Wilsonart Countertops test test
Corian Countertops

Homepage > Countertop Installation > U Shaped Countertops with Joints



Installing your new Bevella Top

U Shaped Countertop with Joints
(Fits Between Walls)

Bevella RTI Countertops are engineered and manufactured to the highest quality standards, built to your exact specifications and are easy to install for the home enthusiast who has the skills set for general home improvement projects around the house.

Installing a Bevella RTI Countertop will give your kitchen an amazing new look at such an affordable price, your budget won’t be stretched to the max.  The savings you are about to enjoy, will enable you to complete many other projects around the house.

Let’s Get Started

Tools Required

Tape Measure
Hammer
Pry Bar
Clamps
3/8" Variable Speed Drill
5/8" Speed Bore Bit
Jig-Saw with fine tooth blade (Laminate Cutting Preferred)
Screwdriver (Phillips & Flat)
Framing Square
Compass
Belt Sander with 80 Grit Belt
Fine mill file
7/16” Box Wrench (for bolts to connect countertop joints)
Shims
Caulking Gun with Adhesive Caulk (i.e. Phenoseal, etc., color to blend with top)
!” Plastic Putty Knife
Duct Tape
Pencil
Sharpie Fine Point Marker Pen
Various Wrenches for disconnecting sink and/or cooktop

Disconnect Your Sink – Be sure to shut off water valves under the sink.  If there are no valves and the main water supply has to be shut off, now may be the right time to consider putting valves in.  You may want to contact a local plumber to handle this part of the project.  Disconnect trap and tailpiece from basket strainer.

Care should be taken not to force wrenches either un-tightening or tightening joints.

Remove The Sink From Your Countertop – Sinks with metal rims, and self rimming stainless steel sinks are generally held in with clips from the underside of the countertop.  You may want to use a flashlight to locate them.  You can generally use a long slotted screwdriver to un-loosen and remove them.

Caution:  Sometimes the sink will fall out of the rim once clips are removed.  Cast Iron sinks are heavy and should be propped up from underneath before removing clips. 

Cast Iron Self Rimming sinks on the other hand are removed from the top of the counter.  They are usually glued under the rim with an adhesive caulk. 

Tip:  You can use a portable hairdryer to heat a small putty knife to help cut through the caulk.  Once adhesive caulk is loose, sink can be lifted out.

Use caution when lifting any sink out of the countertop.  Faucets can be damaged easily if pulled on to help remove sink.

Remove Cooktop or Built in AppliancesBe sure gas is shut off to any appliance to be removed.  If a gas valve is not present for the appliance now may be the right time to consider putting valves in.  You may want to contact a local plumber to handle this part of the project.

For electrical appliances be certain power is turned off prior to disconnecting and removing.

Built in countertop appliances are held in by various methods, clips from underneath, screws from inside (in many cases cooktop top surfaces lift up for cleaning or installation), etc. Consult your appliance manual when possible.

Caution: It is always advisable to contact a Licensed Plumbing or Electrical Contractor for removal and reinstallation of fixtures and appliances.  Most contractors will be more than happy to assist you with this phase.

Dishwasher – Open dishwasher and remove mounting screws secured to countertop.  There are generally two metal brackets that extend out at the top of the tub where these screws are located and can be seen with the door open.  Close door and lock shut. (This keeps door closed and unit from tipping over during countertop installation)

Remove the existing Countertop – Countertops are generally secured by screws from underneath, through cabinet framing in the front, or corner blocks located inside the cabinets.

If it is a very old countertop (with metal trim around the edge perimeter), it may have been nailed down through the top before the laminate was applied.  You may have to pry the counter up to free it from the cabinets. 

Tip: Carefully making a cut in the sink or cooktop openings will allow you to work with smaller pieces making the removal somewhat easier.

Caution - Be careful not to damage walls, cabinets or appliances when removing countertops or its pieces.

Carefully unpack your countertop removing all staples, cardboard covering and packing.

Use caution when handling so as not to damage front edges, joints or seams.  The job becomes simpler if you have a helper.

