them against the wall on top of the countertop.

  • Apply a bead of clear silicone caulk over the joint between the backsplash strips and the countertops and a bead of white caulk along the joint between the top of the backsplash and the walls.

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