Counter Top

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
My daughter needs a counter top with dimensions close to the one in this ad. It's going in her laundry room, so it doesn't have to be this thick or of such nice wood. I don't have a planer or jointer, so I can't make one. Can it be made for less than $500?

$500 Maple Counter Top
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Lumber Liquidators has a counter top 8' x 25" x 1.5" for $190. I doubt you could do it cheaper than that, especially if you don't have the tools to process rough lumber. It's all small pieces glued together, which is why it's so cheap, but for a laundry room I think that's perfectly fine.

As for thickness, with something that size you don't really want to go thinner than 1.5", or it is likely to warp.
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Maple is an awesome wood, I have used it many times. In the laundry room, however, I would consider using a laminate that simulates the look of wood; it could most certainly could be done for less than $500.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Lumber Liquidators has a counter top 8' x 25" x 1.5" for $190. I doubt you could do it cheaper than that, especially if you don't have the tools to process rough lumber. It's all small pieces glued together, which is why it's so cheap, but for a laundry room I think that's perfectly fine.

As for thickness, with something that size you don't really want to go thinner than 1.5", or it is likely to warp.
Heck. She needs it to be just under 30" wide. Otherwise, this one would have been a great choice. Thanks.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Maple is an awesome wood, I have used it many times. In the laundry room, however, I would consider using a laminate that simulates the look of wood; it could most certainly could be done for less than $500.
I'll second the idea of laminate (Formica, etc.) for a laundry room processing surface. Laminate is impervious to spills of bleach and detergents and other cleaning chemicals used in laundry processing. Wet clothes going from washer to dryer won't threaten the finish. Dampness in the area won't affect the stability of the top. Also, the surface can be cleaned and disinfected easily. A contrasting wood edge to a solid color top or a mild pattern top may look good.

The traditional square edge can be avoided by using a 3/4" radius round over bit set about 1/2 way down.

Example below where I was putting laminate on the tops of a couple of tables for my young granddaughter.

1 countertop - 1.jpg
1 countertop - 2.jpg
1 countertop - 3.jpg
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
I'll second the idea of laminate (Formica, etc.) for a laundry room processing surface. Laminate is impervious to spills of bleach and detergents and other cleaning chemicals used in laundry processing. Wet clothes going from washer to dryer won't threaten the finish. Dampness in the area won't affect the stability of the top. Also, the surface can be cleaned and disinfected easily. A contrasting wood edge to a solid color top or a mild pattern top may look good.
Bob, this idea is great. Since the top can be plywood, this solution is something I can make for her (if I can get it to fit in her alcove considering the walls are never square.) Thanks for the suggestion. It would be even better if I can find a leftover piece of laminate instead of having to buy a whole sheet.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Heck. She needs it to be just under 30" wide. Otherwise, this one would have been a great choice. Thanks.
"She needs it to be just under 30" wide."

How much under 30" wide? I think <1" is probably not worth it so install it as is.

So why not rip what you need off of the maple one? HD will do it on their panel saw for no charge or you could do it on your SawStop if you're comfortable doing that. I have a Festool track saw with a 77" track that can do it too if you want to try it.

You'd need about 15-20 board feet of rough lumber to make a 6' x 30" slab depending on the thickness and there are plenty of wood species available for $2-4/bf at the Hardwood Store. The materials cost is much less than $500 and you can build one without a jointer or planer.



I don't have a planer or jointer, so I can't make one.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Bob, this idea is great. Since the top can be plywood, this solution is something I can make for her (if I can get it to fit in her alcove considering the walls are never square.) Thanks for the suggestion. It would be even better if I can find a leftover piece of laminate instead of having to buy a whole sheet.
I like Bob's idea too with the formica top too! How about a few pics of her "alcove" where this will be installed by you? Thanks.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
That HD countertop has 22.5 bf of maple. Even at $5 a bf, it would be cheaper to buy the materials and make it yourself. The Hardwood Store could plane it and probably give you two straight edges, still cheaper than $500.

Roy G
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Heck. She needs it to be just under 30" wide. Otherwise, this one would have been a great choice. Thanks.
They have some 6' slabs at 36" as well. White oak for $250, maple for $400 - pretty close to the HD price.

If you go with 1.5" thickness, you'll need 8/4 lumber. 6' x 30" x 2" is about 30 board feet. Factor in some losses and you're looking at about 35 board feet. If you look around you can probably get that for $6 surfaced all four sides.

Not trying to talk you out of a project, but when you factor in glue, gasoline, sandpaper, and painkillers for your back hauling that slab around , you're saving $100 for a full day of work. If on the other hand you go with 3/4" thick and can get the material for $3/ bd.ft., you're saving some real money.

I agree that laminate is far mor practical (and affordable), although a wooden slab looks much better of course. But I might be biased as a woodworker :)
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
Just use butcher block mica :D :D 1 sheet of ply is all you need for substrate. Done many, totally agree in a laundry room mica is a much better material. NON ABSORBENT EZ CLEAN. Nice Wood accent edging, fabulous it is
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
If you can use a piece that is 28" x 72" I have some extra solid surface material - white with grey speckles. It is about 1/2" thick and doubled on the front edge. Cuts with standard tooling
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Bob, this idea is great. Since the top can be plywood, this solution is something I can make for her (if I can get it to fit in her alcove considering the walls are never square.) Thanks for the suggestion. It would be even better if I can find a leftover piece of laminate instead of having to buy a whole sheet.
Make a template of opening, and transfer to substrate before laminating. This way, you get a great (none are perfect) fit. If it doesn't fit perfect, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! You are the only one who will notice. Your daughter will say "My dad made this for me!"
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
My last house had granite tile counter tops. We put them into my son's house before he sold it - quickly. It makes a very sturdy counter top and is not very expensive. You buy 12x12 tile and put them against each other to have minimal grout lines which you fill with unsanded grout. You can cut the tile and polish the edge to edge it but I just used hardwood (maple for instance). Underlayment is 3/4 plywood. Appearance is a personal thing but I think it looks better than formica. It is certainly less subject to damage. The tiles are about 3/8 thick so they do not break easily and not many chemicals attack granite. Heat doesn't damage it - within reason. A hot pot, for instance, is not an issue (but that is more important in a kitchen). When I've done it I either borrowed or rented a tile saw. Home Depot in our area has them for rent.
 

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