Carefully slide your countertop pieces into position to check condition of walls and overall fit.  Walls are generally not straight and rooms are often out of square.  This can easily be taken care of with a few simple adjustments during your installation.

Tip:  Before marking any countertop surface for cutting, apply duct tape first. then scribe or draw lines on duct tape and go over pencil line with Sharpie marker.  Duct tape will protect the top while cutting with jig saw.  Metal bases on jig saws can mar laminate surfaces


U Shaped Countertop with Joints
(Fitting Between Walls)

1. Measure wall to wall openings (1,2,3,4,5, & 6) as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1

Tip:  You may want to lay countertop pieces flat on the floor and gently push the joint together.  Align it properly and put some pieces of duct tape across the joint to hold it together to check your dimensions.

2. Check the outer corners for square (C, D), Fig 1.  Measure the gaps between the wall and the framing square, at the back or the front.  Apply duct tape to the ends of the countertop. Mark this dimension, either in the front or back.  Draw your line for the out of square cut with the Sharpie fine point marker.  Do the same for the other side.

3. Now measure between the scribed lines and back of the countertop to make sure they are equal to the measurements you took

DO NOT CUT ANYTHING YET

4. Measure diagonal (5 & 6) as shown in Fig 2.  Check your corner to corner measurement on your assembled countertop, Fig 3.  If these dimensions are within a ¼”, you should be in good shape.  If this dimension is larger than a ¼” go to the step 6.

Fig 2

Fig 3

5. The scribe cuts can now be made. You can either cut the material away with the jig saw with laminate blade installed or use the belt sander to remove the wood and laminate to the scribed line.  (It is easier to remove ⅛“ or less material with the belt sander. Always sand in the down direction against the laminate)  A fine mill file can be used to gently file the burr off the top edge of the laminate.

6. Carefully place one countertop piece in place.  Be careful with sharp corners on the joint side.  You can remove some of the drywall or plaster in the corner if you need some clearance to adjust the piece into position.  Check fit to back wall and side wall.

7. Carefully place the other countertop piece in place.  You may have to tip it up in the corner and let that piece lay on top of the other.  Be careful not to damage either piece.  You can prop the opposite end up with two ¾” strips.  You made need to remove some more drywall or plaster in the corner to adjust the top.  Don’t worry, the splash is 4” high and will cover these notches in the wall.  Check fit to back wall and side wall. Repeat for the last piece.

8. You will now need to begin scribing the pieces to fit in between the walls.  This will take a little time and will require some patience.  Refer to step 5 and begin to cut a little off each piece both on the end if necessary and the back (You can also refer to B, Humps in the wall).  Make sure you continue to check the fit of the pieces, front overhang, and the alignment of the joint after each cut.  A little more time spent on this step will give you a masterful result.

9. Once your pieces are fit properly and lying in place refer to Sink Cut Outs/Appliance Cut Outs.  Proceed with this step.

10. The countertop pieces are now ready for assembly.  Coat the entire joint edge of one of the countertop pieces with the adhesive caulk.  Insert the wafers into the slot found in the joint edge.  These help align the pieces as they are bolted.  You will probably have to lift both pieces up together to align the wafers with the opposite side.  Insert the assembly bolts from underneath and tighten, making sure the front edges align properly and the two top surfaces are flush with each other.  Do not over tighten.  Remove excess caulk from the laminate surface with your plastic putty knife and clean with damp cloth.

11. It is sometimes difficult in this type of installation to attach the backsplashes with screws from underneath, lift the pieces back into position, and secure the joints.  The splashes can be glued in place with your adhesive caulk.  Secure the countertop to the cabinets with screws up through the front fames or corner blocks and in the back.

12. Trim your splashes to fit if necessary.  Remember, two of the splashes have the edge molding overhanging to overlap and fit to the other. (Cut the Opposite End)

13. Coat the entire bottom edge of the backsplash with adhesive caulking.  You can use a 1’ putty knife to spread it on evenly.  Run some beads of adhesive caulk along the back of the splash board.  Put splashes into place.

