How to Finish the Rough Edge of a Laminate Countertop

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Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape

  • Orbital sander

  • Carbide sandpaper

  • Metal file

  • Sanding block

Your laminate kitchen counters will look like they were installed by a professional with the right steps.

New laminate can instantly upgrade your kitchen, bathroom or laundry. Installing laminate counters is a great project for a handy homeowner and can save you a lot of money over hiring a contractor. The laminate is cut with a circular saw and the installation is relatively straightforward. The edges and corners on a professional installation will be smooth and slightly rounded. This is one of the more challenging parts of laminate installation. Once the laminate is cut and installed, a few simple tricks can make your job look more professional.


Step 1

Place a piece of masking tape along what will be the outside edge of the counter. This will provide a guide for your sanding and prevent you from sanding one area more than another.

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Step 2

Attach 120-grit carbide sandpaper to an orbital sander. Hold the sander at a 45-degree angle pointing down toward the ground. The downward angle will prevent the laminate from lifting from the counter. Sand the laminate to smooth the edges. Remove the sanding dust with a slightly damp rag.

Step 3

Sand the spots near the wall and any other areas that the sander couldn't reach with a metal file. Again, hold the file at a 45-degree angle pointing downward.

Step 4

Sand the edge of the laminate with a fine-grit sanding block. Sand the corners and round the edges with the block. This will remove any small chips that happened during cutting.

Step 5

Wipe away the sanding dust with a damp rag.


Sanding with the orbital sander will remove as much as 1/8 inch of material from the counters. Leave enough extra material during installation to allow for some to be removed.


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