Remodel a Laundry Room by Adding a New Countertop!

Our laundry room started out like so many other builder spaces; dark, dank and in the basement. There was nothing much we could do about the location (our house is too small to move it), but we could certainly remodel it with beautiful finishes to make it a pleasant space to do laundry in!

One day I’ll write about the full laundry room remodel, but today we’re focusing on the countertop update.Laundry Room 001

We ended up purchasing the cabinets, sink and original countertop from Habit for Humanity’s Restore (hubs loved the huge, deep stainless steel single sink). We firmly believe in supporting the Restore because the proceeds of sales help build homes for disadvantaged families. Of course, we’re all about upcycling too and are big proponents of keeping things from going into landfill if they can still be put to good use!

Unfortunately, the counter that came with the cabinets had seen better days and detracted from our beautiful new tile work on the backsplash!

Laundry Room Before_BOF.jpgWe were happy to use laminate again, but wanted our replacement counter to be perfectly flat – without that little bit at the back that acts as a quasi-backsplash – so we laid our tile work to just meet the top level of the cabinets taking into account the additional height of a new counter. By the end of the build, our budget was feeling stretched and when we finally looked into a replacement, we were shocked to learn that a new laminate counter without a backsplash would have to be special ordered (and because of that was pretty pricey). Who knew that leaving something off an item was actually going to cost more?IMG_0779_BOFWe lived with the old countertop for a while until one day we stumble upon a big box store we had never been in. Actually, we thought our car was breaking down and got off the highway to check things out –  and that’s how we ended up in the parking lot of the store. It turned out the car was fine, so we popped into the store to check it out since we were already there.

Here comes a stroke of serendipity:  they had a whole pile of laminate countertops that had been brought in as a special offer. They were not only sans the backsplash, but also sans the inflated price tag. They were exactly what we were looking for! Unless you looked really close, you would swear they were quartz!IMG_0646_BOFDon’t you just love it when good things happen unexpectedly? We loaded the counter into the car and went on our merry way.

When we got it home, we cut the piece down to fit our cabinets. Hubs then used the old counter to measure the sink opening and he made a template out of a scrap piece of plywood (since we were reusing the old sink), but cardboard or even paper would work too. Cut out the template and make sure it fits the sink.IMG_0776_BOFHubs added masking tape on the new counter so he could see his pencil lines when he traced the shape of the sink cutout onto the counter.IMG_0782_BOFHe added several holes just inside the line of the sink. Typically, you’d only need one to get a jigsaw blade into to start the cut, but he wanted to make it easy on himself so he cut a few more for good reason. Having the additional holes along the way allowed him to stop and reposition himself instead of having to contort himself and the jigsaw to cut around in one go.IMG_0784_BOFHe used the holes in the middle to make a cut right through the centre. IMG_0789_BOFHe went back to his starting position then he cut from the large hole to the one on the left (the large hole you see at the bottom is bigger to accommodate the tube for the overflow).

He walked around the counter to the other side and ran the jigsaw to the corner. Then he stopped to add a 2×4 underneath the waste piece fastened with clamps. He finished cutting the perimeter until he was back to the second hole. IMG_0796_BOFBelow you can see the 2 x 4 clamped under the left side of the cutout.  With the 2×4 support, he didn’t have to struggle to try to hold the waste piece from underneath as he cut.IMG_0795_BOFWith the cut complete, he simply lifted the waste piece up and out.IMG_0799_BOFHe removed the 2×4 and started the process again on the other side to cut the rest in the same manner….IMG_0802_BOF… and remove the second piece.IMG_0808_BOFBefore we set the counter in place, we capped off both raw ends with the supplied laminate using contact cement to join them. You might not think it’s necessary to cap the side that’s against the wall, but if you leave it exposed and it comes in contact with water, it could eventually rot so you might as well do it too!

