How to change your kitchen worktops
Updated: Dec 16, 2021
Before you start:
Please ensure you are satisfied with the kitchen worktop by checking for defects or damage. When installing more than one worksurface in the same kitchen, please also check for compatibility of colour and surface texture as slight variations can occasionally occur.
Problems must always be identified before any work commences. Please contact your supplier immediately who will be happy to deal with any problems before you progress any further with the installation.
Dimensions and planning:
Accurately measure furniture, determining both length and depth using a steel tape measure. Carefully check all angles since rooms are seldom perfectly square. Transfer your new measurements onto the work surface, mark all cut lines and angles with a pencil and double-check dimensions before cutting.
Cutting Bushboard worksurfaces:
When cutting always cut into the postformed front edge. To minimise possible chipping of the face laminate, apply masking tape over the line to be cut. Then score the line prior to cutting it with a sharp blade and straight edge. This advice applies to whichever of the following cutting methods is used:
Hand sawing (not suitable for metallics):
Work with the surface face up. Use a fine-toothed hand saw (4 per cm/10-12 per inch). Starting at the postformed edge, cut along the waste side of the line that you have previously marked. Hold the saw at approx 70 degrees, until past the postformed edge, then lower the angle to 20 – 30 degrees for a straighter cut. This will help reduce chipping.
Apply pressure on the downward stroke only to avoid lifting the laminate surface.
Work with the surface face down. Bushboard worksurfaces can be rough sized using a circular saw with a good quality, sharp, tungsten carbide tipped blade.
We recommend the use of a hand router for all other operations to achieve a finer cut. A good quality jig-saw with a sharp blade can be used for cut-outs. Whichever method you choose, cut along a firmly clamped guide to ensure an accurate straight cut. Always cut final edges of metallic decors with a hand router to ensure a cleaner cut.
However on occasion some metallic particles may remain exposed. See ‘Assembly and sealing’ for further action.
When cutting butt & scribe or mason’s joints use a good quality jig and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for an accurate finish. Always use a good quality hand router that has been well maintained with sharp cutters.
Cut jointing bolt slots using a jig and hand router. They should be no deeper than 25mm from the rear face. (20mm deep on 30mm worksurfaces and 18mm deep on 22mm worksurfaces. Providing you are using Bushboard slimline bolts).
Use good quality worksurface bolts as follows:
Up to 500mm joint length – two bolts
500 – 750mm joint length – three bolts
750 – 900mm joint length – four bolts
We recommend the use of jointing biscuits to produce a strong and level joint.
Joints are most vulnerable to moisture ingress. Time spent cutting joints accurately and sealing well with good quality adhesives or sealants will prevent moisture from entering the joint and causing the tell-tale swelling.
We strongly recommend that the installer uses our BB Complete colour matched adhesive to seal joints and edges. BB Complete is a strong, waterproof adhesive & sealant specially designed from aircraft-grade compounds to produce a long-lasting and elegant finish to your Bushboard worksurfaces.
Available from your Bushboard supplier in eighteen carefully chosen colour-ways, BB Complete co-ordinates and blends with Bushboard worksurfaces to bond & seal joints, bond & seam upstands & splashbacks and seal tiling and cut edges.
Assembly and sealing:
We recommend BB Complete adhesive and sealant for butt & scribe joints. Every Bushboard worksurface includes an instruction leaflet detailing its use.
Should you decide not to use BB Complete then it’s vital that you ensure that all cut edges are fully sealed against moisture using either waterproof PVA adhesive (D3 or D4) or a high quality polyurethane varnish or lacquer.
This may need two coats. Joints should be assembled with either high modulus silicone or waterproof PVA adhesive. Assemble the joint without delay. If using silicone, then care should be taken not to over-tighten the bolts as silicone works best with thickness.
Metallic decors: Any uncut metallic particles will generally not affect a joint and can be removed after the joint adhesive has cured by gentle use of a plastic scraper. Ensure excess adhesive is cleaned off before it cures.
Take care not to damage the surface finish when cleaning metallic particles away. We recommend using BB Complete to seal and joint metallic worksurfaces.
