How To Replace A Laminate Countertop: A DIY Guide

If you are looking for a new countertop for your kitchen, you may want to consider a laminate countertop. They are durable, easy to clean, and come in a variety of colors.

Laminate countertops can be installed over an existing countertop or over a sink cutout. The process is not difficult and can be completed by anyone with basic DIY skills.

The installation process should take 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the kitchen.

Laminate is a sturdy, reasonably priced material that you can install yourself. It comes in both modern patterns and designs that resemble popular stone looks.

In this article, I will take you through the 7 easy steps that you can follow if you are looking at how to replace a laminate countertop all by yourself.

7 Easy Steps To Follow To Replace A Laminate Countertop

StepsEstimated Required Time
Planning And Preparation60-120 minutes
Remove The Old Laminate30-60 minutes
Cut The New Laminate30-60 minutes
Glue The Laminate30-60 minutes
Apply The Laminate On The Countertop60-120 minutes
Install The Edge Strips60-120 minutes
Seam The Laminate Countertop Sheets60-120 minutes

Step 1: Planning And Preparation

Required Tools

  • Marker.
  • Utility knife.
  • Pencil.
  • Scale.


  • Place the sheet in position and outline the new laminate’s underside with a marker to replicate the countertop’s form.
  • When rough-cutting the sheet, leave a little additional space outside of your traced lines.
  • Measure the countertop’s dimensions and sketch the countertop shape you’ll need to cut out of the laminate sheet.
  • These sheets’ edges are fairly straight, so you should prepare for them to line up with the wall at the back of the cabinet.
  • Outline each countertop as you go.
  • The sheet cutouts should generally correspond to the shape of the finished countertop when you draw your designs. Still, you should also add a few additional inches so the sheet edges will overlap the edges of the countertop.
  • Mark the relevant cutlines on the laminate after transferring the dimensions from your drawn plan.

Step 2: Remove The Old Laminate

Required Tools

  • Coarse metal file.
  • 120-grit sandpaper.


  • Apply a lot of pressure and swirling motion with a coarse metal file as you go over the entire surface.
  • This will remove any old laminate that is still stuck to the countertop.
  • Use 120-grit sandpaper to prepare the surface.

Step 3: Cut The New Laminate

Required Tools

  • Utility knife.
  • Circular saw.
  • Table saw.
  • Masking tape.


  • Use a utility knife and a straightedge to direct the blade for a clean, even cut.
  • A circular saw, jigsaw, or table saw with a fine-tooth blade can also be used to cut plastic laminate.
  • To prevent chipping and make the line more visible, apply a strip of masking tape where the cut will be made.
  • Cut from the laminate’s reverse side when using a jigsaw or circular saw with power. Then use a table saw with a fine-tooth blade positioned backward.
  • To work on the large 4-by-8 sheets, you must put up both outfeed and lateral supports.

Step 4: Glue The Laminate

Required Tools

  • Contact cement.
  • Wood strips.


  • Brush contact cement onto the countertop surface following the sanding, cleaning, and drying of the old countertop.
  • Apply a level and smooth layer covering the entire surface.
  • Coat the laminate counter cutout’s backside with contact cement.
  • Let it dry.
  • Then cover the previous countertop surface with dowels or wood strips set about 1 foot apart.
  • They should be long enough to extend past the edge of the counter so that you can subsequently hold the end and pull them out.
  • Position the fresh sheet laminate on top of the wood strips, facing up.
  • Do not allow the two adhesive surfaces to come into contact, or they will get stuck.
  • The new sheet should be precisely positioned directly above where it will eventually be put.
  • The fresh sheet laminate should then be positioned on top of the wood strips, facing up.
  • Do not allow the two adhesive surfaces to come into contact, or they will get stuck.
  • The new sheet should be precisely positioned directly above where it will eventually be put on the wood strips.

Step 5: Apply The Laminate On The Countertop

Required Tools

  • J-roller.
  • Router with a flush trim bit.


