How To Cut Laminate Countertops – 2024 Guide

how to cut laminate countertops

You would be surprised at how easy it is for you to cut plastic laminates and you can cut laminates either by using a circular saw, router, jigsaw or any other hand tool.

Making use of aviation snips or tin snips is one of the easiest ways a laminate sheet can cut itself and this is achieved provided it is cut a little bit oversize so it can be trimmed down later.

It is a bit tricky to cut an already assembled laminate countertop and even though laminates are easy to cut, they might get to chip. Trust this how to cut laminate countertops review to show you how to do the trick.

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How To Cut Laminate Countertops

how to cut laminate countertops

Making use of the right tool when it comes to cutting laminate countertop and also implementing the right kind of technique would enable you to cut a laminate countertop with so much confidence.

Laminate is a material made using several layers of paper that are compressed and bonded using resin while its melamine coating serves as a protective covering. Cutting laminate sheet the standard way involves you making use of a linoleum knife or utility knife to score it and this is very perfect when you are making a short but straight cut.

Miter saws can also be used in making shortcuts but aviation snips or tin snips are the best and simplest ways to cut any shape and size of a laminate sheet. This is because these snips tend to cut through laminate with ease but most times, they fail in making perfect, clean cuts.

This is why this method is only encouraged when you want to cut the laminate to be oversize so you can end up trimming and flushing later. However, making use of a router still proves the safest method of having a clean edge when cutting a laminate sheet.

How To Make Straight Cuts When Cutting Laminate Countertops

If the laminate you want to cut is already bonded to a substrate then cutting such laminate would definitely be difficult and if you want to cut a laminate countertop then you need to be able to achieve straight and clean cuts.

The circular saw is the best do it yourself a tool that you can make use of when cutting laminate countertops and this is because circular saws have a carbide tooth blade which would provide impressive cutting results when used in cutting laminates.

A jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade can also be used in cutting laminate countertops but in this case you are likely to start cutting from underneath the countertop while making use of a standard cutting blade. If you want to achieve a clean cut then you would need to make use of a straight hedge or a custom jig as they would help in guiding the saw as it makes its cuts.

However, most people prefer using a custom jig to a straight hedge and this is because a custom jig is capable of allowing you to make two cuts in a single setup.

When it comes to cutting a laminate countertop, always make sure that you start cutting from underneath a laminate countertop whether you are making use of a jigsaw or a circular saw with a standard blade.

The reason is, the blades tend to cut as they start coming up from beneath the laminate material and this therefore would likely cause the top side to chip instead of the bottom side.

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How To Cut Holes, Curves And Make Sink Openings

You can make sink cutouts, large holes, curved cutouts and curves using a jigsaw when working on a laminate countertop and this jigsaw is the best option if the edges of the laminate countertop that you have cut would be hidden once the installation is done.

An example is having the lip of your sink cover up the edges of a cutout and if you want to make large holes and curves which would have a well precise machined edge then the tool that you truly need to make use of is a router.

A template or jig can also be used in guiding the saw as it makes the cut but in the case of smaller holes which measure up to about two diameters, you can make use of a hole saw and drill which is similar to when you want to drill through wood.

A very popular laminate countertop operation is a sink cutout and the best method is to make use of a jigsaw which has a down cutting blade or a reverse tooth so as to ensure it cuts down through the material instead of cutting from the top.

A laminate blade or a down cutting blade allows users to cut from the top side of laminate countertops and you do not have to worry about the surface chipping. Below are easy steps on how to create a sink cutout;

  • Strips of marking taps should be applied on where you mark your cutting lines and this is necessary because it helps you view the line clearly and also make sure that the laminate surface it doesn’t get scratched
  • Make use of masking tape to mark out the cutout
  • A 3/8 inch hold should be drilled right through the countertop and the hole should be drilled using a standard twist bit, sharp spade bit or a drill
  • A scrap board should be placed at the center of the cutout such that it extends right over the cutting lines on every side. You can make use of a screw-in fastening the board to the center of the cutout and the importance of this board is to make sure that waste pieces do not fall into the hole that has been drilled
  • The blade of the jigsaw should be inserted into one of the starter holes so as to complete the cut and each of the starter holes can be used in making turns at corners. When cutting the sides, the board should be rotated out of the way at appropriate times.

How To Trim Laminate With A Router

When constructing a laminate countertop, cutting the laminate to be a little bit large is the standard process before you mount it on the substrate. Trimming with precision is the next step and it can be done using a flush cutting bit and a router.

The flush cutting bit comes with a bearing found at the bottom end and it is designed to ride along the substrate and the bit cutter gets to trim the laminate sheet as well as maintain accurate edges. We have flush cutting bits that are designed to trim laminates using standard routers.

We also have tools that are similar to routers which are also designed just for trimming laminate materials. The lightweight and small size are the advantages that come with making use of laminate trimmers but in most cases, standard routers are the best at doing these jobs.

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