Anybody who has a laminate countertop that mimics butcher block
I lived in an old farm house with the faux butcher block laminate. It looked like laminate. It felt like laminate. It chipped like laminate (it took years to do it...but it still happened).
As a quick reminder: Life happens. I've seen people plan to change something out in a "year or two" only to have things happen in life. What was a 2 year plan turned into 12 years living with a "temporary solution".
You will pay several hundred dollars for the laminate counter top...only to replace it with another counter top (several hundred dollars more not including the removal/disposal/install costs). I've owned Ikea butcher block. My cleaning and sealing skills were NOT up to the task. It was the only "Ikea" mistake I ever made (I love Ikea...it was my fault not the product's fault).
If you need to save money, then go for it. Have you sat down with your designer to figure out why he/she is being so strict with your options? Your other thread has a several good options for a response.
The natural wood of butcher block countertops bring warmth and charm into the home, blending easily with natural and industrial kitchen designs. Wood can offer a modern feel while also retaining its cozy rustic charm. However, wood countertops aren’t for everybody, since they require dedication and commitment. They need careful and frequent sealing to keep them from absorbing liquids or staining, and they can be problematic around the sink area, particularly for homeowners who have a drop-in sink.
While natural wood materials are expensive, laminate offers a less costly way to achieve the appearance of wood in your home. Building your own countertops with laminate means that you don’t need to eliminate the natural aesthetic from your kitchen space.
Laminate comes in convincing patterns that can give your countertops an updated look without busting your budget. Among with the many benefits of laminate is its ability to be a simple DIY project, saving you the material costs and installation fees that a normal counter-replacement might cost you. Or if you’re interested in resurfacing your existing laminate to appear more like natural stone, check out our guide here.
With this tutorial, we will teach you how to make a countertop using two layers of particleboard. Then we’ll go over how to glue and install laminate onto the countertop using contact cement.
Note: Building your own countertops will save you money as opposed to purchasing premade counters. However, it’s most cost efficient to do this if you already have your own tools, including a drill, circular saw for cutting, and a router with laminate bit. Having to purchase those tools will increase of the cost of the project, but will also make it easier to do more DIY projects in the future.
Make a Blueprint
To begin, make an extremely accurate blueprint of the size and dimensions of your countertops.
Be sure to include any cut out areas or places where your laminate will need to angle around the counter.
Making a blueprint ahead of time will help you get a feel for the shape of your counter and plan where laminate seams can go.
- Circular saw
- Router with a laminate bit
- Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or high quality particleboard *
- Contact cement
- Wood dowels
- Metal file
- Wood glue
- 1 inch screws
There are many options of wood laminate to choose from, from darker to lighter designs, as well as designs with a high level of color variation. When purchasing your laminate, make sure that you get a little extra in case something goes wrong with your measurements. Laminate comes in 12 foot lengths, so it’s important to think strategically about whether you will have seams and where they will be. You might be able to cover them up with a kitchen appliance, or make them look like the natural seams you would have in a wooden butcher block countertop.
If you want your counters to have a beveled edge, many laminate varieties have premade edges that you can glue on. They will add a bit to the cost, while giving you an alternative to the square-cut. That being said, traditional butcher block countertops do tend to be squared off.
* We recommend the particle board, since MDF is more likely to swell if water sits on it for long periods of time.
Make the Countertops
Use your blueprint to roughly shape the counters, keeping in mind that your final cuts will happen once both layers of the counter are adhered together. You will be using two layers of 3/4 inch thick MDF or high quality particle board. This will get you a 1 1/2 inch thick countertop which is standard for traditional wood countertops.
Glue both the bottom and the top pieces and then lay the glue sides together. Then, using the drill, screw upward from the bottom layer to lock them in place. Make sure that your screws are not long enough to puncture the top. At this point, use the circular saw to cut both layers at once to your exact counter measurements. You should now have a 1 1/2 inch flush edge surface on which to stick the laminate. If you find that your edges aren’t smooth or level, take this time to sand the sides.
