How to install a kitchen worktop that could save you money on your renovation

Kitchens are often the hardest working room in the house (Photo: Olive & Barr)

Installing your own countertops can save money on your kitchen renovation.

DIY project

Kitchens are the hardest working room in the house and often need replacement and repair. To save money when installing the countertop, it is possible to do the job yourself.

However, it’s important to keep in mind a few key steps to ensure a successful project completion – if in doubt, hire an expert.

The expert

Al Bruce founded Olive & Barr in 2018. The company, which has showrooms in South London and Malvern, Worcestershire, uses skilled artisan techniques combined with sustainable handmade cabinetry to create one-of-a-kind kitchens. Al began his career 25 years ago studying to be a cabinetmaker in college and has since introduced countless handcrafted Shaker kitchens along with stylish countertops.

What will you need

  • Correx template
  • Stanley Skeen
  • Circular saw or hand saw
  • mounting bracket and screws
  • clamp
  • Sealant silicone

Al Bruce

Al Bruce founded Olive & Barr in 2018 (Photo: Olive & Barr)

Step by step guide

1. To get started, accurate measurements are essential, and the most effective method is to craft a mold using Correx, a corrugated plastic sheet that is flexible, strong, and impact resistant. Using a Stanley knife, carefully draw around the architectural features and lines to create an accurate template.

2. Whether you choose a wood, laminate, marble or granite worktop, each material has different cutting and installation requirements. If you want to install stone or granite kitchen worktops, we advise you to get expert help as these natural materials should only be cut and installed by qualified professionals.

3. Wood and laminate is ideal if you are looking to install a do-it-yourself countertop, and it is essential that you have the right tools. It’s best to use a circular electric saw for accuracy, but blunt blades are always preferred, so check it out before you start. Although some may prefer a more traditional approach with a hand saw, this method should be approached with caution as it will require a lot of precision and effort to cut.

Kitchen with wooden worktop

Wood and laminate are ideal if you are looking to create a do-it-yourself worktop (photo: attached)

4. Instead of jumping straight into cutting, get used to machines with bits of wood lying around the house or garden, to feel more confident and well-practiced. Once cut, buff the sharp wood edges by sanding the sides for a smooth, professional finish. Laminate countertops usually come with finishing strips. Cut it to the appropriate length and apply the adhesive to the tape and the edge of the work surface.

5. The worktop is usually placed on top of fixed kitchen cabinets, with an overhang of about 10 to 20 mm, but allowing for a little extra, just in case. Once cut to size, secure the worktop below with the screws and mounting bracket while securing the front edge of the worktop to the mounting rail at the front of the cabinet.

6. For an attractive finished look where countertops join along an angle or straight edge, aluminum bonding strips are often used instead of sealant. In some cases, you may need to use a hacksaw to customize the strips to fit the width of your work surface.

7. Fasten the work surface firmly with 5mm x 16mm wood screws, but make sure not to tighten them too much. To create a stronger bond, add silicone sealant along the cut edge of the jointed work surface. Tape it to the duct tape before securing it securely and wipe off any excess sealant that may have spilled.

Check out Olive & Barr

More: DIY enthusiasts spend just £3,000 and add £70,000 to their property value

MORE: Mum added £75,000 to the value of her three-bedroom home by spending just £3,000 on low-cost DIY