How to install a laminate countertop cutting board

Written by michael straessle
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How to install a laminate countertop cutting board
Inlaid Cutting Board (Image by Michael Straessle)

One of the issues that people face while preparing food is where to cut and chop. Laminates used in kitchen countertops are not durable enough to withstand the blade of a knife. However, there is a way to overcome this issue: install a cutting board in the laminate countertop.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Cutting board
  • Measuring tape
  • Framing square
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Jigsaw
  • One piece 23-by-23-by-3/4-inch plywood
  • Variable speed drill
  • Philips head screw tip
  • 1¼-inch drywall screws
  • Caulk sealer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the width and the height of the cutting board. When choosing a cutting board, stay under 1 1/2 inches thick and less than 22 inches per side, as this is the thickness and depth of countertops covered in laminate. Locate and mark the area on the laminate countertop where the cutting board is to be installed.

  2. 2

    Place the framing square on the marks using the front of the laminate countertop as the perpendicular edge. Draw lightly across the depth of the countertop.

  3. 3

    Mark the centre of the depth of the laminate countertop in two places. Set the framing square on the marks and draw a line that will be parallel to the front of the countertop.

  4. 4

    Place the straight edge on a line and score it with the utility knife. Repeat this until the score penetrates the wood deck under the laminate. Do all four lines in this fashion. Apply duct tape along the edge of the cut and then drill a hole large enough for a jigsaw blade.

  5. 5

    Cut the square out of the laminate countertop with the jigsaw. Sand the edges of the opening in the countertop with a sanding block. Use down strokes to prevent chipping the laminate at the opening. Install the 23-inch square plywood from underneath the laminate countertop with the drywall screws. Insert the cutting board and apply a sealer around the edges to protect the material under the laminate and to hold the cutting board in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Cut slowly to prevent chipping the laminate.
  • Purchase a rim the size of the cutting board to conceal chips if they occur.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children.
  • Do not install a cutting board in the seam of the laminate.

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