Building a Template for a Kitchen Countertop

Project: Storm-Ready Design, Episode 9, Part 2



Bob’s in Punta Gorda for kitchen finishes to this storm-ready home. Jack Ballantine from Ambassador Kitchens joins him for the installation of the Cardell maple builder-line cabinets with solid wood framing, maple faces, and pressboard box construction. Richard Wagner of Wagner Cabinetry shows Bob how the upper cabinets are installed on the exterior wall and the base cabinets are set for level, shimmed, drilled in place, and finished with a toe kick and maple crown molding. Andrea Johnson from DuPont Corian shows Bob some of the more than 100 colors and patterns available. These solid surface countertops are stain and scratch resistant, non-porous, and easy to clean. The new colors, like Canyon, are inspired by nature and designed to bring the outside in. Scott Lawyer, the countertop fabricator, joins Bob first to create a template for the solid-surface counters that will be made in his shop, and then to install them. The Luan template is made from blueprints, checked at the site, and set on the Corian as a cutting guide. The Corian integral sink and counter are installed. The counter sections are joined and finish sanded for an invisible seam. Mike Goodrich installs the Whirlpool dishwasher for quiet operation.
Part 1: Builder-Grade Cabinets in the Kitchen
Part 2: Building a Template for a Kitchen Countertop
Scott Lawyer of Solid Surfacetops is with Bob at the Punta Gorda house to make a template for the Corian kitchen countertops that will be fabricated at this shop. Lawyer has the fabrication work done off site because there are too many tools involved in the cutting, shaping, and finishing of the counters to do them on site. Lawyer creates a template from Luan plywood that is glued together to create the exact dimensions of the kitchen countertop. These templates will be laid directly on top of the Corian and used as cutting guides by the fabricators. Lawyer uses the blueprint to create the template then checks it against the kitchen space for any modifications. The system results in a perfect cut with little room for error. Bob is with Andrea Johnson of DuPont Corian to see the wide variety of colors and styles of Corian solid surfacing available for countertops, tables, sinks, and backsplashes. Johnson explains that while Corian once came only in white, DuPont now offers over 100 different colors and patterns. Corian solid surface countertops are non-porous, stain and scratch resistant, easily cleaned, and backed by a great warranty from DuPont. All Corian comes 1/2-inch thick. Counter edges are built up by the fabricator then cut and shaped to form a thicker edge. The kitchen counters are Canyon, one of the new colors derived from nature. DuPont's aim with the new palette is to bring the soothing colors of nature inside. Johnson shows Bob a number of other color samples from the line including silt, which will be used in the master bath and the hall bath. Johnson adds that those baths will each have counters with integral sinks, a seamless design offered by Corian and other solid surface companies. The cost for solid surface countertops varies depending on the color, amount and type of particulate added to create a textured look, and the price grouping from the Bob is with Andrea Johnson from Corain as Scott Lawyer of Solid Surfacetops arrives to install the shop-fabricated Corian countertops in the Punta Gorda kitchen. This counter features an integral sink that is attached to the counter by the fabricator in his shop. The seam between the sink and counter is made with liquid Corian that forms an impermeable and invisible seam between the sink and the counter. These integral sinks have no edge or grunge line, which makes for easy cleaning and a sleek look. The Canyon color chosen by the homeowners is dark, like the Porcelanosa metallic-look tile. Johnson remarks what a good job the homeowners have done matching the counter color to the tile. Bob adds that the cool, dark colors bring a soothing, cooling presence to the interior spaces of this hot-climate home. Bob then watches as the crew from Solid Surfacetops installs the counter pieces and creates an invisible seam. The two sections of Corian are fitted with wood blocks that will hold the clamps as the sections are glued with liquid Corian that matches the countertop and clamped tight to set. Once the glue has set and dried for about 25 minutes, the clamps are removed and the seam is sanded to give a seamless look to this two-piece installation company.
Part 3: Installing the Dishwasher

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