How to Attach Countertop to Cabinets?

When you replace your kitchen countertops, the first thing you need to do is to attach the new countertop to your cabinets. This process will require you to measure the space on top of your cabinets from corner to corner and then order a prefabricated or unfinished counter that is designed to fit into that space. 

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Once you have a good idea of the space that you’re going to be working with, make sure your base cabinets are level and that any previous countertops are removed. If you’re installing a post-form or custom-fabricated countertop, the company will provide you with a template to help you cut the laminate sheet in the correct size. 

Lay the laminate down over the MDF substrate and apply contact cement according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the contact cement has dried, lay dowels or strips of venitian blinds across the MDF. Once the blinds are in place, set the laminate on top of them. 

Trim the edges of the laminate to match the MDF top. Once the laminate is cut to size, you can use a jigsaw to rip it into pieces to make the installation easier. Once you’ve trimmed the laminate, it will be much easier to attach to the MDF substrate. 

If you’re using a solid stone countertop, you can secure it to your cabinets with a piece of 3/4-inch plywood that’s about the same thickness as the cabinet walls. The plywood is attached to the tops of the cabinet frames with screws that’re set in the cabinet’s bracing. 

Laminate countertops are secured to the tops of base cabinets by either glueing them in place or by attaching them to a layer of plywood underneath the slab. Either method provides a sturdy base for the countertop to sit on, and it’s important that the wood in the cabinets isn’t too thick. 

You can also secure a laminate countertop to the cabinets by drilling pilot holes into the buildup strips that are usually attached to the backs of each cabinet wall. These buildup strips are made of 1 1/2-by-3/4-inch lumber and should be at least 1 1/2 inches shorter than the width of each cabinet so that they don’t interfere with the edging of the laminate counters. 

After you have positioned the countertop on the cabinets, drill pilot holes into each of the buildup strips. Then, insert short screws into each of the buildup strips through the front corners of the base cabinets and into the bottom sides of the laminate counters. 

Repeat this procedure for each of the other cabinet walls. You can also add angle brackets inside the cabinets to support the countertop in case the buildup strips don’t offer enough support. 

Once the laminate is securely in place, you can begin installing the cabinets. The cabinets can be connected together with wood screws and L-brackets beneath the laminate counter. 

If you’re adding an end cap to the edge of the counter, it can be a good idea to tape it to the edge of the counter with painter’s tape so that you can activate the adhesive before installing the countertops. This is a good way to ensure that the end caps will stick to the counters, and it’s easy to do so with an iron that’s already warmed up.