If your base units are still in good condition but your worktop is dating your kitchen, fitting a new work surface is a job that can be done in a weekend and will totally transform your room.
Worktops come in a wide range of materials from granite to wood. We are going to look at how to fit and cut a laminate worktop, as this is one of the easiest materials to work with.
Ensure the new worktop is the correct size. If replacing an old worktop you can use this as your template. Alternatively, if you are starting from scratch you will need to tailor the new surface to fit your space.
As walls are rarely completely straight, to achieve an even overhang at the front of your units, it may be necessary to scribe the surface if you have gaps against the wall larger than 4mm, as sealant won’t be able to disguise anything larger. In essence, scribing means cutting the worktop to the same shape as the wall, which will require cutting a line from the back of the surface to avoid any gaps against the wall. One way to do this is to measure the largest gap between the wall and work surface, then cut a piece of wood to the same depth as the gap. With the work surface against the wall, place this block flush against the wall with a pencil at the front of this block, then run the block and pencil along the top of the work surface to mark where you need to cut to ensure a neat fit.
Decide where you want to fix the worktop to the base units. As a rule three screws at the back of the units and three at the front should suffice.
Once settled on the position of where the screws should sit, drill 4mm holes through the base units. You will then need to drill holes into the base of the worktop in line with the holes drilled in the base units. To ensure you don’t drill too far and go through the top of the worktop, a good trick is to use a piece of masking tape on your drill bit to mark the point where you need to stop drilling.
Fix the surface securely in place with 4mm screws.
Now you have your workshop securely in place you can cut out any holes you may require for a sink or hob.
If you’re fitting a new sink it will more than likely come with a template. Alternatively, if you’re fitting an existing sink, you can make your own template simply by placing the sink upside down on the worktop. Make sure the template is positioned an equal distance from the front and back of the worktop, and that position will allow the bowl of the sink to fit in the unit below. When happy with the position draw around the template in pencil.
Take your template, or sink, out of the way. Now you need to mark the overlap required for the lip of the sink to sit on the worktop – this ensures that the sink doesn’t fall through the worktop when you place it on top.
Carefully draw this line in pencil, using a ruler to ensure it’s straight, inside the existing sink template line. If you are unsure, the sink manufacturer should be able to tell you this measurement.
Next, to enable a jigsaw blade to cut through the worktop, you’ll need to drill holes carefully in each corner of your inner line.
To stop the base of the jigsaw plate scratching the surface, line it with masking tape and make sure you use a laminate blade to cut with to minimise damage to your worktop.
Now carefully cut along the inner line and, as you get to the end, support the piece of worktop that’s being removed to prevent any splitting. Seal the cut edges to prevent any water damage once the sink is in use.
Finally, for a neat finish, apply matching laminate strips to any exposed cut ends by first cutting the strip to the correct length then applying suitable adhesive to the back of the strip and the worktop edge.
Follow the instructions supplied with the adhesive as to whether you need to leave it to become tacky before sticking in place.
Once completely dry, trim any overhangs with a sharp craft knife and file off any rough edges.
If you’re worried about pencil marking your worktop, place some masking tape on the surface so you can draw lines on top of it.