Cutting Post-Form Countertops on Site

      Installers discuss how to cut out an existing countertop on site for a new cooktop. April 20, 2007

Question
I have a client who is purchasing a new stove and needs to change the current cutout in her postform laminate countertops. This will require cutting through about an inch wide strip of countertop and the backsplash. I want to cut as cleanly and as closely to the finished wall behind the backsplash as possible and am not sure how to best go about this. Jig saw? Circular saw held vertically?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor J:
Use a sawzall or jig saw. If using a jig saw, remove the base plate. Take your time, hold the saw so that it will cut through the sheetrock. When you are done you can put a bead of caulk on the sheet rock to seal.



From contributor L:
If the section of countertop can be removed, clamp a straightedge to the bottom and run a circular saw against the straight edge. The laminate end cap can be removed by heating with a clothes iron and peeling off, but be careful not to overheat the laminate or it will bubble.

I don't think you will be able to make the corner from the countertop to the backsplash with a jig saw cutting from the top. If you do cut from the top, Bosch makes a reverse tooth jig saw blade that won't chip out the laminate like a standard jig saw blade will. I think a sawzall will leave too rough a cut for a countertop.



From contributor D:
A jig saw would give you more control. Any time you cut laminate, be sure to put masking tape along the line you are cutting. It makes the line easier to see and will minimize chipping to give you a cleaner cut.


From contributor M:
I've used many jig saws and I can attest to the Festool jig saw leaving a glass smooth finish on thick surfaces.


From contributor H:
Use a Fein Multimaster. Best investment I ever made.


From contributor V:
I agree - the Fein Multimaster is the tool to use in this application. You'll get a fine cut and won't have a lot of cleanup to do on the edge after it's cut.


From contributor K:
Would a rotozip work?


From contributor V:
Probably would. But not to any degree of acceptability. As I'm sure you know, a rotozip is great for doing cut outs in drywall for outlets and such.


From contributor K:
For altering Formica/laminate countertops, I usually use a wide roll of tape and a cordless circular (with fine blade) for straight cuts. For sink bowl cuts, we drill four holes in the corners and rip the straights with a jig/circular.

Reason I asked about the roto is, recently I noticed a tile crew using the cordless model to cut 12/12 quarry floor tile (the hard stuff) and it worked quickly, eating the tile up like butter. He just held the saw at 45, plunge cut into the material and in minutes the circular toilet flange was cut.



Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Installation


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article