So it is time to cut your Formica laminate countertops for your kitchen, and you are looking for the best tool for that.
Spoiler alert: The best tool for you in this situation is a circular saw blade.
This post will go over some simple steps to explain how to cut a Formica countertop with a circular saw.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Understanding the Material: Formica
Formica is a very versatile material that is used in plastic laminate countertops. It is available in different finishes and a wide variety of textures as well as colors.
It is widely used because:
- The laminate material is easy to clean.
- and is easy to maintain.
However, it would help if you learned how to cut Formica sheets properly. This will help you save a lot of time and money.
It is not difficult to cut through the Formica countertop, but it is not a piece of cake either because it can easily crack or flake.
Methods of Cutting Formica
By following a few straightforward steps, you can become a professional in cutting Formica countertops.
There are two ways to cut Formica including:
- With a jigsaw
- With a laminate router bit
However, in this post, we will only cover how you can cut a Formica countertop using a circular saw.
Using a Circular Saw to Cut Formica
1. Buying and Sizing Formica Sheet
The thickness of a typical Formica sheet is between 1 by 16 and 1 by 32 of an inch. The dimensions of the Formica sheet are 8, 10, and 12 feet long and 3, 4, and 5 feet wide.
You should get the right size of the sheet that is according to your project.
2. Measurement Process
In the following process, you have to measure the area you desire to laminate using a measuring tape.
This step is crucial, and you have to be vigilant while measuring, so you do not face any problems later on during the project.
3. Drafting and Marking
In this step, you have to mark the cutting line on the Formica sheet. You can use a lead pencil or a ball pen for drafting and drawing lines on the sheet.
If you are as neat as possible during this step, then there are more chances that you will be able to cut the Formica countertop neatly by using a circular saw blade.
4. Masking Tape
Now place the masking tape exactly on the cutting lines on the piece of Formica countertop sheet. Make sure that you are utilizing extra layers of tape at the edge of the sheet, from where you will start cutting it using a circular saw.
Placing the additional layers of tape is essential but make sure that the line is not visible through the tape.
5. Remeasuring the Sheet
Once you have placed the masking tape down, the next step is to remeasure and mark on top of the masking tape once again by using a pen or pencil.
6. Laying Formica
Use a scrap piece of wood or table to cut the Formica sheet. Using a rough surface for this project is important because the surface will get scored using a circular saw to cut the Formica sheet.
The surfaces that are not recommended to cut on include:
- Polished wood
7. Using the Circular Saw Blade
Finally, you will use a circular saw to cut the Formica sheet into large pieces in this step.
Do not attempt to cut a curved line by using a circular saw.
Make sure you leave exactly enough space for trimming for a finer look. Get the corners too for final finishing and flexibility.
During the installation process, all you have to do is install the Formica sheet on a countertop and transfer it to the other installation location.
9. Trimming the Sheet
In this step, you can use a jigsaw with fine blades to cut through the Formica sheet seamlessly. You can also make round cuts by using the jigsaw and making the edges as fine as you would like.
10. Belt Sander
Although the belt sanders are tricky to operate, you can use them with a grit of 100 to smoothen the edges of the sheet and to perform sanding.
You can also perform sanding on the edges of the Formica sheet manually by using a small metal file. It entirely depends on your choice whether you want to sand or not.
Cutting Countertops in Place
It is possible to cut the countertops that have already been placed in the kitchen or anywhere else in your home. We would advise you to use masking tape to mark the area you plan to cut it.
After that, you can easily cut it and also try a rotary tool with the cutting wheel. You can choose the blade of your choice, but a circular one is recommended for getting the finest cut possible.
Remember to be careful and alert while you are cutting it.
Factors to Consider While Cutting Formica
Let’s have a look at the factors you should consider while you are cutting the countertop:
1. Cut slowly and be extra careful to avoid chipping.
2. Have someone with you to support the section that you are cutting so it does not fall off.
3. Make use of enough masking tape
4. Only use a circular saw to make this cut without chipping.
5. Make sure that you use a narrow fine-tooth blade that has at least 40 teeth.
6. Using a blade that has carbide tips will last longer as compared to the regular steel one.
Is it possible to cut the laminate sheet by using the hands saw?
Yes, it is possible to cut the laminate sheet by using a hand saw, but you should keep in mind there is always a risk of kickback.
However, you can eliminate that risk factor by double-checking the blade and making sure that it is sharp and clean to get the finest cut possible.
Wrapping Things Up…
Formica laminate countertops are very versatile and primarily used in kitchens. A hand saw can also be used, but a circular saw will make your work much quicker, easier, and neater.
As discussed in this post, using a circular saw is the best tool to cut Formica sheets into large pieces.
Do you have any other techniques that you use for cutting Formica sheets by using a circular saw? Let us know in the comments below.