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DIY Laminate Countertop?

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Forum topic by clin posted 03-25-2016 10:21 PM 1042 views 1 time favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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clin

514 posts in 462 days


03-25-2016 10:21 PM

I’m laminating my own countertop for my workshop. My question has to do with how to mount the backsplash. I’ve seen two methods described online.

One is the top is full width going back to the wall and the backsplash sits on top of the counter. Presumably screwed from below.

The other is the backsplash mounts to the back edge of the top with screws going in horizontally.

This second approach would seem stronger because the horizontal screws would be going into the built up 1 1/2” edge thickness of the top. Versus, screw up through the top into the 3/4” thick backsplash.

However, what I don’t like about attaching the backsplash to the edge of the top, is it is the backsplash that will be resting on the back of the cabinet. Therefore the back edge of the top is supported by the screws going through the backsplash. Of course the top is supported everywhere it crosses the sides of the various cabinet cases.

I doubt it really matters, but since the backsplash is laminated then attached, the joint is caulked, but not glued. If it were particle board glued to particle board, it would be very solid.

Just looking for opinions.

-- Clin


23 replies so far

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#1 posted 03-25-2016 10:58 PM

Is there a sink? If not, why a backsplash for workshop?

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 462 days


#2 posted 03-25-2016 11:15 PM

Yes, there is a sink.

-- Clin

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 386 days


#3 posted 03-26-2016 01:23 AM

clin,

The one reason I can think of for mounting the backsplash on top of the countertop is protecting the back edge of the countertop from water. A ¾” backsplash will keep any water that strikes the backsplash and runs down the backsplash to the countertop ¾” from the back edge of the countertop. This second line of defense may offer a little more protection should the caulk fail. But since you are building this for your shop, I am sure you will be pretty careful with water around the sink – water is probably not going to set very long at the back edge. Therefore, it probably does not matter all that much which way you go.

There is a third mounting method. The backsplash could be mounted both on top of and against the back edge of the counter top at the same time. This would be done by rabbeting the backsplash. This method would allow the backsplash to be glued to the back edge of the countertop reinforced with screws.

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#4 posted 03-26-2016 01:40 AM

Nice!

Could you pocket hole from back side of back splash?


Yes, there is a sink.

- clin


View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2597 days


#5 posted 03-26-2016 03:38 AM

Put a bead of silicone on the bottom of the splash, and a few dabs of construction adhesive on the back, and stick it in place. Cut a few stick of scrap wood sticks to wedge the splash tight to the counter, using the ceiling or wall cabinets for the sticks to push against.
Scrape up the excess silicone, and clean what’s left with lacquer thinner. When it’s dry, you’ll never be able to get it off.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 462 days


#6 posted 03-26-2016 04:55 AM


clin,

The one reason I can think of for mounting the backsplash on top of the countertop is protecting the back edge of the countertop from water. A ¾” backsplash will keep any water that strikes the backsplash and runs down the backsplash to the countertop ¾” from the back edge of the countertop. This second line of defense may offer a little more protection should the caulk fail.
- JBrow

Hadn’t thought about the straight down run of water off the backsplash. At least if the backsplash is mounted on top, the joint is horizontal and gravity isn’t trying to help. Though capillary action may make that a moot point either way.

Also, the backsplash would be mounted with caulk in the joint, not just added after the fact to the inside corner. I think the idea is to have this caulk ooze out and be the same caulk that the runs in the corner. With the backsplash screwed on, hard to see anyway that would ever fail and allow water down it.

And, it is a utility sink in a workshop. Might go days or even weeks at a time and not get used. Unlike a kitchen or bath where it is used multiple times daily.

There is a third mounting method. The backsplash could be mounted both on top of and against the back edge of the counter top at the same time. This would be done by rabbeting the backsplash. This method would allow the backsplash to be glued to the back edge of the countertop reinforced with screws.

- JBrow

I was thinking something similar. But rather than cutting rabbets, you could stagger the doubler on the back to create the effect of a rabbet cut in the top. though this still give you a vertical joint first, then horizontal.


Nice!

Could you pocket hole from back side of back splash?

- hotbyte

Pockets holes is a darn good idea. The cases have about a million pocket screws already. What’s a few more. In then end, I’m not sure how much stronger it really will be. But if nothing else, the screw could be quite long and would go into the meat of the back edge of the top. Screw won’t pull out.

By the way, my concern for strength is really just until the thing gets mounted. Wouldn’t take much of a bump to cause a failure of material where a screw goes edgewise into a 3/4” piece of particle board.