Installing the Laminate
1.) Measure and Cut the Laminate
Measure and cut laminate strips that will go along the sides of your countertops. When measuring all pieces, have about 2 inches of overhang on every side. Next, cut your bigger top pieces with as few seams as possible.
2.) Dry-Fit Your Pieces
It’s always a good idea to dry-fit all of the pieces before you start gluing. Lay your countertop pieces into place without any glue to make sure your cuts are accurate, and double-check that you have left laminate overhanging on all sides.
3.) Glue and Adhere Sides
Use a foam roller to apply the contact cement onto the laminate pieces for the sides. Then apply glue to the sides of the counter. The contact cement will be tacky to the touch. Attach the laminate piece to the side of the counter. Allow it to dry according to the instructions on the can (about 30 minutes).
Contact cement sticks fast to itself, meaning that the process of adhering your laminate to the counter can be unforgiving. We recommend working slowly and precisely to make sure that everything fits into place the way that you want it to the first time. If something goes on crooked, it will be difficult to pull it off again.
In areas where you have an angled space that isn’t appropriate for creating a corner with the laminate, you will need to bend the laminate using heat. First you will want to sand the back of the laminate at the section when it will need to bend. Then use a heat gun to make it more pliable while you carefully bend it to the shape that you need.
4.) Trim Away the Extra Laminate
Use a router and laminate bit to trim off the edges of the sides so that they are flush with the wood. This may take a couple passes, as well as some practice on scrap materials for those who aren’t familiar with the process.
5.) Glue and Adhere the Top
Roll your contact cement onto the surface of the countertops and the back of the laminate that you cut for the top.
Lay wood dowels every 3-5 inches down the length of your countertop. Since the dowels won’t stick to the contact cement, they are there to give you more control over the laminate placement.
Place laminate over the wood dowels and make sure that everything fits how you want it to. Then, beginning at one side, remove the dowels one at a time and adhere your laminate to the countertop. Allow it to dry for thirty minutes.
6.) Trim Away Extra Laminate from the Top
Use the router again to trim off the extra laminate. Then, file the corners at a 45 degree angle where laminate meets laminate to prevent sharp corners.
- This installation will take a couple days, so it’s best to set up an alternative space for preparing for preparing food and kitchen use.
Rushed decisions could lead to expensive or time-wasting consequences, so we recommend taking your time and not trying to complete everything in a day.
- To get a feel for the tools that you will be using, you can practice on particle board scraps and scrap laminate. This is especially important when using the router, as nicks can damage the effect of the edge of your countertop.
- Use a similarly-colored crayon or marker to disguise any nicks or flaws.
- It’s uncommon for a kitchen to have a wood backsplash, so this is not a recommended part of the installation. Instead, you might opt for installing a tile backsplash according to your color theme, or painting the existing wall for a contemporary, minimalistic appearance.
- While laminate is easy to clean, it’s not a good surface to prepare food on directly the way you would with a traditional butcher block. Dark colors might come to show scratches from wear and tear, liquid messes should not stand on the laminate for a long time, and excessive heat can cause warping problems, so you should always use a trivet with hot pots and pans.
Wood’s natural beauty has become an expensive commodity in contemporary kitchen remodels. However, that doesn’t stop us from wanting to bring the warmth and pleasing design of nature inside. With a DIY installation, making your own laminate butcher block designed countertops can give you perfect customization with a price tag of around $500 or less.
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5 Rustic DIY Faux Countertops
It’s amazing what the magic of a faux treatment can do to a countertop for a lot less money. If that method includes going over existing laminate countertops, we’re probably talking about saving even more. Upon perusing the web for faux countertop ideas, my attention seemed to be drawn to the more rustic styled methods. Here is a collection of 5 that caught my eye and said, “I think I could do this!”
A few of these can be applied right over any old, new or outdated laminate coutertops. The others are a little more labor intensive and involve using new materials, but they really pack a punch and end up saving lots of money when you compare then with the cost of the real thing.
