How To Make a Countertop Template

5:00 PM

It feels like its been a while since I updated you on the dry bar, I think it was about five weeks ago since I put the cabinets together. Anyway, on Memorial day I got the smaller tasks done that whould allow us to install the countertops real soon, like hopefully next weekend. Those smaller tasks being 1. Installing some base boards and 2. Securing the cabinets to the wall. They were relatively easy to do, but I think I put it off for so long because I didn't have the lumber on hand. Oh, and maybe I was a little preoccupied with painting my studio. Since we don't have any more of the baseboards from the rest of our house I just chose some simple window casing to use as a base board. I thought it would tie in with the door frame nicely too. Luckily I only needed to buy one 8' long piece for the entire closet. Even luckier for me, I didn't mess up any of my cuts so I didn't have to go buy more! I also added a 2x4 to the back so we would have something sturdy to secure the cabinets to so they don't move around, also to give us another inch or so of depth.
Once I got the 2x4 level and attached I scooted the cabinets into place, making sure they were centered, and anchored them to the 2x4 with the little metal pieces that came with them.

Now that they're location was set it was time for the countertop. Unfortunately for us some of our walls are less than straight. Particularly the one on the right. So before we could drop a countertop in there we needed to make a template. It's super easy, and I was honestly surprised by how quick it was. First you'll need to get something that's sturdy, easy to cut, and light weight. I used foam core board and cut it into 2" strips like this.

When you've got your strips cut you'll need to cut two of them to the exact depth you want your countertop. I made mine one inch deeper than the depth of the cabinet boxes (not including the doors). As I assumed my measurements were not equal, so be sure to measure each side. Oh, and you can put away your tape measure because thats all you need it for!

To get the dimensions for the width I just overlapped two strips with the ends butted up to the walls, and hot glued them where they over lapped. Oh, and just to clarify, you'll want to leave a little gap so that you can actually get the countertop (and even the template) in place. For that I just used a scrap piece of foam core board between the wall and the template.

Once you have the front and the back pieces glued together you can take those pieces along with the sides and make a rectangle. To make sure the countertop would fill in the space correctly (aka account for our out of square walls) I always pushed the edges toward the wall and held them in place while the hot glue cooled

Tada! The exact size and shape of your countertops have been established!

Since this is just foam core board hot glued together you should probably add a few more pieces to reinforce it.

Oh, and label it too! Top, front, back, left, right.....

Then just take your template and trace the outline onto your countertop! I used some clamps to hold it in place and I used the factory edges for the square-er side (that's a word right?) so I would have less cuts to make. (Which turned out to be a fantastic decision because it took three battery charges to get it cut with our cordless circular saw.)

Now just follow along the template with a pencil, cut along the lines, and you've got a perfectly fitted countertop! (please excuse the crappy iPhone pic, I snapped it on my way out the door this morning. I'll swap it out for a better one, I promise!)

Currently we are waiting for Sherwin Williams to color match a stain for the countertop (it should be ready for pick up tomorrow) so that they match the wood flooring. Then we will have to apply a finish multiple times before we actually install this big old hunk of wood. But it's getting closer and closer to being done and I am so excited!

So have you even installed a butcher block countertop? How about templating your own counter?

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  1. WOW, thanks for sharing such a detailed tutorial! Pinning this! I am your newest follower. I hope you can visit me sometime :)


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