  • Remove the initial wood strip from one end of the sheet, then use a J-roller to push the new sheet onto the counter and join the two sections together.
  • Put pressure on the sheets using a roller so the glue is secured and there are no air pockets.
  • As you move toward the opposite end of the counter, roll the entire surface completely while removing the wood strips one at a time.
  • The entire new laminate surface should be completely bonded by the time you get to the end of the counter.
  • The additional laminate overhang can then be removed by leveling with the edge of the counter using a router equipped with a flush trim bit.

Step 6: Install The Edge Strips

Required Tools

  • Contact cement.
  • J-roller.
  • Router with a flush trim bit.
  • Half-round file.


  • The installation of edge strips is very similar to surface sheeting.
  • Apply contact cement with a brush to the surface of the existing countertop edge and the rear of the strip.
  • Attach the edge strip, roll it in with the J-roller, and use clamps to firmly secure it while the glue cures. Allow the glue to dry.
  • You might need to combine two edge strips if your edge strip isn’t long enough to cover the complete countertop edge.
  • When combining two strips, split the strips into a long, flat portion rather than at a curve.
  • Simply remove the clamps once the edge strips are firmly bonded and round the edges using a router and flush trim bit.
  • The changeover between the countertop surface and the edge strips can then be slightly flattened by running a half-round file along the edges.

Step 7: Seam The Laminate Countertop Sheets

Required Tools

  • Wax paper.
  • Contact cement.
  • Masking tape.
  • J-roller.


  • You may need to link two sheets of laminate if the counter is too big.
  • Initially, attach the larger sheet in place as usual.
  • Along the edge of the bigger piece lay a thin strip of wax paper.
  • To prevent the second piece from touching the counter’s cemented surface, use wood strips.
  • Place the second layer on top of the wax paper, and flush against the first piece at the seam.
  • To keep the second piece in place, tape it.
  • As you roll the second piece down, take off the wood strips as you go.
  • Lift the edge that is covering the wax paper once the second piece has been firmly glued in place.
  • After removing the paper, roll your J-roller from the center of the second piece toward the seam to tightly glue it together.

What Is The Cost To Replace A Laminate Countertop?

One of your least expensive countertop options is still laminate. Home Depot says the average price for a regular countertop alone is $29 per square foot, while prices for solid surface materials (like Corian) are $52, granite is $58 per square foot, and quartz is $68 per square foot.

However, expenses exceeding $40 per square foot are feasible for laminate countertops, and prices can vary substantially depending on the design and color you choose.

Custom-Built Countertop

The average costs for constructing and installing the countertop are roughly $60 per square foot, including installation labor.

You can expect to pay considerably more if you want unique edge treatments, which is a time-consuming operation that raises the cost.

You may also have the countertop made for between $20 and $40 per square foot, then install it yourself.

DIY Raw Laminate

Costs range from $100 to $300 per large sheet of laminate (5 x 12 feet, or 60 square feet), or $1.50 to $5 per square foot.

Each 4 x 8-foot sheet of MDF needed to construct the countertop core will cost around $30 in addition to tool rental fees and materials like contact cement.

For a DIY countertop, the budget should be between $5 and $10 per square foot.

Prefabricated Post-Form Countertop

Home improvement stores provide prefabricated countertop parts in lengths of 4 feet, 8 feet, and angled corner pieces.

The price per segment ranges from $50 to $200.

This is a cheap and simple alternative, but the colors and patterns you may choose from are only those that are available at home improvement stores.

Bottom Line

Laminate countertops are affordable, low-end alternatives and are now popular in many higher-end homes.

They are a wonderful option for anyone interested in DIY fabrication or looking for a budget countertop material that offers a wide variety of design options.

So if you are thinking of giving your old countertop and sink a new aesthetic look, laminate is just the right choice for you.


Can you put new laminate over old laminate countertop?

Yes, but the surface must already be leveled and smooth. Make sure the existing laminate is properly attached and repair any gouges or loose edges.

Is Formica the same as laminate?

YES. The word “Formica” is frequently used to refer to laminate.

Are countertop overlays worth it?

Because overlays are thinner than full-sized counters, they are less expensive. Overlays enable you to have high-end quartz countertops without having to pay a significant price.