Install new laminate countertops yourself (2023)

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Breathe new life into your kitchen with laminate worktops. We explain everything you need to know, from the first measurement to upgrading your devices.

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Last update:13.07.2022

Install new laminate countertops yourself (1)

Expert tips for installing laminate worktops in your kitchen

If you need to replace your countertops but want to avoid labor costs, installing a laminate countertop may be the project for you. Available in a variety of colours, textures and patterns, you can find laminate worktops to suit every design style, from traditional and country to urban and contemporary. In addition, laminate is recyclable,environmentally friendlyMaterial.

Formica manufactured the first laminate surface materials in 1913, and today the brand is such a household name that many people call all laminates "Formica." We spoke to Gerri Chmiel, Senior Residential Designer at Formica, for expert advice on how to install new laminate countertops yourself.

Jump to:


cut laminate

check dimensions

To install

seal joints

Install accessories

(Video) How To Install Laminate Countertops | Step By Step

Frequently asked questions about installing laminate countertops

Is it easy to install laminate countertops?

Yes, due to their light weight and the basic tools required, laminate countertops are one of the easiest types to install. Also, the time frame for completing the project is relatively short, making it an ideal weekend DIY project.

How much does it cost to install laminate countertops?

expect to pay$40-$80 per square footHave countertops installed by a professional. The price can range from $10 to $40 per square foot if you do the installation yourself.

Is laminate good for kitchen countertops?

While laminate countertops are a solid countertop option, they tend to have a short lifespan and are highly susceptible to scratches, cuts, warping and delamination.

Is Laminate Right for You?

Choosing a new material is often the most difficult aspect of countertop replacement. To help you decide if it's the right choice, we asked Chmiel what the top four reasons for installing laminate worktops are.

Advantages of laminate countertops:

  • Versatile:There are more colours, patterns and finishes than any other surface material, so there really is a laminate pattern for everyone. Options include solid colors, graphic patterns and the look of natural stone.
  • Easy to clean and maintain:Laminate does not require special cleaning products or annual resealing. Just clean up the mess and you're done!
  • Easy to install:You have the freedom to hire a professional or do it yourself.
  • Affordable:Installed granite typically costs about $120 per square foot, while Formica laminate is only $14 to $38 per square foot.

Installing formica countertops is a DIY project that will make a world of difference in your kitchen.

Install new laminate countertops yourself (2)

Gerri Chmiel, Senior Residential Designer | Resopal

“Installing a laminate countertop is easier than most because of the relatively light weight of laminate countertops. Plus, the typical homeowner has the tools necessary to install laminate countertops where granite or quartz would not.”

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How to install laminate countertops in six easy steps

Step 1: Prepare DIY countertop installation

Many manufacturers sell pre-cut laminate countertops, which are the easiest to install. For best results, have the countertop corners cut by the manufacturer. Miter cuts for inside corners are extremely difficult and are best done by a professional. Your dealer should also be able to pre-drill the slots for the retaining bolts underneath.

(Video) How to Install Laminate Countertops

Install new laminate countertops yourself (3)

Measure and remove old countertops

Proper measurement is the most important step in installing a countertop, especially if you have pre-cut your countertop. Ask your countertop supplier if they have specific measuring instructions for your particular design. Then draw your kitchen with the following dimensions:

  • Measure the depth of your closet.Measure from the back panel and note the desired overhang. Standard overhang length is 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches but may vary for eat-in kitchens, handicap accessible countertops, etc.
  • Measure the height of your dashboard.Your new laminate counter needs to stay under outlets, window trim, and other wall-mounted objects. Make sure your backsplash covers all unpainted areas.
  • Measure the length of your countertop.Add your chosen overhang to this measurement if needed.
  • Measure the flatness of your walls.Using a level and square, check that your walls are straight and meet at a 90 degree angle. If you find a small arch in the wall, don't worry. You can usually trim the countertop to fit.

Also note the locations of your sink, stove, and refrigerator, and provide the measurements of the cutouts for quick reference later. For areas of the countertop that will not fit into the wall, be sure to indicate where the laminate end caps are needed.