Can you guess how she got those butcher block stripes?
From Breakfast for Dinner, this dark stained faux butcher block really wowed me. It is a very detailed tutorial that includes using new wood but at a much lower price tag than real butcher block.
Good bye laminate. Good bye forever…
From Young House Love, a faux cement countertop treatment that can be applied right over your laminate. The tutorial gives you all the steps on how to use a product called Ardex with plenty of photos that show you the finished result.
How fun would it be to write notes to your family right on the countertop? See how painted the counter top of a burlap decoupaged furniture side cabinet.
March Orchid went with a faux soapstone look using chalkboard paint and countertop paint right over her existing laminate. She didn’t give it a finish coat of any kind, so she has been able to write on it, just like a chalkboard. She even gives a 2 year update on how it’s held up since she first applied the treatment.
Sleek, yet rustic. Hard to believe this isn’t real soapstone.
All Things New Interiors has another rendition of a faux soapstone countertop treatment that is a little pricier, and it does include a top coat which gives her countertops more durability and a sleeker look.
The BEST faux tips ever on making new wood look like reclaimed!
The Ragged Wren chose to go with faux reclaimed wood countertops. She even shares her creative tricks on how to make the new wood look like reclaimed wood which had me saying, “hmmm, pretty clever!”
Here’s one last idea using Removable Peel and Stick Wallpaper.
How to make a wallpaper covered wood look counter top
All of these have well explained tutorials that gave me a good idea of what I’d be up against if I wanted to try them out.
Rather than going for a shinier countertop look, that is certainly lovely, all of these faux countertop ideas would work well to accent a more rusticly designed kitchen or home.
The fact that they’re all diy applications makes then a little more appealing to the wallet, but of course that comes with the task of doing it yourself.
If you had to re-do your countertops right now, which one of these would you choose to do?
We recently bought a new home and had virtually no counter top space. See how we created more kitchen counter space by moving our fridge.
Have a fauxbulous weekend ;D ~ Amy
More DIY Room Renovation Ideas
20 Make-Shift Kitchen Pantry Ideas
15 Tips for Painting an Exposed Basement Ceiling
Small Sun Room Update on an $800 Budget
DIY Over the Kitchen Sink Shelf
Filed Under: Faux Round-Ups, Popular PostsSours: https://stowandtellu.com/5-rustic-diy-faux-countertops/
Butcher block laminate — a ’72 classic
“Fake butcher block countertops” are another one of those original vintage house features that I often hear called “hideous” on other websites. (Crikey, how I have come to seriously dislike that word — it is overkill, please refrain.) I, on the other hand, not only have “no problem” with butcher block laminate, I am 100% on its side, especially for late 1960s and 1970s homes. I even put some in my house. I asked Formica, and they report that their butcher block laminate — the pattern shown at the left — has been in production since 1972. How is that for enduring! I did some research, and found only two manufacturers that still make 1970s-era butcher block laminate:
In fact, I ordered butcher block laminate for the countertops in two areas of our house. Now, don’t be put off because neither place is glamorous like a kitchen. But, first, we ordered butcher block laminate to make a countertop in my husband’s basement workroom. It sits on top of two old Ikea playroom storage thingies that weebit no longer used — as I recall, we paid $75 or less for this piece of countertop from Home Depot. I’m kind of fuzzy on the details, but as I recall, at the time we put this in, Home Depot carried this countertop as a stock item — you could walk right out the door with it. (Everything back there is faux granite.) I’m also fuzzy on the maker of this laminate. I’m thinking it’s Pionite. Reason being: When I was finishing up our kitchen, we had aquamarine cabinets left over that I installed in the garage. We needed countertops made to size for those, and, yes: We ordered butcher block laminate, again. I’m pretty sure they were Pionite (now discontinued), for some reason that’s what’s stuck in my brain, and I tend to be good remembering silly details like that. For the two sections in the garage — manufactured to our size specifications and including a corner turn — I think we paid around $150.