14. To hold splashes securely while adhesive sets, cut pine furring strips about ⅛“ longer than the distance between the top of the splash and the bottom of the upper cabinets. You can now wedge these into place until the adhesive sets.  Be sure that you wedge enough strips to get an even squeeze out of caulk along the entire bottom edge of the splashes.  About every foot should be good.  Scrape off excess caulk with your plastic putty knife and clean with damp cloth.

Tip: If gaps between the backsplash and countertop still appear after this step, loosen the back screws inside the cabinets that hold the countertop down.  Install shims between the cabinet and the countertop under the gap areas to close the gaps.  If you need to hold the backsplashes against the wall more securely, cut pine furring strips about 26” and clamp onto countertop overhang while pushing backsplash against the wall.

15. Install sink and appliances


Scribing The Countertop

To scribe the counter, set the compass to the desired gap width and run the pointer along the wall scribing a line onto the back of the countertop.  You can either cut the material away with the jig saw with a laminate blade installed or use the belt sander to remove the wood and laminate to the scribed line.  (It is easier to remove ⅛“ or less material with the belt sander. Always sand in a down direction against the laminate)  A fine mill file can be used to gently file the burr off the top edge of the laminate after cutting.

Humps in the Wall

This can be handled in one of two ways.  The back of the countertop can be scribed to the hump, or the drywall or plaster can be removed in that area so the countertop can be recessed into the wall

Sink Cut Outs/Appliance Cut Outs

  1. Sinks are generally located in the center of the window or center of the cabinet that it sets in.  Once countertop piece is positioned properly and before the backsplash is attached, apply duct tape to the area where the sink or appliance is to be cut and lay out your cut – out.  Remember to allow for the ¾” backsplash behind the sink and appliances. 

Tip: If possible it is always best to lay your sink or appliance upside down on the top to assure placement.  Trace the perimeter.  Remove the fixture and draw the cutout line inside the perimeter line.

Remember measure twice, cut once!  The hole for your fixture or appliance MUST be smaller than the overall dimension of your fixture or appliance that is going into that cutout.  Carefully check your measurements!

  1. Drill a hole inside your cutout with the speed bore bit.  This will be the starting point for cutting with your jigsaw.  NEVER cut square corners.  Most, if not all sinks, require radius corners in their cut-outs.  Cut-outs for appliances that have square corners still require a small radius.  Use your speed bore bit to drill a hole in each corner for this type of cut-out.  Square corners in laminate cut-outs encourage stress cracks and should be avoided.
     

Installing the Backsplashes

Note: Be Careful! Your splashes are left or right.  The edge molding over-hangs to properly fit when connected in the back corner.

Countertop was not scribed to the wall

1. To install the backsplashes and you did not have to scribe the countertops to the wall slide top forward and drill 3/16” holes 3/8” in from back edge, 6” 8” apart.  Start about 2” in from the ends of the top.  Coat the entire bottom edge of the backsplash with adhesive caulking.  You can use a 1’ putty knife to spread it on evenly.  This will give you a nice watertight seal once you have screwed the backsplash in place.

2. Secure with 2 ½” wood screws holding the back of the backsplash flush with the back of the countertop.  Scrape off excess caulk after splash is secure and clean with a damp cloth
.
Countertop was scribed to the wall

1. If you did scribe the countertops push them into place. Place the backsplashes on top of the countertop and push them against the wall. Trace a line in front of the splash onto the counter surface.  The splash has some flex to it and will generally conform to modest variations in the wall. Remove the splashes and pull the countertop away from the wall.  Measure 3/8” back from that line and drill 3/16’ screw holes 6” – 8” apart 2”’ in from the edge to mount your splash.  Coat the entire bottom edge of the backsplash with adhesive caulking.  You can use a 1’ putty knife to spread it on evenly.  This will give you a nice watertight seal once you have screwed the backsplash in place.  When securing it with 2 ½ screws be sure to hold the front of the splash even with your front pencil line. 
 
2. Slide Countertop back into position checking overhang on left or right or both and secure countertop with wood screws through front cabinet frame or corner blocks.  Caulk along top and sides of backsplash to seal and hide gaps.