Laminate countertops may not be the most beautiful option, but they certainly are cheap, durable and DIY friendly. Which is exactly why we chose a laminate top for our laundry room. To make your own countertop, you’ll need:
3/4 inch thick Plywood, MDF or OSB, enough for two layers. The top layer must be particle board.
Laminate sheeting (ours was 4 feet by 8 feet)
1 1/2 inch tall by 3/4 inch thick material to cover the edges
3M Fastbond Contact Adhesive
Foam roller to spread the glue
Heavy roller to press firmly into place
To start, create a solid surface of plywood. Secure two pieces together to create a thickness of 1 1/2 inches. Fill any holes with wood filler and sand smooth. Place the sheet of laminate on top of the area and cut roughly to size. Ben used a router.
Attach your 1 1/2 inch tall edging on all exposed sides. We used oak, but anything will do.
Then, pour some glue on the back of the laminate sheet and spread in a thin layer with a roller. This stuff is stinky, so you should wear a mask and/or work in a well-ventilated room. You may need to let the glue set up for a few minutes. Read the instructions on the glue.
Then, place wooden dowels every 8 to 12 inches to keep the laminate from touching the top before you’re ready. Flip the laminate over and start at one end of the piece, pressing into place. Use the roller to smooth the surface and bond securely. Work in only one direction to prevent shifting and bubbling.
We placed weights on top, just to prevent any movement. After adequate dry time, usually 24 to 72 hours, use a router along the exposed edges to clean the edges of the wood and laminate up. We cut ours to a clean, kid-friendly 45 degree angle. Run the router along the edges until smooth and uniform.
With the edges cleaned up, fill any nail holes, sand, and paint or stain to finish.
Because Ben installs laminate counters in the apartments, we already had access to all the supplies. Fortunately, we also got a piece of white laminate from the apartments because the owner didn’t like it. I don’t love it, because it has a tan cross hatch pattern.
See what I mean? But, it isn’t noticeable unless you’re super close. I wouldn’t choose it, but it was free, so it will work. Fortunately, it is light to help brighten up the small basement space.
Oh, and here is what our laundry room looks like today. A total mess.
You can see the installed drawer fronts, but we still have to finish the cabinet doors and shelving. We had a slight change of plans. You’ll also notice that we haven’t sanded the sheet rock yet, but paint will go on those walls someday.