How to Install Formica Sheets

Cameron Easey

Formica sheets are typically used for the top of a kitchen counter at the top of a bar. Formica is a type of plastic laminate that is available in many types of designs and colors that comes in sheets of varying lengths.

This plastic laminate needs to be measured and then cut before it can be installed to the surface of a counter. You can install Formica or plastic laminate sheets by first determining how much material will be needed.

Measuring and Cutting

  1. Measure the surface where the plastic laminate is going to be installed with a tape measure to find the length and width.

  2. Transfer the length and width measurements to the plastic laminate sheets. Add one inch to the length and width to allow for trimming.

  3. Cut the plastic laminate sheets using a circular saw.

  4. Place the laminate sheets on a flat surface, such as a sheet of plywood that has been placed on top of two saw horses.

  5. Cut the plastic laminate sheets using a circular saw. Alternatively, you can score the plastic laminate sheet using a utility knife and a straight edge. Apply pressure to the scored line by lifting up on the edge until it snaps off.


  1. Sand the surface of the counter to remove any residue and to make the surface smooth. Remove the dust by using a damp rag or a vacuum.

  2. Apply contact cement to the top of the counter with a paint brush. Make sure the contact cement is applied evenly over the entire surface.

  3. Place dowel rods on the counter surface about 12” apart. These will be used to position the plastic laminate before adhering it to the surface. Place the plastic laminate on top of the dowel rods and position it so that it is setting in the correct location over the counter.

  4. Pull out the dowel rods, one at a time, while bonding the plastic laminate to the counter surface.

  5. Press down on the plastic laminate to make sure all of it has adhered to the counter surface. You can also run a roller over the top of the plastic laminate.

  6. Tip

    A felt tip marker can also be used to mark the plastic laminate sheet where it needs to be cut. Excess laminate can be cut off around the edges using a router.


    Plastic laminate sheets are not inexpensive and can be costly if new sheets need to be purchased because of mistakes such as an incorrect measurement.

    Keep the plastic laminate off of the contact cement until you are ready to attach it because it will be extremely difficult to remove once it has made contact.