Formica countertop sections are sold by the foot to allow the homeowner or contractor to cut the countertop to the correct size at the location. This means that the ends of the countertop are raw or unfinished and need to be finished on site. Usually, the countertop will be sold with the appropriate size, colour and shape of end cap so that the person installing the countertop can attach the end cap prior to installing the countertop for a nice, finished look.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Formica countertop
- Formica end cap
- Heat gun or iron
- Folded towel
Cut your Formica countertop to the finished size you want in the kitchen or bathroom. Test fit the counter to be sure it is the right size.
Place your countertop on the work table so that the last 3 or 4 inches of the counter overhang the edge of the table.
Align your end cap with the end of the counter. Direct the air flow of your heat gun onto the end cap strip. (You can also use an iron.) The adhesive on the back side of the strip will activate with heat. Use a folded towel to press the activated adhesive into the side of the countertop and smooth. Continue until the end cap is well attached to the side of the countertop. Allow the material to cool completely for at least 30 minutes.
Install a laminate cutting router bit in a hand-held router. Apply 1/2-inch of wax on the countertop side of the edging. The wax allows the router bead to roll easily while protecting the counter surface.
Cut with the router perpendicular to the edging material starting on the far left outside edge cutting by following the contour of the countertop toward the front right end. Use a flush trim carbide router bit. Hold the router steady and even for the best cut. Lightly file any rough spots. Clean off any excess wax or adhesive, and your countertop is ready to install.
Tips and warnings
- Finish all of your end caps before installing your countertops. Once the counter is in place, the end cap will be too close to the back wall for the router to fit, making it more difficult to cut the end cap.
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