I'm having a hard time finding a source for a laminate countertop (more like
an island, really) - the dimensions are 76 x 48 - I'd like to avoid any
seams - there will be a sink, too. My budget can't accommodate granite or
solid surface. Any suggestions? THANKS!
I guess the reason I posted is because my limited experience with buying
stuff like countertops is to go to one of the big box stores and get an
estimate and pay someone to do the work - there aren't too many reliable
independent remodeling folks that I can find here in my locale - I have no
idea about how to contact the companies that actually make the countertops,
but I don't imagine that they'll sell to individuals - my expertise is with
business software, and people pay me to handle that for them - stuff that I
don't know about, I pay people to do it - if I can find someone - at any
rate, if you felt that my question wasn't up to standards, you have my
To those of you that offerred an answer without the sarcasm - thanks!
The big-boxes don't directly employ any installers. They also don't make the
special-order countertops. All that is subbed out. If your town isn't big
enough to have a custom countertop fabricator, the nearest larger town will.
They may or may not be listed in the yellow pages, but should be listed in
the white pages, if you can find out the name. The guy at the big-box store
may or may not wanna give up the names, since they get a cut when you book
the job through them. Ask around amongst co-workers and neighbors- the local
go-to guy usually isn't a big secret, since word-of-mouth is their best
advertising. Custom counters are usually sold installed, but that is more
true for solid or stone than simple formica. Suppliers don't want the
callbacks from amatuer install jobs, or the bad pr when a botched install is
linked to their name. An island that big, you will want help with anyway-
even in formica, that sucker will be heavy. Off the top of my head, not sure
formica even comes that wide- you may have to live with a joint down the
middle, especially if you want a molded edge. A hardwood edge with formica
center may be easier and cheaper to fabricate.
I really think it would be worth the time (and gasoline) to drive quite a
distance to get exactly what you want. Divide the expense by the number of
years of enjoyment you'll get from the countertop and a classy looking
kitchen, and it'll seem like a very small investment.
I just noticed this. That's simply wrong. Any countertop place will be happy
to take your money. If you *do* find a place that seems hesitant to deal
directly with homeowners, it's probably because they're afraid of building
something for an experienced person who may not measure correctly, and then
end up being a service nightmare. I recently visited a custom curtain store
where the manager said exactly that. They won't take orders for certain
types of window coverings unless one of their installers comes to your home
to double check your measurements. There are certainly other ways of getting
I think that you will find that any "top shop" will build anything you
Contact any cabinet shop in the yellow pages and ask them if they will build
the top for you or ask them
who they use, some shops will use someone else to build their tops for them.
Also there may be a listing
for a company that just builds laminate tops. Check more than one company,
there is usually a lot
of variance in prices between them. You should also want to go to their
shop and look at their work.
We had a company that built tops for us, their work was poor and too
expensive for what they provided.
Mainly the poor quality of work is what drove us to start building our own
tops. It's difficult to provide a
quality product for a customer when it looks like crap with radiused ends
looking they were cut out around
two different size coffee cans then beltsanded by a blind fabricator.
I sell custom laminate furniture, so I can speak to this. This sounds like
a island, so I'll make that assumption for my response, meaning all sides
finished and no backsplash.
Call a custom cabinet shop, most of them are capable of working with
laminate, and it won't be a lot of money. Avoid home stores, even the
independent ones. For this, you want to talk directly to the fabricator or
you may well end up with seams where you don't want them to be. Laminate is
available in 4x8 or 5x10 sheets. To best avoid seams, you'll want bullnose
sides, but not all shops are set up to do this, and it will require a 5x10
sheet, which is sometimes a special order and takes a couple of weeks to
If you don't want bullnose sides, and go with flat edges, you'll have at
least two seams along the side. A 5x10 should yield two seams, a 4x8 should
be six (if a second sheet is used then it will be three seams). Again, if
you go direct to a fabricator you can discuss where approximately to have
the seams put for best appearance. Make sure you tell him what you're using
this for and what the support is, if he thinks its a table top he may build
it differently than for island that takes a sink.
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