How to cut formica

Updated July 01, 2018

Formica is a trade name of flexible, sturdy, heat-resistant plastic laminate material used as countertops and surface coverings. Formica is supplied in thin sheets that are cut to approximate size and shape then glued into place. Afterward, the excess laminate is to be trimmed flush with the surface and smoothed. Follow these guidelines to cut and install Formica and other plastic laminates.

Lay the Formica on your work surface and sketch the pattern you intend to cut. Sketch in cutouts for sinks and other inlays.

Use a sabre saw with a fine-tooth blade to cut the laminate 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch larger than the pattern.

Apply contact adhesive to the back of the Formica and to the surface you're covering.

Set the laminate sheet in place. Use a J-roller to apply pressure to the top of the sheet to ensure a good bond. Apply Formica for trim and backsplashes in the same way.

Use a router equipped with a laminate cutting bit to trim the Formica's edges flush with the surface.

Remove sharp edges and rough spots with a flat file.

Things You'll Need

  • Sabre saw
  • J-roller
  • Router
  • Laminate cutting bit
  • Flat file
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About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.