How to Install Plastic Laminate Kitchen Countertops

Kitchen with new plastic laminate countertops.
Kitchen with new plastic laminate countertops.

Plastic laminate countertops are now available in very realistic patterns that can mimic the look of stone or other materials at a fraction of the cost. Prefabricated molded plastic laminate countertops come with the corner miters already cut and are held to together by special miter bolts, making them an easy DIY project to install.

Watch this video to see the steps involved in installing plastic laminate countertops in your home.

Danny Lipford: Jen and Jason have completed just about all of the painting on the outside of the cabinets, so we can move forward with the installation of our great looking countertops. Hey, it looks a little expensive, but actually it’s one of the most reasonably priced countertops that are available these days, and it’s called a plastic laminate post formed top. Now, we were able to buy from a counter supply company that actually has a fabrication shop that did a lot of the work for us.

Now, this is a small section of countertop that we’re putting on one of the newer cabinets that we installed next to the stove, and you can see how well it mimics natural stone—from the profile on the front to the profile on the back splash. And the material the homeowners selected here kind of a combination of a matte and a little bit of a gloss finish with texture. Boy, it’s hard to tell that it’s not natural stone.

Allen Lyle: Now fabrication also included cutting out the hole for the sink so that we’re ready to drop it right into place, centered over the window, plumbing right here. It also included cutting our miter cut. What we want to do with that, that’s where we put the two countertops together.

If you look here on the back of the small piece, you’ll see these four little sections, and this will actually accept a miter bolt. This is what happens, you mirror it on the other side, this catches the other piece, as you tighten it, it brings it in and cinches those two seams together.

Danny Lipford: And normally you would put the two countertop pieces together, crawl into the cabinet to attach it together, same way you would do your sink. You put your sink in place and hook up all your plumbing, but we’ve found a nice little trick we learned years ago in assembling as much as we can before the countertops in place.

So we first moved the counter outside with room for Allen to show Jason how to install the sink. Stainless steel sinks simply drop into the cutout area and then clips are added from below to lock them in place. But first, you need to seal around the perimeter with caulk so spills can’t leak through. Then, the sink goes in, and the clips are tightened.

You can see how much easier this is to do before the counter is installed. Now it’s back inside to add the faucet. Another job that’s much easier if you’re not lying on your back inside a cabinet.


  1. I’m trying to install laminate countertops in a home that was built in the early 1900’s. I have a problem with the walls not being square. What would be the best way to install. I appreciate any help thank you very much.

  2. We have a regular formica countertop in the kitchen. My contractor told me that there is a power than a liquid paint to put on top of the surface, so after it would look like granite. Is that real?

  3. I would have put the miter together (in this case since the one leg of the top was short ) while outside sitting on the sawhorses. Much easier to get at the pull-up bolts. Or, if you have the option, pay a little extra and have the shop who made the tops put it together. They usually are experts at it since they probably do several of them a week.


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