Put a bead of silicone on the bottom of the splash, and a few dabs of construction adhesive on the back, and stick it in place. Cut a few stick of scrap wood sticks to wedge the splash tight to the counter, using the ceiling or wall cabinets for the sticks to push against.
Scrape up the excess silicone, and clean what s left with lacquer thinner. When it s dry, you ll never be able to get it off.

- Ger21

I agree another way to go. Though I do lean towards a more immediate an positive attachment.

All of these are fair points and ideas. In the end, my gut tells me, it just doesn’t matter. It’s just the engineer in me is always looking for the best way, even if another 10 ways are good enough.

I may also build up some test examples. May give me a better sense of how strong or weak a method is.

-- Clin

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#7 posted 03-26-2016 12:07 PM

I’ve never seen one screwed in that I’ve ripped out. Always just siliconed in place.

View jbay's profile (online now)

jbay

818 posts in 365 days


#8 posted 03-26-2016 02:10 PM

I always made mine 1 1/2” thick with a rabbet at the top so that it’s easy to scribe to the wall, because walls are never straight. I screw them on from the bottom after the top is attached.
I would also put about a 1 or 2 degree angle at the bottom so that when you screw it to the counter top the angle helps suck it tight against the wall. (Silicone or siliconized caulk on the edge first)

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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chiseler

121 posts in 355 days


#9 posted 03-26-2016 11:17 PM


Put a bead of silicone on the bottom of the splash, and a few dabs of construction adhesive on the back, and stick it in place. Cut a few stick of scrap wood sticks to wedge the splash tight to the counter, using the ceiling or wall cabinets for the sticks to push against.
Scrape up the excess silicone, and clean what s left with lacquer thinner. When it s dry, you ll never be able to get it off.

- Ger21


I have done it both ways,but found Gerry’s way the easiest,except I take it one step further,and put a 1/4” groove in the counter top,and a 1/4”x1/4”tongue on the splash just in case the top isn’t dead nuts flat/straight,and I have installed hundreds of counter tops over the years,and I’ve also found that phenoseal works best.It not only seals out the water when dry it’s also an adhesive that cleans up nicely with water while it’s still wet.If the wall is bad I’ll glue a strip of 1/4”x 3/4” strip of soft wood on the back of the splash before laminating(splash ends up 1”plus thick),and scribe it to the wall.

good luck Scott

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2597 days


#10 posted 03-27-2016 12:16 AM

I meant to add that the shops I’ve worked at have made and installed thousands of backsplashes over the years, always with just silicone. Have never seen a failure.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View WesternRevival's profile

WesternRevival

10 posts in 663 days


#11 posted 03-27-2016 12:20 AM

Half Lap joint. Glue and screw both horizontally and vertically.

-- Will, www.westernrevival.net

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#12 posted 03-27-2016 12:31 AM



Put a bead of silicone on the bottom of the splash, and a few dabs of construction adhesive on the back, and stick it in place. Cut a few stick of scrap wood sticks to wedge the splash tight to the counter, using the ceiling or wall cabinets for the sticks to push against.
Scrape up the excess silicone, and clean what s left with lacquer thinner. When it s dry, you ll never be able to get it off.

- Ger21

KIS +1

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jbay's profile (online now)

jbay

818 posts in 365 days


#13 posted 03-27-2016 12:37 AM


Put a bead of silicone on the bottom of the splash, and a few dabs of construction adhesive on the back, and stick it in place. Cut a few stick of scrap wood sticks to wedge the splash tight to the counter, using the ceiling or wall cabinets for the sticks to push against.
Scrape up the excess silicone, and clean what s left with lacquer thinner. When it s dry, you ll never be able to get it off.

- Ger21


Works if it’s for yourself, but…
Does that mean an extra trip back to the customers to remove the scrap sticks?
Or do you ask the customer to finish the job for you?

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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chiseler

121 posts in 355 days


#14 posted 03-27-2016 03:39 AM



I meant to add that the shops I ve worked at have made and installed thousands of backsplashes over the years, always with just silicone. Have never seen a failure.

- Ger21


I’ve used silicone in the past,and the “only “reason I prefer phenoseal is because it’s easier to clean up than silicone,and in 38 years I’ve yet to see” it” fail.but you are right in saying silicone is a great adhesive,just a PITA to clean up oozage afterwards

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

137 posts in 426 days


#15 posted 03-27-2016 01:28 PM



Put a bead of silicone on the bottom of the splash, and a few dabs of construction adhesive on the back, and stick it in place. Cut a few stick of scrap wood sticks to wedge the splash tight to the counter, using the ceiling or wall cabinets for the sticks to push against.
Scrape up the excess silicone, and clean what s left with lacquer thinner. When it s dry, you ll never be able to get it off.

- Ger21

This is the way most all commercial/residential shops install back splashes with the exception of a few using Smart Clips.

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