How to Edge a Formica Countertop

Written by larry simmons
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Finishing a Formica countertop requires the placement of a strip along the counter's edge. This edging strip, made of Formica as well, should blend in seamlessly with the laminated plastic countertop and so must be cut and placed precisely. Whether you are using Formica's standard laminate or one of its speciality products, a finished edge can mean the difference between an amateur and professional looking job.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Router
  • Paintbrush
  • Contact cement
  • Edge roller
  • Belt sander
  • Cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the length of the countertop using a tape measure. Mark the length onto the Formica edging strip with a pencil, adding a ½ inch to the length to allow for trimming. Cut the edging strip with a router.

  2. 2

    Apply a thin layer of contact cement along the inside of the edging strip using a paintbrush. Apply two thin layers of the cement along the edge of the countertop as well. Allow the cement to dry on both surfaces, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Apply the strip to the edge of the countertop. If the countertop is longer than a few feet, have a helper hold one end while you work from the other and set the strip into place. Begin at any point where the counter meets the wall. Press the strip firmly to the counter as you go along the full length. When you reach the end, trim the excess strip to the edge using the router.

  4. 4

    Roll the strip into place using an edge roller. The roller not only ensures that all of the strip binds with the countertop edge, but also forces out any air beneath the edging strip.

  5. 5

    Sand the edge of the strip smoothly into the counter using a belt sander. Run the sander over the edge where the strip meets the countertop and along the bottom edge of the strip to remove any sharpness. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth after smoothing to remove any residue left from the process.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear a pair of safety goggles and a face mask while sanding the edging strip to keep particles from irritating your eyes and lungs.

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