worktop installation - templates?

5 Dec 2012
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United Kingdom
I'm struggling to find a joiner who can fit a kitchen worktop anytime soon, so i'm considering doing it myself.

It is a zenith comoact laminate worktop

I have an L shape with an island

The walls aren't square and the wall depth differs over the length by 1/2cm

If i were to consder this myself, i was thinking of using a foam template and transferring this onto the worktop - would this work? I'm not con I once had quartz installed and they used a foam template

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Go and hire or buy a decent jig with an angle setting device such as the Trend KWJ750P (together with the KWJ/OSD out of square device) which can easily handle out of square corners. You will also need a 1/2in plunge router with minimum power of around 1600 watts (ideally 2000 watts plus), a 30mm guide bush to fit it and a 1/2in shank straight router cutter - diameter 12.7mm x 50mm long
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thanks J+K - this is for a zenith compact laminate worktop, is the process still the same?

I have a chimney breast to install worktop around, and also overhang issues - 1cm unit depth difference over a 3m span - how do i set up the worktop to ensure the overhang is the same across the length?

It suggests biscuit joints because the worktop is only 12.5mm thick

i'm just not overly confident because if i mess up it's a costly error.

Do you think it's possible as a DIYer, or best left to pros?
You have some play by cutting into the plaster and the thickness of the any splashback to cover a slight gap

You could also if need be, take some off the back of the units to push them back to square everything up and have equal overhangs
Ah yes good point. I'd rather take out plaster board as I don't want to mess a out tkh units again.

Seriously considering doing worktops myself as every joiner I have phoned is booked up for months.j

With having a chimney breast and alcoves to install around, how do I go about sliding the biscuit joints together at the join. Or am I making it sound harder than it is? As I face chimney breast, join will be on the left side. See pic

You are overthinking it. Masking tape on top of the joints. Mark the biscuit positions. Pull apart. Cut the slots. Dry fit biscuits. Push together to check alignment. Adjust if required (generally depth of cut/length of slot). Pull apart. Glue biscuit slots. Insert biscuits. Smear joints with Colorfill or similar. Push joints together. Insert dog bone fasteners (if required). Tighten.

If in doubt always but always do a dry fit/dry run first. You'd be surprised at the issues it throws up - from out of level cabinet tops to nailers (the "splat" between the ends of a cabinet at the top) obstructing access to the dog bone joiners, if any, and a lot else
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to get a template of worktop before cutting
Granite worktop templating guys use clear cortex board for templating - it cuts nicely with knife or scissors and being clear you can see what's going on. Builders merchants sometimes sell it for floor protection, although sadly it's mostly black.

A kitchen fitter wouldn't use templates, but it might be helpful for you as it helps avoid measuring you have a tapering cut to do, it can confusing knowing where to start.

An alternative to templates is a board of say 6mm mdf the same depth as the worktop 600mm or whatever and about a metre long - you can push it into a corner and mark a scribe line to get the return wall position.

What is confusing with worktop is you can't put it in position to mark as it won't fit until it's the right size........
thanks for the input.

I've decided after finding it impossible to get an installer i'm going to crack ahead and do it myself. I'm nervous but i'll take my time!

1. I'll be using a corex template as above to get the correct overhang and ensure that it's tight to the wall

2. Once i've got the template, i then transfer this onto the worktop and cut
Is it best to cut the worktop with a circular saw, leaving 3-4mm for the router to finish it off

3. Once worktop is cut, do a dry install and measure up for sink and hob cutouts

If i buy a router, what router bits will i need to buy? I've never used a router before so its all new to me

Because it is a zenith compact laminate, i won't need a template? Is that correct?

you mention insert dog bone fasteners, but my understanding is that it's just glue and biscuit joints for compact laminate?

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