Compact Laminate Worktops

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by Hausfix, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    Has anyone got any tips or advice on fitting Compact Laminate worktops, especially when it comes to making a perfect 90 degree joint?
    I’ve fitted 100’s of kitchens and have the skills and tooling to fit standard laminate worktops, but until now have never been asked to fit a 12mm thick compact laminate worktop. What’s the best procedure to cut and finish a joint and how do you fix the worktop down? I’m assuming you have to silicone the worktop down in the same way as quartz/granite?
    As far as I’m aware, my customer has ordered a square edged worktop without a profile, so a masons mitre may not be required.
     
  2. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    I’ve done them once using my usual kit, but did a 10mm masons mitre. I used my usual trend budget router bit and made allowances on the jig for the connector bolts.
     
  3. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    That’s good to know, I presumed that the U shaped washers on connector bolts are thicker than 12mm as the nuts alone are 10mm, so would not be possible to use.
     
  4. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    The connector bolts I had still go in flush/inset with the bottom of the worktops
     
    Hausfix likes this.
  5. Chris Curwen

    Chris Curwen Member

    We fit 12mm and 20mm compact regularly.
    We don't like the 12mm.

    Need track saw as your best friend to cut it accurately and square.
    Cut 3-4mm depth cuts at a time.
    Polish edges with random orbital sander finishing pads should be 240 grit or 400 grit.
    Hand finish with 1000grit.
    Oil cut edges with Linseed oil (good quality) and oil drainer grooves.
    If fitting splashback in compact or fitting 12mm upstands, need leave expansion gaps between upstands and walls or other splashback.
    Its caught us out once, so be aware.... it does expand with solar gain.
    Joints are difficult esp if you have an undermount sink in the run.
    Also..... note- silicon does not stick to some smooth 12mm compact laminates.
    Use 'StixAll Crystal Ice" instead.
    (Or a good polymer adhesive).
    And last...but not least, deep hobs, esp Bosch/Neff induction hobs require you to lower any top drawer thats planned under them.
    Induction hobs are 54-57mm thick undet the glass top.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
    Jord86, Hausfix and CGN like this.
  6. Chris Curwen

    Chris Curwen Member

    Most 12mm and 20mm compact come with installation packs which have mini bolts.
    Need to be recessed max 6mm into underside.
    Most fitters use Araldite adhesive for the joint
     
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  7. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    what blade do you use Chris?
     
  8. Chris Curwen

    Chris Curwen Member

    Dewalt Plunge saw blade 160mm or 165mm dia.
    40-48 teeth.
    Speed number 4.
    If you go too fast with travel, the blade can reverse lift and 'skate' over the material.
    4mm max plunge each time.
    Use Trend or equivalent blades.
    You will use one blade per job depending on cuts.
    Remeber, 12mm and 20mm compact worktops come 650 depth, so trimming the back is a long cut.
    Ive been thinking about grooving the excess into the wall !
    When you cut cut the back off..... try snapping the scrap piece .. its incredibly hard and resilient.
    Thin blades 1.92mm thick are best, but the reviving knife can stick in the cut.
    2 00mm 2.2mm blades are dearer.
     
    CGN likes this.
  9. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Thanks for the info, much appreciated. Useful info on the speed as yes, the blade can skate over. Top man :)
     
  10. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the info, much appreciated.
     
    CGN likes this.
  11. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Mmmmmm, Compact Laminate eh..............................the Devil's invention if there was one :D
    One thing to keep in mind when machining the stuff, any blades you use are sacrificial. In other words, they will be useless once you have made a cut. Because of this you should make shure you take into account the cost when pricing up for the job.
    Defo use worktop bolts for the joints. Howdens sell them (Zipbolts), they are 100mm long as opposed to normal worktop bolts 150mm length. They are also about 6mm in depth, so will be fine in 12mm or 20mm Compact Laminate.
    Because Araldite sets very quickly, Zipbolts are very fast to work with and give you enough time to clean the "squidge" away from the worktop surface.
    Are you fitting an undermonunt sink or an inset sink ?
    As mentioned by @Chris Curwen hobs can be an issue, but become a very large issue if the oven has been planned to go under the hob. If the designer has designed it with a single built under oven, then the oven itself needs to be sitting on the bottom of the cab with the dummy draw front above it.
    If the designer has been a complete numpty and designed it with a built under one and a half oven.....................then the kitchen needs to be re-designed, because there is no room for any hob.
     
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  12. Chris Curwen

    Chris Curwen Member

    Good comment on the oven issue.
    BUOH (built under oven housing) as its usually notated.

    @kitfit1 mentions-
    "large issue if the oven has been planned to go under the hob. If the designer has designed it with a single built under oven, then the oven itself needs to be sitting on the bottom of the cab with the dummy draw front above it"

    This is one answer, tho there is then a big issue with the designer line at the bottom of the oven verses the unit doors each side.
    The Oven will appear to be 20mm higher than the rest of the units.

    Wren kitchens solved this problem by splitting the dummy draw front into two separate pieces.
    We do this now too.
    47-50mm at the top, just under the worktop, and 60mm at the bottom.
    (Less saw cut blade thickness!)

    Dummy draw fronts are typically 110 or 115mm
    I know it means rebuilding the BUOH .....
    Once get into habit of doing it..... its a simple process.
     
    kitfit1 likes this.

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