From sizing your laminate countertop to cutting, you want to get it right the first time. It’s the centerpiece of your kitchen and your bathroom, and you want to make sure everything fits properly.
In this article, I’m going to show you how you can cut a laminate countertop with a table saw and also share some tips to protect the board from chipping while you are cutting it.
Overall, the process should be pretty straightforward. I’m going to take you along this journey and show you what tools you will be needing and the things to look out for a while you are cutting a laminate countertop for the first time.
Is It Possible To Cut A Countertop With A Table Saw?
Yes. This is actually the preferred method of doing. Additionally, you can also use a jigsaw, a reciprocating saw, a table saw, or a circular saw. For curved cuts, use a jigsaw.
As for the blade, you will need a long enough blade with high teeth count. The finer, the better. To get a clean-cut, having a saw blade with a carbide tip is preferable. I will talk more about this later on.
Cut Laminate Countertop With Table Saw – Step By Step
The process I’m going to be showing will allow you to make a 90-degree, straight cut. If you need to make a curve cut, you will need to miter a 45-degree angle. Now, with that out of the way, let’s jump right in and cut ourselves a laminate countertop with a table saw.
Step 1 -Measure
The first thing you are going to do is measure the length that you want to cut and make a mark. Once you have done that, take a square and make another mark at the other end. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Step 2 – Eliminating Splinters
Now, take a masking tape. A painter’s tape will do just fine. Remember the marking that you made earlier? Now you will have to tape that line on the laminate side of the countertop.
Mask the whole line from top to bottom. By taping the laminate side of the countertop with masking tape, this will eliminate the splintering of the laminate when you run a table saw through the line.
A lot of people ask this question. How do you eliminate splinter on a laminate? This is the answer.
Step 3 – Measure Once Again
Now that you have taped the top portion, it’s time to repeat the process. This time, we will turn the countertop upside down and measure it once again.
In this step, we should be in line with the first top tape when we make our mark from the other side to cut. This is all you need to do in the early stage of cutting, or should I say before you begin to cut.
Step 4 – Final Measurement
Pad your table saw or sawhorses with towels or rags so that you don’t mess up the finish side of your countertop when you turn it upside down. With your countertop upside down in place for cutting, go ahead a measure where you want your mark.
This is the length of your countertop from the very corner to all the way to where you want to make the cut. Now, make the mark. And at that point, you will take the square, and you will run a line straight across at 90 degrees to the other side.
Take note that on the other side is where your masking tape was placed. Make sure that the tape is in line with the mark.
Step 5 – Prepping For The Cut
Now, you will need to create a guide using a 2×4. This way, you can take your table saw straight down that line for a smooth cut.
Once you have set up your guide, take the saw and lower the stage to where you have your blade perfectly resting on the center of the line that you created. Make sure that you are snug against the back wall of the countertop.
Now, take the 2×4 and put it right against the saw to the edge. Clamp the 2×4 in place using C-clamps. Once the clamps are in place for your guide, use the square and check to make sure it’s a perfect 90-degrees.
Now, take a smaller block and put it on the backsplash. Use a square to make sure it is perfectly in line at a 90-degree. After you make sure that the block is where it should be, clamp the small block down.
Step 6 – Safety Measurements
Finally, you have now created a perfect guide to run your saw down to cut straight and smooth line. When you are doing this, it’s good to have somebody to hold one end of the countertop so that it doesn’t snap off.
Step 7 – It’s Cutting Time
Make sure you bring your stage back to where you are cutting deep. This will make a straighter line when you cut. Now, begin cutting. Make sure to wear proper safety gear like goggles and ear protection.
Turn on the saw, make a smooth cut down the line and keep it going. Make sure the depth of the board is covered before you push the saw any further. You can check out how others do the cutting online for more in-depth details.
Step 8 – Inspection
Now, all you need to do is simply remove the masking tape and inspect the edge. If you have followed the steps shown in this guide, it should be perfect. If it looks good, that’s 80% of the work done.
As for the last 20%, take the square and check to see it is a perfect 90-degrees. Make sure there aren’t any chipping on the edge of the countertop. If the edge is smooth and straight, you are good to go. And that’s all there is to it.
The process of cutting a laminate countertop using a table saw is actually very easy. All you need to do is take the time to make the proper measurements, make sure the guide is perfect, and you will have a perfectly straight countertop in no time.