Building And Installing Kitchen Countertops

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For Building and installing kitchen countertops, you'll first need to determine your kitchen counter tops measurements. So draw a quick sketch of your kitchen counter tops footprint.

When installing kitchen countertops to your existing kitchen cabinets you can simply use the old kitchen counter tops you've removed as a template for your new one.



Using your old countertop as a template

Lay your sheets of CDX plywood on the floor and depending on how many boards you need, butt them end to end.

Place the old countertop on top and face down. Trace around it with a pencil. And if you're using your old sink, trace the cut out for it as well.





Installing Kitchen Countertops




Step 1- Make A Quick Sketch

Draw a quick sketch of the top of your kitchen cabinets. Then use a tape measure to determine the length you'll need for each of your kitchen counter tops dimensions. And mark them down on your sketch.

Of course, it doesn't have to be nearly as detailed as this one but just to give you an idea. You'll want to make the countertop overhang the fronts and back ends of the cabinets about one inch, And you'll want to do this where ever the cabinets are not against a wall, appliance, doorway or any other obstacle.





Step 2- Cut Out The Plywood



Transfer your measurements from your sketch to 1/4 inch CDX plywood. Make your marks to each edge of the board and then use your snap chalk tool to snap lines between the marks.

Cut your plywood along your lines with a circular saw or a table saw. If you are installing a new sink, use the template supplied by the manufacturer to mark the cutout for your sink.


Trace your sink

If you'll be using your existing sink, place the  sink face down on your plywood and trace around it. Check the old kitchen countertop and see how much the sink overlapped the counters surface.

Use a tape measure and framing square to make your cutout lines accordingly to your plywood. and then cut out the hole for your sink





Cut out your sink hole

For cutting out the hole for your sink, Use a drill to start the hole in your plywood, and then use a jigsaw to complete cutting out the sink hole.

Lay your plywood on the top of the kitchen cabinet to check the fit and make any necessary adjustments. This will require either trimming down the boards that are too large or cutting new ones if they're too small. Insert your sink to ensure the cutout is correct. And then use a marker to write TOP in large letters on each board.








Step 3-Mark And Cut Your Cement Backerboard


Once you've got a good fit for your plywood, you can use it as a template for cutting your cement backerboard. Lay out your cement backerboard sheets on the floor. You'll want to lay them where the rough side which is also the tile side is face down. 




Trace your plywood cutout to the backerboard

Arrange your plywood over the cement backerboard also facedown. Keep the joints as far away as possible from the joints of the cement backerboard. Trace around the plywood while onto the backerboard.




Cut Your Cement Backerboard Sheets


When cutting cement backerboard , lay it on the floor or table use a strait edge or a 2x4 as your guide. Score the sheet with a carbide tipped cement board knife. Make a dozen or so passes.


Snap your backerboard sheet

Place the 2x4 underneath the backerboard sheet. While you are holding one side of the cement backerboard sheet firmly press down on the other side to snap the board along the cut.
Then use a rasp or a tile stone to smooth any rough spots on your cement board.







Step 4- Assemble Your Sheets Before Installing Kitchen Countertops




Assemble Your Sheets.

For installing kitchen countertops place your plywood back on top of the kitchen cabinet and test fit the backerboard on top of it. The backerboard and plywood edges should be aligned. Adjust the fit as necessary and then place the sink in its cutout.





Fasten your plywood and backerboard sheets together

Remove the backerboard and then mix up a batch of Thinset tile adhesive. Use a 1/4 inch trowel and spread it over the entire surface of the plywood. Lay the backerboard back on the plywood and while ensuring edges are correctly placed. Use 1 inch backerboard screws to fasten the sheets together. Place a screw every six inches across the entire top.





Step 5-Installing Kitchen Countertops



Adjust your plywood, Thinset, and backerboard sandwich so it's just the way you want it on top of your kitchen cabinets. Check to make sure your one-inch overhang is even. Use your bubble level to ensure that kitchen counter tops are level both side to side and back to back.






Add shims for leveling

If you need to raise lower spots, just insert a shim with a dab of wood glue on each side. Insert them as needed between the cabinet and the plywood.

Use wood screws to fasten the cabinet to the countertop. You can either use the original ones that held the old countertop or use new ones of the same length.

Now that you've prepared your substrate your now ready to install your kitchen counter tiles.










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