Once you've noted your measurements, you'll need to remove the old countertop and make sure the area is clean and safe.For detailed instructions, see our related post athow to remove countertops.

Tools needed to install laminate countertops




Laminate worktop

drills and bits

soft file

block plane

mounting screws

belt sander

Sealing agent

seen horses

contact adhesive



cartridge gun


Rubber hammer

tape measure


safety goggles

Hand saw

A movie

adjustable wrench




Install new laminate countertops yourself (4)

Step 2 - Cut the laminate to fit the cabinets

If you need to make any adjustments to your preformed laminate, take the sketch with all your measurements and follow the steps below to cut Formica worktops to size.

How to cut laminate countertops

  • wear safety glassesand adequate protection to avoid injury.
  • Place the countertop on a stable surfacelaminated side down.
  • Secure the countertopwith brackets
  • Attach masking tapealong the cutting area to prevent chipping.
  • Measure the length you wantwith measuring tape.
  • Make a straight cutting lineon the tape with a pencil and a square foot.
  • Align the inside edge of your circular saw bladewith the line and carefully cut.
  • sand or fileafter cutting to ensure a smooth surface.

Step 3 - Check the countertop measurement and make adjustments

Insert and test the countertops. If you notice a gap along the wall, use a compass to measure the width and draw a line along the back edge. Remove the new countertop and use a belt sander to sand the edge of the countertop for a better fit.

Replace the countertop, making sure the cabinet drawers clear the edge of your new laminate countertop. If not, measure the additional distance required. Then cut reinforcement strips to attach to each corner under the counter. Screw in the reinforcement bars and pre-drill the holes to easily attach the worktop later.

Install new laminate countertops yourself (5)
Install new laminate countertops yourself (6)

Step 4 - Attach laminate countertops to base cabinets

Apply a bead of caulk or construction adhesive along the top edge of the cabinets that support the countertop. Lower the countertop pieces or remove the washers holding them. Attach the assembly strips to the new laminate with a drill. Check the thickness of the countertop and backing strips to determine the correct nail length.

Once the laminate countertops are in place, join the mitres underneath the countertop using the manufacturer's recommended amount of adhesive. Insert and tighten the miter screws. If necessary, use a hammer and a piece of wood to hammer the joint until it is level.

Step 5 - Caulk the joint between the countertop and the wall

Once everything is glued, use glue to attach the splash edges where the counter meets the walls and the end trim to cover any exposed edges. If necessary, file down any rough edges. To seal the gap between the countertops and the walls or backsplash, use a caulking gun and appropriate joint compound to create an even line.

(Video) How To Install Laminate Countertops DIY & SAVE!

Install new laminate countertops yourself (7)
Install new laminate countertops yourself (8)

Step 6: Reinstall the sink and appliances

Let's reinstall the sink. You may have to cut something to get it in place.

  • To make a cut out for your current sink or countertop, use your old countertop as a guide for the measurements.
  • To install a new sink or countertop, a template with dimensions is usually included in the box.
  • If you work without a template, center your sink or stove upside down on the new countertop and trace an outline.
  • Attach masking tapearound the edges of your line to protect the countertop.
  • Drill starting holesin each corner to facilitate cutting.
  • Cut off the piece of laminate. To prevent it from falling over, place a piece of wood under the counter to support it.
  • File the edgesuntil smooth to avoid splinters during installation.

Complete your kitchen remodel

Now you can bring your fridge, stove and other countertop appliances. And voila, your kitchen countertop installation is complete!

Now it's time to finish the rest of your kitchen. If you would likeReplace your sink and faucet, Add afresh paintor integrate themlatest kitchen trends, visit theinterior projectssection of our blog for more tips and tricks.


Install new laminate countertops yourself (10)

Gerry Hoppen

Gerri is a Senior Residential Designer at Formica, based inCincinnati, OH. Formica is the world's largest manufacturer of laminate worktops. In addition, they produce coating material for other kitchen and bathroom projects. Working extensively with design and color trends, Gerri aims to educate clients about trends in their market.

other sources

Loveland, M. (December 22, 2021). How much does it cost to install laminate countertops? Received

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