What you will need to make a new laminate countertop:
Tools (minimum requirements)
- Trim router
- 3" – 9" paint/adhesive roller with cover (1/8" nap)
- Flush trim router bit (carbide tips)
- 1" paint brush (china bristle) — no sponge brushes
- 1/4" dowel rods 36" long (one for every 12" of countertop)
- 3" hard rubber J-roller
- Sanding block with 80-grit sandpaper
- Circular saw with fine tooth carbide blade
- Scoring knife
- Laminate scissors
- 5/8" or 3/4" thickness
- Particle board
- Medium density fiberboard (MDF)
- Plywood with one “A” face
Here are step-by-step directions. Read carefully before beginning your project.
If you have questions please contact the Wilsonart hotline at 800-433-3222. Make
sure the Wilsonart® Laminate and the surface you are covering are clean, dry and
smooth. Do not laminate over paint, varnish or old covering.
On the laminate sheet, mark dimensions 1/2" larger than the size of the surface to be covered (substrate) to allow for trimming after bonding. Place a strip of masking tape over the cut line to prevent chipping. Mark the line on the tape and cut through tape and laminate at the same time when using a scoring knife (see drawing A). When using a circular saw, cutting from the bottom side of the laminate will eliminate chipping of the decorative surface. Use a router from the top or bottom of the laminate when cutting.
Use the remaining material to cut strips for the edges in the same manner as stated above.
Using WA800 Aerosol or a 1" brush with WA600, apply adhesive to the backside of the laminate edge strips and double coat the edge of the substrate (see drawing B). Do not apply adhesive to top surface at this time. Allow adhesive to dry*.
Important! Once the adhesive is ready to bond, if any contact is made between the backside of the laminate and the edge of the substrate, they will bond immediately.
Be very careful to align each laminate piece with the substrate prior to the surfaces touching. Starting at one end of the edge, start applying the edge strip with excess laminate extending above the top side of the counter. Use a hard rubber J-roller to apply uniform pressure along the entire edge strip (see drawing C).
Using the laminate trimmer/router, trim off the excess laminate protruding above the substrate surface (see drawing D). Areas that cannot be routed may be filed smooth. When filing never drag a file out toward the decorative surface of the laminate. Doing so can result in chipping of the color/pattern.
* To test the adhesive for appropriate dry time, lightly touch the adhesive with your finger. If the adhesive feels tacky yet does not stick to your finger, it is ready to bond. Refer to adhesive manufacturer directions.
Spread the adhesive on the substrate using your adhesive roller (see drawing E). Two thin coats on the surface are better than one heavy coat. One hundred percent adhesive coverage is required (each coat). Before applying a second coat, make sure that the first coat is dry. Allow adhesive on both components to dry*.
Position the dowel rods on the top surface approximately 12" apart, perpendicular to the front edge (see drawing F). Position the laminate carefully over the substrate. Starting at one end of the counter, start removing the dowels one at a time while holding the laminate in place.
Use a hard rubber 3" J-roller to apply uniform pressure across the entire countertop. Apply pressure to every inch of the C surface for a complete and lasting bond.
Route off the laminate overhangs with the router and flush trim bit. The radius left by the routing process in any inside corner should remain. A radius on an inside corner (minimum 1/8") will strengthen the corner. Use a file to remove sharp edges and sharp outside corners.
Clean off excess adhesive with Wilsonart 121 Cleaner and a clean white cloth (Acetone is also an option).
Note: Cutouts for sinks and cooktops may be made with a jigsaw and a fine tooth blade. Sand the cutouts smooth with a file or sandpaper. Holes for faucets may be made with a hole saw.