Need information on "postform" counter tops

I am looking to change my current kitchen countertop. It is made of thin laminate and the color is outdated and has cracks in varous locations. I went to Home Depot the other day to look at my options. One of the options was the postform countertop. It has laminate on pre-formed solid base. It looks good, but I would like to know more about the pros and cons of this type of countertop before taking the plunge. The salesperson indicated that the counter top will be cut to dimensions including the hole for the sinks. As a DIY'er, I expect to do all of the installation work myself. Please provide any information you can.
Thanks, Al Kondo
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<< As a DIY'er, I expect to do all of the installation work myself. Please provide any information you can. >>
One of the most heart rending situations is when you have your new countertop ready to install and find that the wall it fits against in not flat and there is a gap where the splashback meets the wall. Remember that what you order will be square and flat and your counter and walls will have to match it. Do a thorough job of measuring and check everything at least twice and you'll have a good job. HTH
Joe
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Postform counter tops reguire a seam in the corners.
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"postform" is the technical name for "ordinary laminate countertops". The "postform" essentially meaning that the laminate is bent around the edges, rather than 90 degree sharp edges.
Whether it's appropriate to DIY, and how much DIY you do depends on a number of factors.
1) Any counter that needs joining (corners, joining long lengths) should be cut and prepped by the supplier. Getting cuts that straight, splinter free and cutting the pocket holes for the joiner bolts is _extremely_ difficult for a DIY.
[You try cutting a _perfectly_ straight 45% angle in a 22" deep countertop that's 10 feet long! I suppose you could cut your own pocket holes with a router if you're desperate]
2) If you buy the laminate pre-jointed, and you assemble it onsite isn't too bad, however, getting the joint solid and matching can be quite tricky.
3) Cutting sink holes is fairly easy if you can cut it without splintering the surface much (jig saw or router on sink template). Don't try if the sink isn't self-trimming (has a lip). Make sure you have a decent template.
4) Cutting a countertop to length isn't too hard as long as you can cross-cut it perfectly straight, _and_, if necessary, source the proper laminate "end" piece and glue it on. If the countertop is anything but a small selection of common colours, you'll need to buy the laminate end piece from the counter supplier.
I use a router and straight edge.
5) Make sure that the base cabinetry is compatible with the underside profile of the counter.
6) Watch out for non-straight walls and non-90% corners, and be prepared to compensate!
7) Watch out for joins (or sink cutouts) that aren't supported well by the base cabinetry.
Perhaps the biggest gotcha is compensating for wavy walls and non-90% corners.
I've done a fair amount of work with postform countertops, but none of which cared (much) about walls. The jointed one was suspended 3" away from the wall, so the backsplash, supports and wall provide a wiring channel. The others were shortish work surfaces with cobbled together backsplashes - effectively freestanding.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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