Order at home centers or through kitchen designers (allow two weeks for delivery). Laminates range from about $2 to $5 per square foot, but they come in 4-by-8- or
5-by-12-foot sheets. Because you want as few seams as possible, choose a size that will yield the longest uninterrupted pieces, taking into account not only the surface of the counter but the sides and backsplash as well.
2. 3/4-INCH PARTICLEBOARD
to form the substrate to which you adhere the laminate.
A 4-by-8-foot sheet should be wide enough to create all the pieces needed for one standard 25-inch-deep countertop section and backsplash, up to 8 feet long.
3. WATER-RESISTANT WOOD GLUE
to glue together pieces of the substrate. Look for PVA wood glues rated Type II.
to protect the particleboard from moisture.
5. NEOPRENE CONTACT CEMENT
a water-based or low-VOC product rather than a solvent-based one, which will dry faster but can only be used in a well-ventilated area. One gallon will cover about 250 to 300 square feet.
6. 3/4-INCH DOWELS
to hold the laminate off the particleboard before adhesion. Plan on one 3-foot-long dowel for every 12 inches of countertop. Clean scrap wood will also work.
7. CLEAR LATEX CAULK
to seal and waterproof seams between two countertop pieces and to seal edges where the countertop meets a wall.
8. 11/4-INCH and 15/8-INCH DECK SCREWS
to assemble the substrate and to attach the countertop to the cabinets.