Putting in Granite Countertops
Q: "Can we put granite over laminate countertops?"
Can we put granite over our plastic-laminate countertops, or do I have to remove the laminate first?
—Jeanette Peterson, Lynwood, Wash.
Tom Silva replies: You can put a granite slab on top of the existing laminate countertop, but I don't know why you'd want to. For one thing, the slab would raise the height of the counters, which might make them less comfortable to use and reduce the clearance beneath any upper cabinets. You'd also have to figure out some way to conceal the exposed laminate edge of the existing counter, which would require expensive custom work. Besides, it isn't that difficult to remove your countertop and lay a granite slab directly on top of the cabinets.
But here's another thought that could save you some bucks: Install granite tiles over the laminate. They come in 1-foot squares that are only 3/8 inch thick and can be applied to the existing surface with thinset adhesive. You could hide the edge of the old counter with strips cut from the tiles. Bullnose tile or metal quarter-round strips like the ones made by Schluter Systems can provide a smooth transition from top to side.