When installing your own laminate countertop/worktops, it is vital to be equipped with the right tools and the right detailed easy to follow information as you only get one chance to perform this task. If you are confident with using DIY tools, then you should be able to install your tops yourself using the methods described below.

Laminated tops usually have a rolled laminate front edge which is known as a postform. Postformed tops are by far the most common to buy as all DIY stores stock them. The lengths however do vary from different manufactures and different DIY stores.

The most common lengths are: 4.1m – (4100mm) most stores supply half board sizes too for this length at 2050mm. 3m – (3000mm) DIY stores mainly supply these lengths. Some stores will even cut them to the lengths that you require for a small fee.

You will have to take the board sizes into consideration so you know exactly how many lengths required. Firstly measure your kitchen walls, workout which way your joint is going to be cut into the corner and measure that length for one countertop, always allowing 100mm extra if possible. Repeat for all lengths of countertop.

If you are cutting the lengths yourself from full boards, you will need to place the length on two or more trestles/workmates to support it. Measure your desired length and mark ready for cutting, remembering to always measure twice. The saying in the profession is (Measure twice and cut once). You can use a traditional fine toothed saw for this or alternatively a jigsaw.

There are two ways that postformed countertops can be installed, each way giving you a different look and a different skill level to fit. The first, easiest way and less time consuming is to use the thin metal strips that you simply place over the joint to hide the cut. This way you simply butt the first top right into the corner and the second top butts straight up to the first tops front edge. Steer well clear of this method if you do not want to see the unsightly metal strip sticking proud on the joint. They are known to be unhygienic too as food and drink often gets trapped between the strip and the top which is very hard to remove.

The second way is to cut what is known as a butt and scribe joint. This will make the joint totally invisible and gives the top a nice flow all around your kitchen as there is nothing to breakdown the surface. This is the totally professional way to cut the joint. You will need what is called a countertop/worktop jig for this to enable you to cut one top into the other in the shape of a hockey stick. If you want your tops to look totally professional with no visible joints, then this is what you should be aiming to achieve. The jigs are very reasonably priced these days so don’t let that put you off. If you like a challenge, you pay close attention to detail, want to achieve recognition, satisfaction and brownie points, then this way is for you.

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