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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The wife and I both love the standard Laminate Counter tops with molded back splash because it’s so much easier to clean and we don’t like sharp corners or grout lines that trap dirt. We have ceramic tile right now and we absolutely hate it. We not only have broken tiles but it’s an endless problem of breaking glass and I believe Laminate will solve this because it has some resiliency to it.

I’ve wanted to get rid of our tile counter tops ever since I bought the house, but the shape of the thing has me stumped because it has a window counter behind the sink and I don’t know how to do it without a lot of seams. I have installed a lot of standard molded laminated counter tops with a 45 deg mitered seam in the corners, but this has me stumped.

I don’t really know how to ask this and not sure if there is an easy answer without having it custom made in a shop somewhere. I really want to do it myself with as little expense as possible and Unless it was cheap enough I would rather remove the window counter top than to have a professional come in to do it.

 

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I don’t really know how to ask this and not sure if there is an easy answer without having it custom made in a shop somewhere. I really want to do it myself with as little expense as possible and Unless it was cheap enough I would rather remove the window counter top than to have a professional come in to do it.
What is there beyond the sink...see below?
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counter top.jpg






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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The dogs Water Bowl! :laughing:
I couldn’t remember what they called these windows or I would have indicated it in the drawing.


 

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Is the window area and the sink counter at the same height?
If you can step up to the window area using a post former laminate then have a 4" step up to the window area... problem solved.

If they are on the same level and you want a seamless surface it may be difficult, but a brown paper template would help. If you can accept a seam at the back of the sink, that would be easiest. Wraping the vertical laminate around the window may not be possible. Could have some tricky intersections. :blink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yep...I see the dog bowl. From the picture, is that the outside, looking at the window. I believe it's called a "bay window". But, on the inside, if it was a countertop, it would be difficult to clean it...reaching over the sink. Maybe I just ain't seeing this right.






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Aw yes A "Bay Window". I just couldn't think of it and didn't know what to search for to find out. :laughing:.
It is hard to clean. I have a pole with a sponge cleaner on the end, but mostly we open the window and clean from the outside. Its not fun.

Is the window area and the sink counter at the same height?
If you can step up to the window area using a post former laminate then have a 4" step up to the window area... problem solved.

If they are on the same level and you want a seamless surface it may be difficult, but a brown paper template would help. If you can accept a seam at the back of the sink, that would be easiest. Wraping the vertical laminate around the window may not be possible. Could have some tricky intersections. :blink:
The bottom of the windo is the same height as the counter and that's what makes it so hard because I can't run a backboard around it.

I guess the designer was thinking it could be a serving window for the patio, but its too hard to reach. Its a stupid idea and I would never designed that way myself.

As you can see we can't even have a screen on the window or we lose access to the counter and to the inside window for cleaning. Its just a bad idea and I can see why they used tile.

I just realized that I missed a corner on the left side. Anyway I drew red lines for the seams if I were to use standard Formica counter top.



I see a couple more seams that I forgot about. I probably should draw it to scale in Sketchup to get it right, but it doesn't look like Formica premolded counter tops will work.

I could just buy sheets, but then then I don't know what to do about the nosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would keep the bay area separate, and miters away from sink
Thanks, that is an idea.
Years ago I was thinking about removing the tile out of the bay and installing sheet metal pan filed with pebbles and a stainless steel grate over it for potted plants, but worried dust & dirt would collect in the pebbles and start to stink or maybe provide a home for mosquitoes.
Then I thought if I were to put in a drain I could hose it down occasionally with the dish sprayer. We then gave up with that idea because it was easier to just pull the plants out and clean the tile.


I'm now thinking I may have to use flat pieces of something and add a back board. It would leave a corner seam all the way around the wall like I was trying to avoid, but I see no other way to do it unless a company the specialize in Formica can make me something.
 
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If it were me I would make the counter top rather than trying to find a pre built solution. I would demo the tile and then create the counter tops. Dry fit them and get everything perfect. Making sure miters are tight etc. Then take them out into the shop and laminate them there. Using a router to trim the laminate then you should have a nice tight seam when you go to install.

