Beveled Edge Details for Laminate Countertops

Tips on tricky details, transitions, and application techniques for beveled-edge laminate tops. March 26, 2007

I have made probably 1000 or more laminate countertops, nearly all of them in new homes made with a self/flat edge. I recently started a kitchen remodeling company and have had customers request a beveled edge top.

I have decided to use Wilsonart's pre-made beveled edge (the flat back or t-back - any input on which is best?), but I'm not quite sure how to treat the edge in certain areas. For example, where the edge meets the oven opening - I cannot extend the bevel around, but if I use a self edge inside the opening, should I just ride it over the top of the bevel on the outside and file down? But then, I would have to laminate that edge first, since the tops go on before the bevel edges. If I cut it off straight at the opening, how do I treat the raw material showing?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor M:
I have used both the t-back and flat back edges and prefer the flat back. With the flat back you can adjust it up and down as you go to get a good flush fit on the top. With the t-back you have to route the groove just right to end up flush at the top. It is hard to test fit pieces because you have to tap it in and out of the groove, and if you are doing a top that is in place, you will not be able to route all the way to the wall, and will have to trim the tongue off the last few inches to make it work.

As for running the edge up to a stove opening, I laminate the top, put on the bevel edge, and then cap off the end much the same way you would do a post form top. I have gone to a lot of trouble before to make the edge end up under the top and still cap off the bevel edge, but it was not worth it. Just cap off the top and bevel edge at the same time and file the edge at about a 45 degree angle, and you can't really tell which was put on first.

From contributor G:
I do the opening for a stove the same way as contributor M - just cap the end off. As far as which is better, I was taught to make all of our beveled edge. It is flat backed and it is the only stuff I have used, so as contributor M says, I would assume it's easier to adjust up and down. I've used T-molding on edges and it is sometimes a chore to get the groove at the right level to get a level edge all the way around the top and it's a lot more flexible.

From the original questioner:

Thanks. I was concerned about having that laminate edge showing on top, but as you said, if I file it down it probably won't be noticed. I have been using a spray adhesive (Star Stuck brand) for all my tops, but I understand with the beveled edge it is suggested to use wood glue. I have thought that I will use the spray for a nice quick stick, and dab on the wood glue every six inches or so. Do you have a suggestion with the adhesive, and do you clamp or tape your edges or just let the glue do its work?

From contributor M:
You will need to use wood glue and tape to put on the edge. I use one of the water resistant wood glues, because it not only glues the edge on, it seals up the joint between the bevel edge and the top. I use strapping tape (the kind with strings in it) to tape the edge on. I have used the clear packaging tape, but it can be a real pain to remove, because it tears off in little pieces. Tape the edge about every 4 or 5 inches and watch out that the edge doesn't creep up. Keep a damp rag handy to wipe off the glue squeeze out before it dries. By the time you have glued all the edges on, the first ones will be about dry and you can start removing the tape. You will then need to wipe off the glue that was under the tape. You will probably notice a sharp edge where the bevel meets the top, but don't file it - you can take off too much real easy. Instead I use some 600 grit wet dry sandpaper to just take the edge off of the joint.

From contributor G:
I use Titebond to glue my edges on and masking tape about every two to three inches. I have also used the clear tape... it just doesn't make it. I use denatured alcohol to get any dried glue off.

From contributor J:
I was told by the owner of Kuehn Bevel to use Titebond 2 water resistant glue and completely cover the back of the bevel edge to seal it. Also, I use the packing tape. Just making a second to above info.

From contributor W:
Contributor M made the comment that he has a hard time removing the strapping tape. I don't know how common this is, but I run a piece of tape on the top of the counter a few inches back from the edge that is to get edging. Then I tape the edging on the same as I am sure everyone else does. Then when it is time to remove all of the little strips of tape, I only need to pull on the first piece and all of the other little pieces come right off. Well they don't *all* come right off, but most.

From contributor D:
How do you like working with the Star Stuck brand of contact adhesives? Does the short open time cause you any problems?

From the original questioner:
I use Star Stuck's spray adhesive - I buy it in a 37 lb canister. If you haven't seen this before, it looks like a propane tank, and retails around $240. I can usually do 10 to 15 tops per canister. I have never had problems with this adhesive. At times, I do have to put a little super glue (I use 2p-10) at edgeband corners to create a strong bond. The spray dries quickly (3 to 5 minutes), which is good since I build tops on site, and often have multiple jobs a day to complete.