Installing Countertop to Base Cabinet

Tools Required –

  • Cutting tool for plywood
  • Silicone
  • Level
  • Belt Sander (not required but helpful)

Plywood Substrate

Proper countertop installation begins with the countertop substrate. Underneath the countertop run 2 1/2" wide plywood strips all the way around outside of our countertop using dabs of silicone placed every 10-12". This plywood should sit up against drop edge and the thickness should be flush with the thickness of your drop edge. 

1" thick edges will require 1/2" plywood while 1 1/2" edges will need 1" plywood.
Note that because solid surface sometimes runs a bit under 1/2" you may need to sand down the plywood to keep it from sitting taller than your decorative edge buildup.

Additionally, run one 2 1/2" wide plywood strip down the center of the countertop. (if your countertop is less than 12" deep this step can be skipped)  

Level Base Cabinets

Before installation, it is important to ensure that your base cabinets are level. All base cabinets should be level to within 1/8" over a 10 foot length.

Dry Fit

Before permanently affixing your countertop to your base cabinet, it is necessary to do a dry fit. Place your countertop on your cabinets as they will be installed. Often at this point you may notice that your walls are not perfectly square and straight. You may see small gaps where the wall has bump etc. Generally a backsplash (solid surface or otherwise) mounts to the wall and the thickness of the backsplash hides any gaps. 

When there is not a backsplash you must scribe the countertop to the wall. Push your countertop up against your walls as best as it can. Set a pencil against your wall with the tip sitting on your countertop. Run the pencil tight against the wall effectively scribing the wall pattern onto the countertop.

Using a belt sander, sand the edge of your countertop to match the scribed pattern of your wall. Wipe away debris and do another test fit. You should find that your countertop now slides perfectly into place as the edge now accounts for your wall irregularities.  

Install Countertop to Base Cabinets

Place dabs of silicone along the base cabinet walls and set your countertop into place. Reconnect any plumbing fixtures and your countertop is ready for use. 

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