Laminate worktops, also called countertops are popular choices for many UK homeowners. That’s because they are relatively affordable, compared to other options such as wood, marble, granite, quartz, steel etc. They are also available in different patterns and colours.

Fitting a laminate worktop is considered a difficult DIY project as it can be expensive if done incorrectly. Cutting laminate worktops accurately is one of the hardest parts of the fitting process. Over the years we have fitted lots of kitchen and utility room worktops.

As experts we can give you the best advice on picking the right circular saw blade for the perfect worktop finish.  Before you pick a blade though, it is worth knowing how laminate worktops are made so as you know what you are cutting through.

The best circular saw blade for laminate worktops is the TCT18580TTCG20B Saxton TCT Circular Saw Blade. That is because it is a thin kerf blade (2.6mm) with tungsten carbide teeth (80 TPI) that gives precise accurate cuts. That means no chipping or ragged edges on your laminate worktops.

Best Blades by Saw Size.

  1. 165mm circular saw blades for cutting laminate worktop - KROP Circular Saw Blade
  2. 185mm circular saw blade for cutting laminate worktop - TCT18580TTCG20B Saxton TCT Circular Saw Blade
  3. 190mm circular saw blades for cutting laminate worktop - TCT19080TPRO Saxton Professional Range TCT Circular Saw Blade

How is laminate worktop made?

There are two types of laminate worktop available on the UK market, laminate and compact laminate. (The majority of worktops will be laminate worktops)

  1. Laminate Worktop Composition – the bottom layer will be made from either chipboard or MDF. This is then covered with a sheet of laminate which gets bonded to the bottom layer. The laminate is made from several sheets of kraft paper mixed with resin.
  2. Compact Laminate Worktops – These are also known as solid laminates and are made with various layers of laminate. They are the more expensive of the two but also more resistant to water, will last for years and easy to maintain.

Laminate Worktop Size Guide (UK)

Width

Most laminate worktops come in a standard 620mm width. Most kitchen cupboard have a 600mm width and then the worktop overlaps by 20mm. You can however, also find widths of 1200, 670, 900 and 950mm. These options depend on the supplier that you choose.

Length

Laminate worktops are usually sold in 3000mm and 4000mm lengths. However you can also buy 1190, 2050, 2400, 3050, 3500, 3570, 3600, 4050 and 4100mm lengths. These options depend on the supplier that you choose.

Thickness

In the UK, there are 6 different thicknesses you can purchase. These are:

  • 12 millimetres (compact laminate only)
  • 20 millimetres (also known as slimline)
  • 22 millimetres
  • 28millimetres
  • 38 millimetres
  • 40 millimetres

As a rule the standard thickness is 38mm. The reason we explain the composition of a laminate worktop is so that you know what you are cutting through. Chipboard or MDF is easy to cut through. The laminate is much harder and more brittle.

That means it can chip easily, and it can also wear out normal circular saw blades really fast. Picking the right blade for this job is therefore important. For solid laminate worktops this is even more important as they are very hard to cut through.

Cutting Laminate Worktops Properly

The most important consideration is the thickness of your worktop. Always measure that to find out exactly how deep it is. That will determine the diameter of the circular saw blade that you will need.

For example for a 38mm depth worktop you can calculate the minimum blade size required. Take the depth 38 mm. Multiply that by 2 which gives 76mm. Add the bore size of 20mm which would be then be 96mm. That is the minimum diameter size of the blade that you will need to cut a 38mm thick worktop.

Most circular saw blade sizes will be able to cut worktops. Mini circular saw blades will not be able to cut worktops as they only have a cutting depth of around 20mm.

Types of Cuts Needed for Laminate Worktops

There are a few different cuts to consider when fitting a laminate worktop:

  • Cross cuts – this is where you are cutting along the breadth of a board to make it fit. In most cases you may also need to make seams where the worktops join together and that is the really hard part.
  • Rip Cuts – this is the hardest cut as you must cut a straight line along the full length of the laminate worktop. In most cases this will not be required unless you have custom sized cupboards.
  • Shapes and Cut outs – also known as the fiddly bits. These are usually around corners, pipes or conduit and the cut out for sinks and basins. These are best done using a jigsaw.

Professional Worktop Fitting - Time & Costs

How long does it take to install a laminate worktop?

With the right know how it takes about a day to fit a typical kitchen worktop. If you are doing this yourself for the first time it should take 1-2 days.

How much does it cost to install a laminate worktop?

Laminate worktops cost between £200-£800 depending on the size, the supplier you pick and the style that you go for. A kitchen fitter or experienced joiner will charge approximately £100-300 to fit a standard kitchen worktop. It depends on the complexity of the job as it may include one or more seams, sinks etc.

DIY Worktop Fitting - Tools Needed

If you plan on doing this yourself then you will need time and the right tools.

  • Circular saw with blade
  • Jigsaw (if fitting a sink)
  • File/sandpaper
  • Hacksaw
  • G-clamp
  • Drill and bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Saw options for fitting laminate worktops

1. Hand Saw

You can use a hand saw or a pull saw to cut laminate flooring. It is however time consuming as it is a manual process. For a small room the hand saw will work. It will need to be a fine saw and we would recommend 11 teeth per inch (11 TPI) for the best results. A saw such as the Presch hand saw would be a very good choice. You can do rip cuts but very difficult.

Jigsaw

Jigsaws are a good choice for doing any shapes or cut outs you may encounter. They are not a good choice for straight cuts as they are difficult to control. Laminate floor jigsaw blades will have 15 TPI so will leave a very good finish for a worktop as well.

Table Saw

Not many people own a table saw. They are expensive at around £200. If you do own one, then they are ideal for both cross and rip cuts if used with a blade designed for cutting laminate. Table saws can take different blade sizes and the Saxon blade mention just above is the perfect blade.

Circular Saw

Circular saws remain the most popular saw for cutting laminate worktops and flooring. On average these cost around £50-£80. When used with a high-quality laminate blade then they can be used for both cross and rip cuts.

Unless you are a kitchen fitter, most homeowners will only have to cut a laminate worktop on a very rare occasion. Kitchen fitters mainly use a circular saw with the right type of blade fitted. That is because it is fast, accurate and with the right blade there is no chipping.

If you are a UK homeowner than that is the best method. If you don't own a circular saw, then you should try borrowing one or renting one. If unable to do that, you can try one of the other options listed above. However, I would highly recommend making a few trial cuts before making the important cut on your worktop.

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