Has anyone installed HD laminate themselves?

addictedtorosesApril 7, 2010

My husband an I have decided to use Wilsonart's HD laminate for our kitchen countertops, and need to save a little money on this remodel by installing the counters ourselves. There are many tutorials on the web about how to do this, but I'm afraid that the HD may be a little different. At the Home Depot, the HD countertops on display did not have a seam at the edge- the wood underneath was routed and the laminate installed in one smooth piece. But the sample is very, very stiff. Would you heat it to get it to bend to shape? We are also doing a large island (84x36). How would the edges work here? If you made your own laminate countertop, would you do it again?

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Are you talking about having a smooth rounded front edge or curved, seamless backsplash? There is some thinner laminate made for bending, but I can guarantee that you can't do it yourself. Curved laminate is a factory operation involving uniform heat and pressure and specialized equipment. You are either going to have to go with the standard, seamed square edge where laminate meets laminate, or the type of wooden front where the top edge is routed.

You can do it yourself if you are handy, but, unless you are somewhat skilled, and particular about details, you may end up with a result that looks less-than-professional.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 7:44PM
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I have made a couple laminate counter/desk tops using HD laminate. I did not try to bend or curve it, however, since the procedure is as Kudzu described.

I did two different front edges. On one, I banded the top with oak trim about am inch thick. I used biscuits, glue, and clamps to attach the trim to the base material. Then, I applied the laminate, used a flush trim bit in a router to remove the excess, and then a chamfer bit(45 degree angle) to ease the sharp top edge.

On the other one, I added the front edge trim, but left a lip sticking up about 1/4". I set the laminate against that lip, used a flush trim bit to trim the edge flush with the top surface of the laminate, and did a bull nosed treatment to the front of the trim(Rounded).

The backs had to be just butted to the back splash and the joint caulked with a quality kitchen/bath caulk.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Wow handymac - sounds really nice!
Addictedtoroses - I can tell you that there's no difference installing HD versus other laminate (I work for the manufacturer). As kudzu said, the "postformed" edge you were looking at is a manufactured edge. You can buy what they call "blanks" which are pre-fabricated with the edge - you cut them to size and cut the sink and cooktop holes. Home centers can order them for you. If you're going from scratch, you can find instructions via the Handyman Club of America website.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:04AM
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