DIY Network

How to Install Laminate on a Countertop

DIY expert Carter Oosterhouse reveals the steps for installing a new laminate countertop in the kitchen.

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Measure the Counter Siding

Before starting any work on placing laminate, make sure your surfaces are completely free of debris. Otherwise you'll have a mess when you begin laying down your contact cement.

It's best to start working with the counter siding. Measure the length and width of the counter edges and add an inch to the measurements, allowing yourself room for error when attaching (Image 1). Cut out the strips of laminate you will need by using a laminate slitter (Image 2).

Step 2: Apply the Contact Cement

Add two coats of contact cement to the side of the countertop and one coat to the underside of the laminate strips.

When the contact cement has dried and has a nice sheen to it, carefully place the strips onto the side of the countertop and roll out any air pockets using a J-roller.

Allow seven hours for the cement to harden.

Step 3: Remove the Excess Laminate

Once completely dry, use the router and laminate bit to remove the excess laminate. Place the base of the router against the side of the countertop and move in a left to right motion.

Step 4: Apply the Last Coats of Contact Cement

Now you are ready to work on the countertop laminate. Measure the length and width of the countertop, again adding an inch to the measurements. Cut out using a circular saw.

Apply one coat of contact cement to the MDF, a coat to the underside of the laminate, and then go back and apply a second coat to the MDF. Wait for the cement to dry on both.




  • Kitchen countertop laminate (Bisque Ceramic Matte Finish #7697-58) from Formica Corporation
    Peninsula cabinets: Finished Alamo Oak Kitchen Cabinets from Home Clearance Center