As many have stated I would keep the window separated. I would also elevate it by making a frame of 2x4 and adding plywood to the top. Then either laminate that or tile it with nice tile that is flat with smallest grout lines possible. The other option and knowing me the one I would take would be to just do concrete counter tops :icon_smile:. A cheap easy way to get it flat and looking nice. Then to separate the seam I would use a metal bar in the mold at 45's and the window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The other option and knowing me the one I would take would be to just do concrete counter tops :icon_smile:. A cheap easy way to get it flat and looking nice. Then to separate the seam I would use a metal bar in the mold at 45's and the window.
Oh concrete! I forgot about that. We did have a conversation with someone about that a while back, but I can't remember the details. I need to look into that again. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just finished watching one YouTube video on making counter tops and altough I think I can do this it requires a lot of expensive tools. I would like to do it in place, but i need to see more videos before I commit myself to this project. :laughing:

 

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Even if you had all the tools, I would try to talk you out of concrete for the whole kitchen top. Without the experience, it would be a PITA, and they would be very heavy.

I would make my own laminate tops. If you use the postformed tops, you'll have the sections with and without splashes, and finished ends to work with. I'm just saying that making laminate tops would be a cleaner looking job, that you can fit up better.






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Concrete can be a pain and is heavy. If it were me I wouldn't do them in place though. You get a much flatter cleaner looking top with melamine forms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Even if you had all the tools, I would try to talk you out of concrete for the whole kitchen top. Without the experience, it would be a PITA, and they would be very heavy.

I would make my own laminate tops. If you use the postformed tops, you'll have the sections with and without splashes, and finished ends to work with. I'm just saying that making laminate tops would be a cleaner looking job, that you can fit up better.






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I just watched 7 YouTube videos on concrete tops and I think you are correct. It might be more than I can chew that’s for sure.
I helped a couple of contractor friends years ago make laminated counter tops, but it was a long time ago. I need to look at it again. I just don’t remember how we formed the nose.
 

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I helped a couple of contractor friends years ago make laminated counter tops, but it was a long time ago. I need to look at it again. I just don’t remember how we formed the nose.
If you're talking about the rounded front edge...YOU can't do that with laminate. You need a postforming machine for that. Besides, don't forget you have a lot of help here on the forum, if you do laminate.




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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I remember making cove molding on the router table and gluing it in the corner of the back splash and if I remember correctly we heated the Formica along the back with a propane torch to fold it up the back.
I know we had a bull nose because I remember gluing on strips of wood to the front edge and sanding it smooth, but I may not have been there when they actually formed the front because I just don’t remember that at all.
 

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I remember making cove molding on the router table and gluing it in the corner of the back splash and if I remember correctly we heated the Formica along the back with a propane torch to fold it up the back.
I know we had a bull nose because I remember gluing on strips of wood to the front edge and sanding it smooth, but I may not have been there when they actually formed the front because I just don’t remember that at all.
Maybe if you go for hypnosis, it will all come back.:laughing:



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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
LOL, I'm getting old, what can I say.:smile:
There were 6 or 7 of us there and I was probably busy helping with the back while the others were doing the front. Its funny because I remember cracking open a keg of beer and others showing up for a party afterwords. Maybe the beer erased my memory :laughing:
 

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I can do this with 2 seams...



IF your front of the sink to the window dimension is 50" or less the maximum width of laminate. Make one seam across the sink front to the left and one to the right.


If it's greater than 50" then I'd make the first seam way into the window bay where it won't be seen. Just what I would do. You can "like" or "unlike" my idea . :laughing:
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I take it that 50” is the width of the Laminate. I just measured from the window to the front and I have 46” so I might just take your suggestion.

I just watched the “Postform Countertop Gets Laminated” YouTube video and they say the heating is critical at 360 deg F. and they use a heating iron the full length of the top. I’m pretty sure I could do a small top or at least bend the splash, but not as tight as the factory. Theirs is almost 90˚ bend and I would be limited to ¾ to 1” radius. Also I would have to build something for the nose, but without the cove wheels to form it, I’m not sure I could and defiantly not anything longer then 4 to 6 ft.

Anyway I’m still trying to find someone who actually did do one, but it looks like I’ll be limited to bevel edge and a separate back splash. I’m not happy about a seam between the top and the back splash, but anything will be better than this tile.

Earlier today I made a pot of coffee and didn’t shut the door all the way so I had almost a whole pot of coffee on the counter and it all collected along the back splash. This has happened more times than I can remember. And I’m sure that when I pull all the tile up I’ll find coffee stains on the wall behind the cabinets.
 
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