How To Install A Laminate Countertop On Kitchen Island Base Cabinets

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Last updated on October 14th, 2022 at 01:35 pm

Is It Easy To Install Laminate Countertops On An Island? Find Out Here!

Are you building a kitchen island and wondering how to attach a laminate countertop to the base cabinets? Well, look no further because I have your answer!

To attach a laminate countertop to kitchen island base cabinets:

  1. Cut wood spacers to the depth of the base cabinets to prop the edge of the countertop above the drawer faces
  2. Apply liquid nails to both sides of the spacers
  3. Place the spacers on top of the base cabinets
  4. Place the countertop on top of the spacers
  5. Screw through base cabinet into the spacer and into the bottom of the countertop

Yes, it is that simple, but pictures and diagrams always help to showcase what I’m talking about a little better.

So I’ll show exactly how to accomplish this task in more detail below!

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: How To Secure A Laminate Countertop To Base Cabinets

  1. How To Make A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets
  2. Cut The Spacers To The Depth Of The Base Cabinets
  3. Apply Glue To The Spacers & Attach To The Base Cabinets
  4. Place The Laminate Countertop On Top Of The Spacers
  5. Screw Through The Base Cabinet & Spacers Into The Countertop
  6. Other FAQs About Keyword
  7. Final Thoughts
  8. Related Kitchen Island Articles

Level Of DifficultyTime To Complete
Medium1 Hour
Material ListTool List
Wood or laminate spacersDrill
Coarse-thread screwsImpact Driver
Wood glueMiter saw
WashersCaulk gun
Bar clamps

How To Make A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets

Before we dive in, I’m going to assume that you have the base cabinets installed. If not, check out my tutorial here to help you build the perfect-sized island for your kitchen.

Otherwise, it’s time to attach the countertop!

Step One: Cut The Spacers To The Depth Of The Base Cabinets

The first step to installing a laminate countertop on a kitchen island is to measure, cut, and install some spacers.

In most situations, the edge on the countertop will overhang the base cabinet drawers and block them from being able to open unless a spacer is installed to raise the countertop.

That countertop edge is propped up so it won’t interfere with our drawer.

To prevent this from happening, you need a piece of wood that’s the thickness of the inside of your laminate countertop and the length of the depth of your base cabinets.

Standard laminate countertops are 3/4 inches thick on the inside and standard base cabinets are 24 inches deep, so your wood spacer will likely be that size.

(Sometimes extra pieces of laminate come with the countertop and can be used as a spacer instead of wood. That is what we chose to use as our spacer, but it wasn’t a perfect size so we had to do some extra finagling to get it to work perfectly.)

This wood supports the entire width of the countertop and lets you screw the countertop to the base cabinets.

Here is what it looks like from the inside.

You want to cut enough of these spacers on both ends of the island and every seam where two cabinets meet.

For our 3-cabinet kitchen island, that means we needed 4 spacers.

Each of the blue lines was either where the end of the island was or where two of the cabinets met.

Also cut a few small spacers if you have an extra gap between the part of the base cabinet that you’ll screw into and your spacer.

(If you cut custom wood spacers, you won’t have this problem.)

That extra cross piece of wood at the top of base cabinets is meant for you to screw into to attach countertops. We needed an extra spacer to gap that bridge because we didn’t custom cut spacers to fit perfectly.



Step Two: Apply Glue To The Spacers & Attach To The Base Cabinets

The next step to installing a laminate countertop on a kitchen island is to apply glue to the spacers.

As time goes on, screws can come loose in softer wood or laminate, so adding some glue will help add that little bit of extra security to the countertop.

Wood glue or Loctite Power Grab Adhesive found at Amazon are both excellent options to help give some strength to this attachment. Both types of glue will grab on immediately and dry quickly (no runniness to deal with!)

Apply glue to both sides of the spacer and stick it onto the top of the base cabinets in the areas we talked about above.

Glue the spacers in the blue areas pictured above.

If you have a gap as we did, apply glue to both sides of the small extra spacers you cut and fit them between the base cabinet cross piece and the large spacer.

The small and large spacers will work together like this. Of course, if you cut a piece of wood that fits this space better then you won’t need multiple pieces like this.

Step Three: Place The Laminate Countertop On Top Of The Spacers

The next step to installing a laminate countertop on a kitchen island is to put the laminate countertop on top of the spacers.

Be careful as you place the countertop because the spacers will want to move. To make this easier, you can screw through the base cabinet cross piece into the spacer to hold it in place until the countertop is situated on top.

Line the inner edge of the countertop up with the edge of the base cabinets on all sides without an overhang.

Step Four: Screw Through The Base Cabinet & Spacers Into The Countertop

The final step to installing a laminate countertop on a kitchen island is to screw the laminate countertop into the kitchen island!

I highly recommend using these bar clamps found at Amazon to help hold the countertop in place while you screw into it.

Without them, the countertop will likely raise when you apply pressure while screwing into it, and you won’t be able to get a secure hold on it as easily.

Use several clamps around the island and have someone press down on top of the counter while you screw through the base cabinet cross piece, the spacer(s), and into the bottom of the laminate countertop.

**CAUTION: Use the proper length screws for your spacer and cabinet thickness so you don’t burst through the top of the countertop while installing!!

For our laminate countertop and spacer thickness, we had to use 2-1/2 inch coarse-thread screws to secure it all together.

Please be aware that if your spacer and countertop thickness is less than that, you will need shorter screws. Otherwise, you will screw through the top of the countertop and ruin it.

In addition, since we had to use such a long screw, we also used a washer to help hold the screw in place for the long run.

Finally, laminate is a softer material, so use a coarse-thread screw to help the screw bite into the laminate for a better hold.

For our installation, we used drywall screws. Wood screws or other coarse-thread screws will work as well.

Screw into each spacer in at least 2 places (potentially 3 if you feel like it’s not secure).

That’s it! Your laminate countertop is officially installed on your kitchen island!

Other FAQs About Laminate Countertop Installation On An Island

Here are some other frequently asked questions about laminate countertop installation to help you finish building your kitchen island!

Is It Easy To Install Laminate Countertops?

Laminate countertops are easy to install for any DIYer. Wood spacers are glued and screwed into the base cabinets, and the laminate countertop is glued and screwed into the spacer to create a strong and hidden attachment to the base cabinets.

Do You Glue Down Laminate Countertops?

Laminate countertops are both glued and screwed down to create a strong and long-lasting attachment to the base cabinets. Screws alone can become loose over time, so adding glue will help the connection to last longer.

Can You Screw Into Laminate Countertop?

Laminate countertops are both glued and screwed down to create a strong and long-lasting attachment to the base cabinets. To screw into the laminate, use a coarse-thread screw short enough to not break through the top while installing.

What Screws To Use For Laminate Countertops?

To screw into laminate countertops, use a coarse-thread screw, like drywall or wood screws, because laminate is a softer material, and the thicker threads will help grab more of the laminate to create a tight hold.

Final Thoughts On Installing Laminate Countertops On An Island

There you have it!

Once your countertops are installed, your next move will be to finish the back panel of your kitchen island.

I have a super easy tutorial to help you easily finish the back of the island right here. It’s pretty cost-effective and packs a major punch on the style side as well.

Good luck with the rest of your kitchen island installation! We love ours!

Catch you in my next post!

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How To Install A Laminate Countertop On Kitchen Island Base Cabinets

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