As we know from trying to buy Formica boomerangs: Anytime you can buy laminate or laminate countertops for the Big Box stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, etc.: You are going to save big bucks vs. going to a specialty place.
And above: Wilsonart Truss Maple 7972 appears to be a sleeker version of butcher block. And here’sthe look in dark oak.
Hey: Butcher block laminate is “authentic” — and the price is right. Don’t let anyone else sway you because it’s “dated.” Didn’t you hear: The ’70s are B-A-C-K.
Tip: Are you researching laminates?
See my story about all the manufacturers to check —
8 companies that make and sell laminate in the U.S.
Butcher countertop laminate block faux
This Faux Butcher Block Countertop Looks Real but is a Third the Cost
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We saved hundreds by making our own faux butcher block countertop instead of buying one. And it looks just as good!
We knew we wanted some kind of wood countertop in the pantry part because we wanted it to match the shelves and we didn’t want to spend a lottttt of money on granite or even laminate.
We priced out butcher block countertop from the main hardware stores and for the 8 feet we’d need (not including the little end pieces around the corners), we were looking at more than $200.
Instead, we bought two 4’ x 8’ plywood from Lowe’s for $70, which covered the whole countertop area and had left over for more projects.
You can read a more in depth breakdown of this project HERE.
The plywood was too wide for the countertop depth we needed, which was great because it gave us extra scrap wood.
After cutting it down to the right size, we sanded it down until it was smooth. This took awhile, but was well worth it for the cost it saved.
Note: You only have to sand the top side of the top piece, don't take the time to sand the other sides since they won't be visible.
Then we applied a generous amount of glue to the top of the bottom piece.
With the pieces being so large (23" x 96") we used six clamps - one in each quarter and two in the middle along the long sides.
We let it dry about 6 hours.
We put a couple of construction screws from the top down into the cabinets in the very back corners – they’re hardly noticeable, but I might wood fill it and touch up the stain if it bothers us.
Other than that, we just wood glued down the countertop into place.
It’s basically a very thin veneer with dried glue on the back that you iron onto your surface.
The one I bought is 1.5” thick, which is a teeny bit thicker than our plywood sandwich, but it’s easily trimmed with a box cutter or edge trimmer.
First, hold up your edge banding along the countertop and cut the piece down to the length you’ll need with the box cutter. If you kind of score the top of the banding, it’ll snap off really clean.
Next, line up the edge banding with the top of your countertop and hold your hot iron over it for a few seconds. Keep moving along the surface, lining up the edge banding with the top and holding the iron over it for a few seconds so the glue behind melts.
And that’s it! You’ve figured out how to fake a butcher block countertop and have probably spent between $50 and $100 instead of several hundreds for your project.
I’m not sure I’d use this method in our kitchen, but in something like a pantry, bar cart, buffet, coffee table, camper, etc. it’s the perfect budget solution.
*Affiliate links provided for your convenience.*
I love the warmth of butcher block countertops but our budget did not allow us to make the upgrade. It took me a few weeks of research, trials and errors, and lots of scrap board pieces before I came across a product called Stainable Primer. This is a primer that has wood particles in it and is stainable. You can transform any hard material into a stainable wood surface. At the time, I was not able to find anyone who attempted to stain their laminate countertops but I still went ahead and purchased a quart of Stainable Primer. Unfortunately, this product is now harder to purchase online. I found another product, which is very similar to the original Stainable Primer, and comes with the option to pick your wood color (Light Wood, Medium Wood, and Dark Wood).
I started the process by thoroughly sanding our kitchen countertops before applying two coats of Stainable Primer. Right after I applied the second coat, I used a wood graining tool and made a wood grain pattern.
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Greasy. Then we first went to the shower. Although Yanka had intended to go together, but I knew that if we first together, then we could sit there for longer, taking care of ourselves. Then obviously we would not have time.