How to fit a kitchen worktop
Is it easy to fit a kitchen worktop?
A hard-wearing, hygienic worktop is now an essential for any modern kitchen. Whether you’re fitting a new worktop or replacing an old one, there are a huge range of styles, designs and materials to choose from.
The most popular kitchen worktops are made from laminate, solid wood, composite laminate, stone and granite. Each of these materials has slightly different cutting and fitting requirements. Stone and granite kitchen worktops should only be cut and fitted by qualified professionals. However it’s fairly straightforward to fit the other types yourself, as long as you have planned and prepared thoroughly.
This guide covers how to fit pre-cut laminate worktops. But first of all you need to plan how much work surface you need, and where any cuts are going to be made. The following tips may help your planning:
- Avoid mistakes by measuring twice, so you only need to cut once
- Try to make the best use of the factory-cut edges in your planning, so you keep your own cutting to a minimum. Factory-cut edges will always be perfectly square
- Plan so that any joints are properly supported by the unit frames beneath
- Make sure any joints between pieces are at least 100mm away from any sinks or cut-outs for appliances
- Position any hob cut-outs at least 50mm from the front edge and 60mm from the rear edge
Cutting a kitchen worktop
If you’re cutting laminate, composite laminate, or solid wood worktops, there are a few basic rules to follow to ensure your safety, and that you make a clean cut.
- Make sure your worktop is firmly secured before you start sawing. A circular power saw with a fine-tooth, thin blade is best for cutting the worktop. Clamp down a straight edge to guide the saw
- When using a hacksaw or power saw, wear safety goggles and a dust mask, and make sure the room is well ventilated
- If possible, practice cutting on a small piece of excess or offcut worktop first, so you get used to the method
If you need to trim or cut the worktop to length, mark a cutting line on the underside with a pencil. Double check the measurements and then cut using a power saw. Use a file or sandpaper to smooth down any rough edges.
Due to the length and weight of the worktops, you will usually need somebody to help you install them.
It’s important to let your worktops acclimatise for 24hrs after they have been delivered. Stack them horizontally on the floor, separated by packers or blocks of some kind. After 24hrs they need to be fitted as soon as possible.
Keep the protective plastic covering on the unit door fronts until your worktops have been fully installed.