How to Cut Formica Countertops

Things You'll Need

  • Countertop
  • Framing square
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Handsaw
  • 8d finish nails
  • Hammer

Formica countertops have been a favorite on kitchen cabinets for many years. Learning the secrets to installing them successfully includes how to cut them properly. Except for the mitered corners, Formica countertops can be cut with a combination of different saws. The best workspace on which to place the countertops while cutting are sawhorses with padding on the tops to protect the Formica from scratches.

Turn the Formica countertop over. Measure from one end to the center of the sink hole. Measure out to the left and right of that mark and make marks to draw the sink hole. Use the measurements that are recommended by the sink manufacturer.

Place the circular saw blade above one of the long lines about 2 inches from a corner. Turn the saw on and lower the blade through the top. Slowly cut the line until you are about 1-inch from the corner and turn the saw off. Repeat this for the other three lines.

Insert two 8d finish nails close to the center of the sink cutout about four inches apart. Drive them in just enough to hold the piece that will be cut out in place while the final cuts are being made. Do this on all four sides of the sink cutout.

Place the jigsaw blade through the top where the cut from the circular saw stopped. Turn the jigsaw on and cut the corner out. Repeat this for the remaining three corners then lift the cutout from the countertop and check the opening to be certain the sink will fit.

Turn the Formica countertop over. Measure the desired length and draw a line with the framing square. Be certain to draw the line down the backsplash.

Place the circular saw close to the front of the top at the line. Turn the saw on and slowly cut the line all the way across the top. The circular saw will leave a portion of the backsplash that will be cut in the next step.

Cut the final section with the handsaw. Be certain to follow the line cut by the circular saw.


  • Always wear safety glasses. When marking the measurement, it may be necessary to go over the line several times to see it clearly enough to cut it. Some have used duct tape on the Formica side of the top before cutting in an effort to alleviate possible chipping.


  • Do not leave power tools unattended. Do not rub a fresh cut edge with the fingers as this will cause injury.