How to Cut FormicaPosted by
How to Cut Formica
Formica is a popular material found in numerous kitchens. To install it, though, people need to know how to cut it properly. This can be done in two ways, when the formica is just about to be installed or when it’s already attached to the countertop. Here’s how.
Method One: Cutting Formica Before Installation
What You’ll Need:
- Sabre saw
- Flat file
- Contact adhesive
- Router with a laminate cutting bit
- Determine which surfaces you’re going to cover with formica. Countertops and backsplashes are the most common ones.
- Get your formica, then lay it down on the work surface. Sketch the pattern you want to cut, as well as cutouts for other inlays and sinks.
- Get a sabre saw, preferably one with a fine-tooth blade. Cut the laminate, at least 3/8 to 1/2 inch bigger than the pattern you sketched.
- Put the contact adhesive at the back of the formica, as well as the surface being covered.
- Set the laminate sheet in position, then, using a J-roller, apply pressure to the sheet’s top, ensuring a good bond.
- Apply the formica to the backsplashes and trim using the same method.
- Get a router with a laminate cutting bit and trim the edges of the Formica fitting the surface adequately.
- When you’re done, use a flat file to smooth the rough spots and sharp edges.
Method Two: Cutting Formica Countertops
What You’ll Need:
- Formica countertop
- Circular saw with a thin kerf carbide blade
- Jig saw
- Safety goggles
- Metal file
- Sanding block or belt sander
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Masking tape
- If possible, move the countertop away form the walls adjacent to it. You might need to disconnect fasteners and unhook the plumbing.
- Get a strip of masking tape and lay it down over the cutting line. This will protect the laminate surface and prevent the plastic from splintering and chipping. Try laying down additional strips where the base of the law will run along the countertop’s edge. This helps you avoid scratching the countertop.
- Check if you have the rip fence that came with the circular saw. This will be useful for guiding the cut. Be very careful when following the cut line. If you do waver a bit to the side, just square it off with a belt sander later.
- Adjust the saw blade depth to cut through the countertop’s thickest part, by at least 1/8 inch. Make sure to keep an eye on the cutting line and saw base as you cut with a steady movement. If cutting more than an inch wide of countertop, try doing a practice cut. This will help give you the feel of cutting the laminate.
- Cut all the way using your jig saw. When you reach the cut nearest to the wall, you might find it a bit difficult. Try cutting slightly to the line’s outside, so there’s a bit more to take away.
- To grind the laminate to your cutting line, use a belt sander with a fine grit carbide belt. Hold your sander in such a way that the belt runs downward, forcing the laminate against the backing.
- Clean up with a metal file, moving it in a downwards direction. Then, smooth out the cut edges with the 220 grit sandpaper.
Formica adds a beautiful appeal to your kitchen surfaces. Just follow these steps to cut it properly, and soon you can install it all by yourself.