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making a butcherblock countertop

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Forum topic by Spacehog posted 04-04-2016 04:08 AM 574 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spacehog

65 posts in 986 days


04-04-2016 04:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: counter countertop butcherblock fasteners laminate advice

Ahoy out there! I was recently approached by a good friend of mine because he wants me to tear out his counter (which is a pretty basic laminate) and replace it with a butcherblock counter. I feel pretty sure that I can do it, but I want to ask around a bit before I get myself in too deep. Haha.

I’ve done a ton of butcherblock cutting boards and also a butcherblock table; so the concept of making a butcherblock surface isn’t new to me. However, I’ve never installed a counter of any kind. I’ve also never taken one out, so there’s that too. I haven’t looked at their counter yet, so I can’t really answer any questions about it at this time.

I guess what I’m most curious about are 2 things:

1. Are there things I should know before taking out an old laminate countertop? I mean, I don’t plan to go it with a jackhammer and wreak havoc. But I’m not sure if there are some rookie mistakes that I could avoid.

2. Once I have the countertop off, are there things I should know about attaching the butcherblock counter? I read an article about how it’s important for table tops to be secured in a way that allows for the wood to move some over time. I assume that the same principle would apply for countertops, but I guess I’m not entirely sure. I’ve seen things like figure 8 fasteners and z clips that allow for movement, so I think I could use those easily enough. But I didn’t know if there were other things that I needed to consider with how to fasten it all.

Anyway, thanks in advance for the help!

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...


7 replies so far

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1077 posts in 3003 days


#1 posted 04-04-2016 04:33 AM

I’ve built many a wood countertop and they do move. I make a support frame that looks like face frames and mount it either inside the top of the cabinets or on top of the cabinets.

I take a router with a small straight bit and cut slots in the support frame for the hold down screws. If the top is heavy enough I use only small dabs of silicone about 12 inches apart to hold the top down.

This Cypress countertop is held down with screws and has moved as much as 3/8” in it’s home environment according to the home owners.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/63970

-- Bruce Free Plans http://plans.sawmillvalley.org

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2177 posts in 1486 days


#2 posted 04-04-2016 07:35 AM

This doesn’t quite answer your question, but Grizzly has laminated maple countertops that seem pretty reasonable to me. I wanted to do it in our kitchen remodel, but SWMBO vetoed it.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#3 posted 04-04-2016 11:45 AM


1. Are there things I should know before taking out an old laminate countertop? I mean, I don t plan to go it with a jackhammer and wreak havoc. But I m not sure if there are some rookie mistakes that I could avoid.
They come off easily and are usually attached with small brackets easily removed. I have seen them attached with pocket holes, too.

2. Once I have the countertop off, are there things I should know about attaching the butcherblock counter? I read an article about how it s important for table tops to be secured in a way that allows for the wood to move some over time. I assume that the same principle would apply for countertops, but I guess I m not entirely sure. I ve seen things like figure 8 fasteners and z clips that allow for movement, so I think I could use those easily enough. But I didn t know if there were other things that I needed to consider with how to fasten it all.
I would secure the front and let all the movement go back under the backsplash. I would leave it 3/8 – 1/2” short depending on the moisture content of the top. Good idea to get the top material in the house and allow a couple weeks for acclimation.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1975 days


#4 posted 04-04-2016 11:54 AM

I’ve not done a countertop, but I have done two bar tops. One was three foot long, and the other was eight foot long.
Obviously the eight foot long top could not be done in one piece, so we split it up into three sections. Over the years, those sections moved as much as 1/2” in total from season to season. One reason was he heated his home with wood, which was very low humidity. That also revealed the mating edges in the sections, then they would disappear as soon as the spring arrived. The owner was OK with it, since most of their furniture suffered from the total wood heating system, but I wasn’t.

The three foot bar did move, but only about 1/16”, and it was fine.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2324 posts in 1758 days


#5 posted 04-04-2016 01:13 PM

I see no reason you would have to use any mechanical fasteners at all and just put a few blobs of silicone down to hold it in place. If you do think you need screws I would just put a row closest to the wall so the top can expand outward.

When you remove the old top run a knife along the back to cut any caulk bead, look underneath and remove any screws or clips you find (like at a mitered corner) and just start prying it up. You may have to run a small 1/4 round or ogee along the front if the edge gets damaged. If it’s wedged in between finished wall surface and you can’t pull it out without damaging tile work or wallpaper you may want to cut the top into a couple of pieces with a circular saw set to depth of the counter and an oscillating cutter near the back edge.

View Spacehog's profile

Spacehog

65 posts in 986 days


#6 posted 04-05-2016 06:19 PM

Great! Thanks for all of the help!

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...

View splatman's profile

splatman

557 posts in 860 days


#7 posted 04-06-2016 02:15 AM

If you decide to take the brute force approach, and just grab a corner and rip the C-top off, be sure you aren’t taking the cabinets with it. Go slow and have someone keep a close eye on the cabinets. Once you have the C-top off, regardless how you do it, be ready to do repairs to the cabinets, just in case any get damaged. Then ask the owner if he/she needs/wishes to clean out the cabinets, since this is now the easiest time to do it.

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