Installing new laminate countertops is a simple way to give your kitchen a brand new, updated look. You'll find laminate fairly simple to install because it comes in two parts: the backing board and the laminate sheeting. The laminate sheeting is a standard thickness and usually mounts onto a standard size board.
Laminate Sheet Thickness
Laminate sheets come in a standard thickness of 1/16 inch, which is the thickness of the entire sheet as typically the sheets are very consistent throughout. At this thickness, laminate is both strong, adds stability to the backing board and maintains flexibility. A single sheet of laminate contains a paper backing layer and the surface layer that contains the hard laminate material.
The laminate glues to the surface of any material, including plywood and particleboard. Either makes a fine backing board material for a laminate countertop. Both particleboard and plywood come in standard thicknesses of either 1/2 or 3/4 inch. Since 3/4-inch boards provide more structure and support, this size is the preferred choice for laminate countertop installations. The backing adds 3/4 inch of thickness to the overall counter.
Overall Laminate Countertop Thickness
Determining the thickness of the laminate countertop is as simple as adding the thickness of the laminate sheet to the thickness of the backing board. In almost every case, that is 1/16 inch plus 3/4 inch -- 13/16 inch or .81 inch -- of overall total thickness. This measurement is important when determining how high the final countertop will be. You will need to know this height to finalize plans for your kitchen remodeling project.
Finding Your Final Countertop Height
The final height of the countertop includes the thickness of the laminate countertops plus the height of the cabinets which the countertop mounts to. To get the final height, just add the countertop thickness and cabinet height for a final result. Most cabinets are around 34 inches high, so in most cases your final height is between 35 and 36 inches. If you have a thicker backerboard, or thicker laminate sheets, they only increase the thickness of the countertop and the final height of the countertop.