I didn’t think we’d ever do a laminate countertop installation because I’ve always wanted ‘real’ stone. However, installing a laminate countertop without a backsplash turns out to be the best compromise and is the finishing touch in our laundry room! Our laundry room started out like so many other builder spaces: dark, dank and in the basement.
There’s nothing much we could do about the location. Our house is too small to relocate it, but we can certainly remodel it with beautiful finishes to make it a pleasant space to do laundry in!
Upcycling at its Best
We ended up purchasing the cabinets, sink and original countertop from Habit for Humanity’s Restore. Although Hubs motivation to buy was the huge, deep stainless steel single sink, we support the Restore because the proceeds help build homes for disadvantaged families.
Of course, we’re all about upcycling. Why send things landfill if they can still be put to good use? Unfortunately though, the counter had seen better days. It also detracted from our beautiful new tile work on the backsplash (see how to tile a wall)!By the end of the build, our budget was feeling stretched.
We were surprised to learn that a new laminate countertop without a backsplash would have to be special ordered. Because of that was it was pricey. Who knew that leaving something off an item would cost more?One day we stumbled upon a new to us big box store. Actually, we thought our car was breaking down and got off the highway to check things out. It turned out the car was fine, so we popped into the nearby store to check it out.
Finding a Laminate Countertop without a Backsplash
Here comes a stroke of serendipity: a pile of laminate countertops. Brought in as a special offer. they were not only sans the backsplash but also sans the inflated price tag. Exactly what we were looking for! Unless you look really close, you would swear they were quartz!Don’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 made a template out of a scrap plywood.
Laminate Countertop Installation Steps
Test with a Template
Since we were reusing the old sink, it’s just a matter of cutting out the template to make sure it fits the sink. Keep in mind that cardboard or even paper would work for the template instead.Adding masking tape on the new counter allows Hubs to see his pencil lines when he traces the shape of the sink cutout onto the counter.
He drilled 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 there’s a method to the madness. Having the additional holes allows him to stop and reposition himself. That way, he doesn’t have to contort himself, and the jigsaw, to cut around in one go.Using the holes in the middle, Hubs makes a cut right through the centre. Back at his starting position, he then cuts 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.
Walking around the counter to the other side, Hubs runs the jigsaw to the corner. Then he stops to add a 2×4 underneath the waste piece fastened with clamps. He finishes by cutting the perimeter until he’s back to the second hole. Below you can see the 2 x 4 clamped under the left side of the cutout. With the 2×4 support, he doesn’t have to struggle to hold the waste piece from underneath as he cuts.With the cut complete, he simply lifted the waste piece up and out.
Repeat on Other Side
He removed the 2×4 and started the process again on the other side to cut the rest in the same manner….… and remove the second piece.Cap off both raw ends with the supplied laminate using contact cement before setting the counter in place. 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!
Dry fit the sink to make sure it fits and mark the hole for the faucet. Remove the masking tape from under the sink. Then apply painters tape around the perimeter of the sink (on the counter) to catch any excess caulking.Drill the hole for the faucet.Then 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.
Hubs 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. Underneath 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. That’s what will keep the sink tight to the counter and seal the caulk.Before the caulk dries, smooth any excess caulk that squishes out with a wet finger then lift up the painters tape leaving a clean surface.
Once the clamps are in place and the caulk is finessed, you can reconnect 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.
Now that our laminate countertop installation is done, having a new laminate countertop without backsplash make me very happy! It helps modernize the space and shows off every inch of the tile. See how we customize Ikea cabinets for our laundry room makeover here.
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