We dry fit the sink to make sure it fit and marked the hole for the faucet. Remove the masking tape from under the sink but apply painters tape around the perimeter of the sink (on the counter) to catch any excess caulking.IMG_0809_BOFDrill the hole for the faucet.IMG_0816_BOFThen attach the counter to the base cabinets with screws from underneath (measure to make sure the screws aren’t longer than the material so they don’t poke through the countertop!).

We applied water proof caulk rated specifically for sink areas to both the counter, as well as underneath the rim of the sink itself.IMG_0848_BOF

IMG_0846_BOFHubs donned some gloves just in case and lifted the sink from the sides to avoid the caulk. He lowered it into the gap and made sure the caulking was seated well. IMG_0850_BOFUnderneath the sink, there are mounting clamps that get tightened against the counter; use some wood blocks if necessary to bridge any gaps. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, because that’s what will keep the sink tight to the counter and seal the caulk.Laundry Room Counter 003_BOF.jpgBefore the caulk dries, smooth any excess caulk that squishes out with a wet finger then lift up the painters tape leaving a clean surface.

Now that the clamps are in place and the caulk is finessed, you can reconnected the faucet. The faucet we used was saved from when we renovated our old kitchen.

We finished off the gap between the counter and tile with clear silicone.IMG_0853_BOFWe’re happy with the new countertop: it helps modernize the space and shows off every inch of the tile. To see how we installed the tile backsplash, click here.

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11 thoughts on “Remodel a Laundry Room by Adding a New Countertop!

  1. Isn’t it great when you can support a terrific organization while at the same time finding just what you need? Like all your projects, you do an amazing job with your tutorial and the end result is extraordinary.

    • Thanks so much Alys; you’re always so complimentary! I never thought I’d ever have so much to write about when I first started my blog but now my ‘free’ wordpress site is almost at it’s limit. I’m going to have to look into something more permanent to continue writing and I’m not sure where to start 🙂

      • Sara, you’re quite amazing. You have a keen sense of style, mad skills and a breezy, easy-to-read writing style. You deserve every one of those compliments. I reached my photo limit last year and I upgraded to a business plan. I think it’s $99 a year for unlimited photos. Well worth it once you’ve been blogging this long (over six years for me). I guess it depends on where you want to go with your blog. My organized at heart blog is on ( as it is here). There are more themes and tons of widgets you can use, many free or nominally priced. That’s another option, too. It’s more complex, though. I had to buy the domain, pay for hosting, pay for Akismet and there are always updates. Best of luck!

        • Thanks for the advice; you’re always a wealth of information! I’ll likely keep it simple; I’d rather spend time writing than figuring out widgets 🙂

        • I just looked into upgrading to a business plan and it’s almost $400 for unlimited storage; if you upgraded for only $99, that’s a bargain! The next plan (premium) is cheaper in comparison but only 13G of space – I’ll easily go through that in a year! Looks like I might have to explore a hosted site afterall! I took the first step in purchasing my domain name. You’re right about it being pretty complex; the staff at the hosting companies all seem ‘outsourced’ and aren’t very helpful (I get different answers every time I ask the same question!) so it should be an interesting (aka overwhelming) experience. I hope I’ll be able to at least maintain my followers so I don’t have to start from scratch 🙂

          I’m wondering if should merge my craft site to amalgamate it all under one site or if it should remain separate? What do you think? I’ve learned that you can add subdomain or subdirectories, however I don’t know if you can maintain separate mailing lists in different areas of the same site once it’s merged together. I wouldn’t want to alienate anyone.

          • There are sites that will reduce the size of your photos by 90% and I used one for awhile. It was a lot of extra work though, exporting then re-importing so I gave up. I think its great for folks with one or two pictures per post, but like you, my posts are photo-heavy.

            As for merging your two sites, I guess the answer lies in your subscribers or followers. If you have a lot of crossover, then one site with different categories might be easier and more affordable to manage. I wonder if the 13G of space is per year or over the life of the blog. That would be a good question to ask. As for dealing with hosting companies, I feel your pain. Best of luck and please keep me posted, Sara.

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