How to Cut a Sink Hole in a Formica® Laminate Countertop

How to Cut a Sink Hole in a Formica® Laminate Countertop

How to Cut Sink Hole in Formica® Laminate Countertop Without Chipping or Breaking

Homeowners and professionals will find it much simpler to cut a hole for a top-mount sink in a Formica® laminate countertop than in a stone countertop or other hard materials. Making precise cuts using a jigsaw is easier than with a grinder or a stone router.

Once installed, all top-mount sinks have a rim which covers the edge of the opening and allows some margin of error. However, cuts should still be as clean as possible to ensure no break or chip remains visible beyond the rim.

Here’s the best way to cut a hole in a Formica® laminate countertop.

Cutting a Sink Hole in Formica® Laminate Countertop in Three Simple Steps

You will need the following:

  • Kraft paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Pen or pencil
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch spade bit
  • Jigsaw and new, fine jigsaw blade
  • Piece of wood longer than the sink opening
  • Screws
  • Belt sander or coarse file

Step 1. Create the template

Most sinks come with a paper template used for outlining the hole. It’s often printed as part of the sink’s packaging. If that’s the case, skip to step 2.

Maybe you’re installing a second-hand sink or a floor model and don’t have a template. In this case, lay the sink upside-down on your Formica® laminate countertop and trace its outline on painter’s tape. Make sure the sink is positioned correctly.

You can trace a template using the old counter if you’re reinstalling an existing sink. Cut a piece of Kraft paper (or any other sturdy paper) slightly larger than the sink opening. Tape the edges, so the paper covers the hole completely. Press gently but firmly with your finger all around the edges. This will crease the paper and leave behind a clean line. You can then cut your template using a utility knife or scissors.

Step 2. Prepare the surface

Measure and draw rough marks for all sides of your sink hole on your Formica® laminate. Allow at least 1 1/2 inches of clearance between the front edge of the countertop and the edge of the sink. Make sure you also have enough room towards the back for working your jigsaw.

Lay painter’s tape on the countertop centred along cut lines. Position your template over the surface, using a carpenter’s square, to make sure all edges are square with the countertop. Use pieces of tape to hold your template in place. Trace the template outline onto the painter’s tape before removing the paper.

Step 3. Cut your Formica® laminate countertop

First, ensure your Formica® laminate countertop is well supported on empty kitchen cabinets or over sawhorses, without any obstacle beneath the opening.

Drill a hole in each corner using a 1/2-inch spade bit. The holes’ edges should barely touch the inside of the template lines.

Use a brand-new, fine jigsaw blade (at least 20 teeth per inch) to cut Formica® laminate. Start at one of the drilled openings and begin cutting. Move the jigsaw slowly and precisely along the cutting line. Stop after you’ve cut about three-quarters of the opening.

You’ll need to support the piece of waste so it doesn’t fall through, which could chip or otherwise damage the countertop edges. Raise and place underneath a wooden board so it overlaps the opening that you will then screw. Make sure it won’t hinder your jigsaw for the remaining cuts. Then, complete the cut and grab the wood to lift off the waste material.

Clean the faucet location and lay additional painter’s tape over the countertop. Dry-fit the sink in the opening. If it’s too tight, use a belt sander or coarse file to widen it as necessary.

With the sink in place, mark the faucet’s location on the painter’s tape. Remove the sink, then drill the faucet hole using an appropriately sized spade bit.

Remove all painter’s tape, then clean and dry the countertop. Generously seal it with caulk all around the opening. Drop in your sink and apply pressure. Wipe off any excess material before it dries.

And voilà! Your new Formica® laminate countertop is ready to be used.

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