Installing Kitchen Countertops

Is installing kitchen countertops on your list of most-needed-to-do jobs? If so, take a look at some of the tips we’ve found to get and keep you going and/or to fall back on when you’ve decided that installing kitchen countertops would be better left to the pros or for those no longer encumbered with that little thing called “sanity.”

  • Unless you’re feeling the urge to show off when installing kitchen countertops and don’t mind falling on your face if you fail, avoid working with solid-stone or solid-wood surfaces. Besides being costly, materials made from these surfaces don’t make for easy work to beginners. And on top of that, some manufacturers of solid-surface materials refuse to honor warranties on countertops put in by anyone other than a certified installer.
  • Go for installing kitchen countertops made from materials such as laminate. Besides being a whole lot less expensive, laminate actually looks quite nice and is amazingly easier to work with.
  • Check out the aisle at your big-box store that carries something called “post-form” countertops. These feature pre-cut miters, attached backsplashes, and unfinished ends you cover with iron-on laminate. Despite what it sounds like, these are very nice-looking and go light years toward installing kitchen countertops an actual, do-able, weekend-warrior-type project.

Assuming you’ve measured accurately and the post-form counter fits, installing kitchen countertops goes smoothly at this point. After removing your old countertop, fit the new one on the base. Using your drill, attach the new countertop to your existing cabinets/base with screws. Caulk between the existing gap between the wall and the top edge of the new post-form countertop with silicone caulk to prevent damage from water or dampness. If this gap is larger than about 1/8”, you’ll have to sand the back edge of the new countertop down to fit.

After cleaning up your mess, you’re just about done with the job of installing kitchen countertops. But first, open the ‘fridge and take a good look around. If you find a beer (or a soft drink, for all you teetotalers), crack it open, and drink. Congratulations! You are now done installing kitchen countertops and have even completed the traditional “end-of-installing-kitchen-countertops” ritual.

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