Ideas and Tips
Countertop laminated with Mesa Sunrise 4571-7
Step 1: Visit a dealer. Pick out samples.
Look over his displays and see what you like. Then look at samples to get an idea of color and pattern.. There are hundreds of laminate choices and you can usually take the samples home. So pick out all the chips whose colors and patterns are close to what you have in mind. A dozen or so is a good number to start with.
Think about extras. Did you know there are a variety of edge treatments available? And don't forget about the backsplash, which can be the same material as the countertop, or something else like ceramic tile. The dealer where you buy your laminate will have samples of different edge treatments that he or she offers.
The salesperson can also tell you if the laminates you’re considering are in stock at the distribution center or have to be special ordered. Special orders could add a week to 10 days to your time line. The dealer can also tell you if he provides fabrication and installation services, or if you have to arrange for that yourself.
For a list of Wilsonart Laminate dealers and distributors in your area, visit our dealer locator tool.
Step 2: Narrow down your options.
Tape a sample chip at eye level on a wall cabinet. This will give you a good idea of how the new countertop will look and contrast with the existing cabinets. Use those samples also to see how the colors work with your flooring and painted walls. And make sure you look at them during the day and then at night under the lighting in your kitchen. Colors have a way of changing under different lighting conditions.
If your new countertop is part of a larger kitchen remodel, make sure you have samples of the new cabinets and flooring or paint you’re considering. Whether it’s a whole new kitchen or just the countertop, take your time here. You’re going to be living with it for many years, so it’s important to get it right. Anything less than a week here is rushing it.
Step 3: Order your countertops.
Now is the time to get the installer in to take an accurate measurement for your countertops. Some installers call this process “templating”. In addition to linear measurements, the installer will also suggest the best place to locate any seams between pieces of the laminate countertop. For more information please read our article “ What to expect from an installer”.
Once you’ve ordered your countertops and the templating is complete, your installer should be able to schedule an installation date. Expect it to take about 3 weeks before your countertops are ready to be installed. This time frame will be about the same whether your dealer does the fabrication and installation or you hire a contractor to do it.
If your kitchen project involves getting new cabinets, those cabinets have to be installed before final measurements are made for the new countertop and before the laminate is ordered. There’s no way around this, if you want everything to fit perfectly. So if this is what you’re doing, figure three weeks from the time the cabinets go in until the countertop is installed.
Step 4: Get your countertops installed.
Cutouts for sinks and cooktops are made on-site during the installation. So if you’re changing one of these fixtures, make sure the new one is in your kitchen so the installer can saw out the right size hole for it. There’s no room for guesswork here. To make it easy for the installer and for yourself, clean out your base cabinets. That way nothing will get broken and nothing will get covered with sawdust when the countertop goes in. Finally, arrange to have your old countertop hauled away. Some installers include this in the price, some don’t. Assuming everything’s in order, installing your countertops should be the quickest part of the process. Expect it to take a day.
Used with permission from www.Countertop.com