How To Install Laminates

At “Heffron’s A Moment In Time Retro Design” we receive many orders each and every day for our laminate collection. We have Retro, Boomerang, and Cracked Ice just to name a few. So you can imagine how many of our customers have questions on the installation of the laminate.

It might seem like a daunting task for someone who has never installed laminate. However with a little patience and following the steps in this article you’ll see that there is no need for worry. So before we begin, let’s take a look at some of the tools you’ll need for this project.

What You’ll Need:

  1. Sheet(s) of your favorite laminate
  2. Tape Measure
  3. Power or Table Saw
  4. Tape (when cutting laminate)
  5. Contact Cement
  6. Paint Roller or Brush
  7. Wooden dowels
  8. Router with Bevel trim bit
  9. Sanding File
  10. Sander (Optional)

Step 1) The first step will be based on your existing countertop. If you have a new or clean countertop then you can move onto step two. If you have old laminate that you are replacing then you’ll want to stick around.

If you’re installing over existing laminate, the old countertop surface should be thoroughly sanded and cleaned to remove all debris. The sanding will help to remove any existing glossy coating and roughs up the surface for better bonding with the countertop adhesive.

Step 2) Next you’ll want to measure your countertop. It’s important to measure 1-2 inches larger than the actual size to be on the safe side. Any excess laminate will be removed later. Once you have your measurements you can cut the laminate using a table saw or handheld power saw. It’s recommended to tape your laminate along the line cut prior to cutting. This will help avoid chipping.

Step 3) After your laminate is cut you are going to use the contact cement. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area if possible. Make sure the area is dust and particle free to keep countertop clean as well.

Consult the instructions on the label to determine how much you should use. Take off the lid and make sure to stir before using. Flip the laminate over and apply the contact cement. Grab your paint roller and begin distributing the cement across the surface. Once you are done with the laminate, repeat the process this time with your countertop.

Step 4) Now wait for the contact cement to dry. This can vary depending on what you buy so please read the manufacturer’s instructions. Some may be wondering, why we are letting the cement dry? That’s because contact cement bonds to itself, rather than carpenters glue where you’re gluing two materials together.

Step 5) Once the cement is dry you’ll want to go back to your countertop and place wooden dowels onto it. The reason we use dowels is because they roll and this allows you to easily adjust your laminate that you are going to place on top of them. After everything is aligned you will want to start at the center and remove the first dowel. Press down firmly onto your laminate, applying even pressure and working your hand out towards the edge.

Repeat this process for each dowel and work your way towards one edge at a time. Take your time and make sure that your laminate is being placed properly and is lining up the way you want it to look.

Step 6) The laminate is now firmly placed onto the countertop. Since we cut the laminate a little larger than needed there is probably some extra hanging off the edge. To remedy this you will want to use a router. We recommend using a “Bevel trim bit” to trim your laminate edge.

Step 7) Now that your laminate is trimmed you may notice that your edges are still a bit sharp. A file will work perfectly to smooth the edge of your countertop and give you the desired touch you’re looking for.

There you have it! By following these steps you will be able to install any type of laminate onto your countertop or table without paying someone to do it for you. Good luck with your project and remember, for all of your laminate needs head over to our laminates section.

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