Q:

What are some tips for installing a Formica countertop?

A:

Quick Answer

Tips for installing Formica or other brands of laminate countertops include using dowels to prevent the contact cement from bonding prematurely, cutting the laminate slightly larger than the countertop and trimming it with a router and file, and minimizing the number of seams. Laminates provide a long-lasting option for countertops.

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Full Answer

Laminates adhere to the support using contact cement. The installer paints the glue on both surfaces that he is bonding. Once it dries to the tacky stage, the cement bonds on contact. By placing dowels on the surface before laying the Formica in place, the installer is able to make the final adjustments for the best fit. Once the laminate is in place, he pulls the dowels, one at a time, to adhere the surfaces and eliminate mistakes.

Professionals install laminate in a specific sequence. They begin with the side edges, add the front edge, and finish with the top. To ensure a proper fit, cut each piece larger than the surface it is covering, and trim it to a perfect flush fit using a router for long edges. Use a file for tight areas where the router does not fit before applying the next piece in the sequence.

Seams are often difficult with laminate. Most installers attempt to minimize them if possible. If a seam is necessary, one approach is to laminate the two countertops separately, and join them together after the cement dries.

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