Cut-outs for appliances and sinks:
Cut-outs should have a minimum 10mm radius corner to prevent stress cracking. Mark the cut-out position using the template supplied by the manufacturer. Drill a hole in each corner of the template. Cut the work-surface by linking the corner radii together. Bushboard worksurfaces are ideal for inset sinks.
They are not suitable for forming drainer surrounds for Belfast or butler-style sinks.
Sink installation and sealing:
Seal the inside of the cut-out with BB Complete. Seal the sink into the worksurface using the method supplied by the sink manufacturer. It is also good practice to apply additional sealant along the underside of the worksurface in front of the sink.
The hob cut-out requires sealing to protect it against moisture and radiant heat. No metal part of the hob should be in contact with the worksurface.
Allow a minimum 3mm gap between the edge of the cut-out and the appliance. The application of a reflective aluminium tape will help deflect any heat. The hob should then be sealed to the surface with the sealing method supplied by its manufacturer. As with all appliances, ensure that a professionally qualified engineer undertakes the installation work.
Ensure that all cabinetry is level and secure before fixing worksurfaces in place. Worksurfaces can be secured to base units using L-shape metal brackets or KD blocks. You may consider screwing the front edge into place through the front tie rail of the unit.
The back edge of the worktop is sealed with a moisture resistant backing paper. It is the installer’s responsibility to ensure that all cut edges are properly sealed against moisture. Cut edges should be sealed with BB Complete. Finally, seal the rear edge of the worksurface to the wall with BB Complete.
An additional sealant tape is supplied with all Bushboard curved worksurfaces. This should be applied to seal the worksurface edge under sinks and above dishwashers. Follow sealing advice for dishwashers by installing a baffle plate too.
Bushboard postformed worksurfaces are supplied as standard with a full length of matching edging strip in high pressure laminate. This should be glued into place using contact adhesive, observing the manufacturer’s instructions.
Edging for Bushboard curved worksurfaces is available as an optional extra. This should be glued in place using contact adhesive, observing the manufacturer’s instructions.
Final trimming is best undertaken with a laminate trimming machine. However, careful use of a block plane, fine file and fine sand paper can also produce a good finish.
We recommend leaving a 5mm gap between wall tiles and the worksurface. Fill this gap with BB Complete to give a robust and waterproof bead. Do not use grout between tiling and worksurfaces as it is porous.
Dishwashers, washing machines, tumble-driers and ovens:
Every Bushboard worksurface is supplied factory sealed along the front edge and entire underside. However, given the amount of steam emitted regularly from dishwashers, it is good practice to apply additional sealant on the underside for enhanced protection against water penetration over time.
A baffle plate should always be installed above a dishwasher to protect the worksurface from heat and steam.
Allow at least a 20mm gap between the worksurface and free-standing cooker. A gap of 50mm should be left between stored heat appliances such as an Aga. Never install the worksurface above the top edge of the cooker. As with all appliances, please ensure the installation is carried out by a professionally qualified engineer.
Splashbacks and upstands
Both splashbacks and upstands should be cut to size using a good quality circular saw. Cutouts for sockets in splashbacks should be cut with a jigsaw, ensuring that a 10mm drill hole is used at each corner to prevent cracking. When cutting upstands, always cut into the postformed edge:
whilst short edges can be finished using either the supplied 1500mm edge strip or by cutting a mitred insert: in both cases bond with waterproof PVA or contact adhesive.
Take special care to seal cut edges of splashbacks and upstands to prevent moisture penetration. Ensure all plaster work is stable and fully dry and that the worksurface is sealed to the wall using BB Complete.
Bond splashbacks and upstands to the wall using BB Complete, fixing down to the worksurface on a generous bed of BB Complete, thereby fully sealing the lower edge to the worksurface. Ensure that plenty of BB Complete squeezes out below before wiping down with white spirit. BB Complete comes in a range of eighteen colourways and is ideal for seaming the juncture above the worksurface or around edges to protect against excess moisture.
Splashbacks and upstands must be installed a minimum of 130mm from any heat source.