How to Trim the Endcap of Laminate Countertops

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Create smooth edges on laminate countertops.
Create smooth edges on laminate countertops. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Do-it-yourself type homeowners choose laminate countertops for their ease of installation and affordability. Laminate is a hard surface that has its good points and bad, both derived from being hard. Laminate countertops provide a hard and durable surface after installation. During installation, the hard qualities can lead to cracking and chipping especially when finishing edges and end caps. Countertop installers leave a small overlap that they trim later making the end cap a smooth joint.

Things You'll Need

  • Router
  • Beveled bit with a ball bearing wheel guide
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • 400-grit sandpaper

Equip a router with a beveled bit that has a ball bearing wheel guide. The bearing wheel guide rides along the edge of the surface to prevent gouging and burning the laminate edge.

Position the router on top of the countertop with the beveled bit hanging off the side and touching the face of the end cap.

Put on safety glasses and a dust mask.

Turn the router on and gently push it along the laminate countertop surface. Allow the ball bearing wheel guide to move along the face of the end cap. Have a firm grip on the router when you turn it on because the torque will cause the router to lurch and spin off the countertop. Continue to follow the line of the countertop until you bevel the entire end cap.

Sand off any burrs or rough edges with wet 400-grit sandpaper.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice using a router on scrap material before attempting to use on your new countertop.
  • Do not push the router along the countertop quickly as this will cause the end cap to chip.
  • If you use a beveled bit without a ball bearing wheel guide, you are likely to leave burn marks on the face of the end cap.

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References

  • "Everything and the Kitchen Sink: Remodel Your Kitchen without Losing Your Mind"; Daina Manning, et al.; 2005
  • "Home Repair and Improvement"; Creative Homeowner Editors; 2006
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