Laminate is a budget-friendly alternative to granite, quartz and other solid-surface countertops. And building custom countertops in place is a great way to deal with unique shapes and sizes. There are hundreds of colors to choose from, and you can order 5 x 12-ft. sheets of laminate at most home centers. With a sheet that size, you can avoid cutting difficult miters, and usually eliminate long, crumb-catching seams.
If you’ve never tackled custom countertops, don’t be intimidated—let our expert walk you through the process. You’ll need a couple of specialty tools, including a compound router with an offset base, a laminate slitter and a laminate file.
Cut a dado in the backsplash
Before you assemble the underlayment, plow a 1/4-in.-deep, 1/4-in.-wide dado into the backsplash. The laminate slips into the groove to give you a little wiggle room when you install it. Jamey cuts his dado by making a few passes on his table saw.