Instead of replacing his friend’s countertop, he does THIS (VIDEO)

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This is a relatively simple way to update a kitchen by adding a new timber benchtop, without the trouble of removing the old one.
install a kitchen countertop without removing the old one, countertops, kitchen design
I was recently asked by a friend to help update his kitchen. The melamine benchtop had cracked and chipped and he wanted to bring it up to date by changing it to a wood countertop. Instead of removing the old one I simply installed the new one over the top of the existing one. This would speed up the project but also raise the already low benchtop.
install a kitchen countertop without removing the old one, countertops, kitchen design
Most countertops are roughly the same depth (this is to accomodate the cabinets makers, appliance manufacturers, etc) so if you were installing a square or rectangular benchtop this would be a simple case of buying a prefab one from the store and cutting it to length. In my case I had a corner to deal with and decided to go with a mitre join.
I started by measuring the existing countertop. Be sure to add a small overhang so that you can cover the existing benchtop. I extended mine by roughly 30cm.
install a kitchen countertop without removing the old one, countertops, kitchen design
Transfer the measurements onto the store bought benchtop. This was roughly $100 AUD at my local big box store, but I’ve seen them even cheaper.
install a kitchen countertop without removing the old one, countertops, kitchen design
Using a circular saw and a piece of wood as a guide, I cut the benchtop to length.
install a kitchen countertop without removing the old one, countertops, kitchen design
Here you can see the mitre (or 45 degree) cut that I created with the 2 pieces.
install a kitchen countertop without removing the old one, countertops, kitchen design
Next you need to “key” the surface. You can do this with a knife or sandpaper. All you’re doing is creating small indents for the glue to lock into. Melamine is notoriously smooth and slippery so glue won’t stick to it. Doing this ensures a good bond.

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