How to install a countertop in the kitchen

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Buying cabinet furniture separately from the countertop, or when assembling kitchen furniture yourself, you will have to do the installation of the countertop yourself. In this article, we will show you how to properly configure, place and secure countertops of different types and materials quickly and effortlessly..

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

Assembly requirements for floor standing cabinets

The tabletop is installed only when the assembly of the kitchen unit is finally completed, or at least its lower tier. The legs of each section should be adjusted so that all the upper ends of the housings form a common plane, checked by the two-meter rule and the bubble level. After that, the walls of the sections must be drilled and tightened at least two points per 1 m2 contact plane.

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

Any tabletop, and especially heavy-duty concrete or stone products, requires a perfectly flat and stable surface. Even the slightest differences should be eliminated, for which it is useful to paste over the ends of the sidewalls of the cabinets with vinyl sealing tape.

Kitchen apron device options

To make the kitchen furniture and the room look like one whole, decide on the type of apron in advance. If the project has a common apron for the kitchen and work area, that is, floor-to-ceiling tiles or a tile panel, the end of the countertop may need to be processed for the most snug fit. Sometimes a slight bevel is needed due to the general blockage of the wall, sometimes the tiles are laid in waves. It is easy to give the desired shape to the cut with a belt sander with grain size P180, it is guaranteed not to leave chips.

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

If you plan to lay the apron only between the lower and upper tiers, or only above the table top, it is strongly recommended to fix the latter on the corner brackets. Fastening with anchor bolts will allow harmless dismantling, so that the tabletop can be easily replaced in case of damage. To do this, you will have to make several holes in the LDF of the rear plating for access to the anchor nuts.

Loose countertops can sag over time, and a crack forms under the tile backsplash. When installing the countertop, you should not expect that the skirting board will hide all the installation flaws, because it is attached to the wall and a gap from subsidence will still appear. In addition, the plinth does not perform any function, it only hides flaws, so the thinner it is, the better..

Fitting and fitting

Any countertop is aligned with the facade. Usually the countertop is released 30–50 mm from the box or to the height of the handles to protect the facade from drops and objects falling from the table. Moving the sections around to align them with the edge of the countertop is not always wise, especially if they are already tight and well adjusted. It will be easier and faster to trim in 2 stages, in the first of which an oblique cut is made, so that when the tabletop is firmly pressed against the apron, its edge is strictly parallel to the facade.

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

Cutting chipboard worktops is best done with hand-held circular saws. It is desirable to have a standard guide rail, which, however, can be easily replaced with a rule held in place with clamps. You can also cut with an electric jigsaw, but only if you have sufficient experience with the tool. Cutting an array of chipboards 40–60 mm thick using a jigsaw is quite difficult to perform, even when guiding along a guide, the saw can go out and tilt, which is why right angles on the cut are lost. It is better to leave a machining allowance and, after trimming, finish a rectangular cut without chips using a belt sander.

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

At the second stage, trimming is performed along the unevenness of the wall so that in all areas the fit is tight and even. If the tiles on the backsplash are laid flat enough, the matter is by polishing those places where the wall has bumps, although sometimes the difference is about 3-5 mm. The final trimming or grinding should be carried out only according to the markings, the line is drawn with a thin marker pressed to the facade strictly perpendicular to the plane of the tabletop.

Assembling before securing

Securing the table top is necessary to give the lower tier strength and fixation against displacement during vibration. Steel corner brackets are well suited for this, which connect the side walls of the box and the back surface of the slab..

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

First, it is attached to the tabletop canvas. If there is chipboard in the tabletop array, the corner is attached to it with 4.5 mm screws along the pre-drilled holes ~ 1.7 mm, the length of the screw is 10–12 mm less than the thickness of the tabletop. The corners are attached to stone and composite countertops in a different way: sections of the slab and the edges of the corners are first carefully cleaned and degreased. Then the corners are glued exactly at the place of installation at 3-4 small points of high-quality two-component glue that retains its plasticity after drying (Sika, Hilti). When landing in place, the brackets need to be pressed down strongly, you can attach the tabletop to the body after 24 hours.

A properly made glue joint holds even better than screws, so fewer attachment points are required – 2 for each section in a checkerboard pattern. Do not give up the opportunity to make mounts to the table top at the manufacturer’s factory. The exception is tabletops, on the reverse side of which metal tires are fixed, which, when installed, “drive” into the grooves on the ends of the side walls. This mounting method should be avoided in every possible way..

Tabletops with chipboard base are often delivered prefabricated, mainly postforming. In this case, it is necessary to correctly perform the joining of the elements, for which metal connecting profiles, screeds and plastic sealants are used.

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

Milling and drilling for screeds is best done in advance in the workshop. The type of docking is selected depending on the place where the sink is connected; it should be located on a more spacious part. If the sink is not located in the corner zone, it is allowed to connect the plates with trimming at equal angles, which is recommended if the walls are turned incorrectly. We told you in more detail about the sink in the countertop in the article “Installing a kitchen sink. How to embed a sink into a countertop “.

Acrylic or polyester coated worktops are joined without a profile. Before tightening, the seam between them is filled with a small amount of glue, the excess of which is squeezed out when the ties are tightened. The surface is subsequently polished and the visible joint disappears. For such a fastening, at least 3 ties are needed, after the glue dries, the connection is additionally reinforced with an overhead metal strip on the back side.

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

Final assembly

Before the final fixing of the countertop to the body, it is necessary to cut out the holes for the sink, hob, socket and other equipment. All open sections of chipboard must be treated with a 0.2-0.5 mm layer of sanitary silicone in order to limit the core from contact with air and thereby exclude any shrinkage.

How to install a countertop in the kitchen

When fixing the tabletop, while the assistant presses it against the body with his own weight, the brackets are attached to the walls with 15 mm furniture screws with pre-drilled holes 8-10 mm deep.

After fixing the tabletop, the final processing is carried out: the abutments to the walls are coated with sanitary silicone and covered with a thin plinth, a drip tray is installed under the ledge 5-7 mm from the edge of the tabletop.

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