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thin laminate and the color is outdated and has cracks in varous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
<< 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
"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
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
7) Watch out for joins (or sink cutouts) that aren't supported well by the
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
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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