How to Trim a Laminate Countertop


Adding or replacing a laminate counter top can make a big improvement in a home. This job is one that do it yourself homeowners often can take on with confidence. The finished look of the counter top is very much dependent on how well the trimming job is done. Use the proven methods of experts to get a counter that has the mark of professional installation.

Things You'll Need

  • Laminate trimmer (optional)
  • Masking tape
  • Circular saw with rip fence
  • Carbide tipped saw blade
  • Metal file
  • Sandpaper
  • Cut off the overhanging laminate that is left once the large sheet of laminate is glued to the counter top. If you have access to a laminate trimmer, use it for a perfect cut. These trimmers have rollers that allow you to simply roll the trimmer along the sides of the counter top while you keep the base flat. If you can't get hold of one, don't worry. You can still do a top notch job with a circular saw.

  • Put a carbide tipped saw blade with a narrow kerf (the groove or path cut by the blade) and 40 teeth or more on your circular saw.

  • Make your cut line on the top of the laminate using a straightedge. Put down a strip of masking tape on top of the cut line. This will protect the laminate surface by protecting it from scratches from the saw, and preventing chipping caused by the blade.

  • Draw the cut line again, now on top of the tape. Set up the rip fence for your saw so that you can use it as a guide as you cut. Cut off the overhanging laminate using a slow, steady motion.

  • File the edges smooth after using the saw by filing in a downward direction only. Again, this will prevent chipping of the top of the laminate. Finish your trimming by sanding the edges smooth.

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