The short answer is "yes, it can be done", followed by "but I wouldn't
ever do it..."
I've seen this attempted twice by amateurs and once by a professional
woodworker. In each case the surface was supposedly prepared properly,
the right contact cement was used, etc.,etc.. In each case the
laminate delaminated from the underlayment within two years.
You might go into the local Lowe's or Home Depot and look at their
pre-made countertops and do some price shopping. The cost difference
between the laminate and the countertop is significant but I wouldn't
call it considerable (the cost difference between laminate and Corian
is considerable.... <grin>)
To install a new countertop you (usually) unscrew the old one, lay down
the new one (making up any joints with the bolts they supply), level it
with shims as needed, and screw it down. You might have to trim out
the backsplash some so that it fits against the wall, so there's a
little (annoying) trial-and-error fitting to be done..
To laminate, the old surface must be sanded and cleaned thoroughly.
Cement is applied to old and new surface and allowed to dry, then the
laminate is laid and rolled thoroughly. Then of course there's the
nose and backsplash surfaces to be installed, and all of the edges to
be trimmed with the right router bit....
There are lots of things I'll do myself, and some that I'll leave to
the manufacturers or professionals. Making a laminate countertop is
one of the latter.
PS -- The cost of laminate countertop was so reasonable that we had our
big kitchen table made that way. Told 'em we wanted a custom
countertop 4 x 6 feet that was finished on all four edges, as though
for an island. When it came in we mounted it on legs. Done. It's
lasted about seven years now and looks almost as good as it did when
Best -- Terry
I did this about 18 months ago in my kitchen. The old formica was in
horrible shape, so I bought two sheets (4x8 each, $44 a piece IIRC)
from homedepot.... also bought some of their contact cement stuff...
it's in the same section as the formica.
Here's my point, mine is starting to 'buckle' in one place. I sanded
the old formica with a 60 grit on a belt sander to rough it up.
Cleaned it with a tack cloth, then pulled out my router with a straight
cutting bit (this is the ONLY way to cut formica, using a hack saw will
take days and you'll probably hurt yourself, formica's sharp stuff
sometimes...but it's possible)
After dry fitting all the pieces together, i pulled them off, then
started putting down the glue. That's where the problem is, I figured
I'd scimp on the glue in a few places as I was running short. (bought
the quart, not the gallon..not smart) PUT THAT STUFF ON THICK. I put
it on super duper thick in some areas and it's a great counter, where
it was thin...that's another story. I hate my bubbled countertop, if
only I did it right the first time.
So, moral of the story is...buy too much then return what you don't
use. I should've gotten 3 quarts and returned any unopened ones, and
slathered that stuff on until it oozed out of the edges.
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