{diy with style} DIY Wood Plank Laundry Room Countertop

Monday, March 13, 2017

When we started planning our laundry closet makeover, I had my heart set on adding a countetop over the washer and dryer, and I found a laminate counter option I loved that looked like wood planks. But when I got the quote back, the price was WAY more than I wanted to spend, so I came up with a very budget friendly option to create the look of a wood plank countertop for under $100! 


Today I'm sharing the tutorial for this easy and affordable DIY countertop, which would also make a great desktop or work surface in an office or craft room!

For years, we had previously been using a simple white melamine board as a "counter" in our very, very red laundry closet. We purchased the board for less than $20 at Home Depot and it cut to the right length before we left the store {which they'll do for a very small fee}. Once we got home, we used a jigsaw to cut out a notch out of the board to go around the hoses, and I ironed on melamine edging to finish the raw edge of the board.


For seven years that simple white melamine board served as a great alternative to a countertop in our laundry closet, but when I drew up the plans for the laundry closet makeover, I envisioned upgrading to this laminate countertop from WilsonArt called Noir Timber


I was totally smitten with the black-grey plank wood appearance, and I assumed that a laminate countertop would fit nicely in our budget. Boy I was I wrong! When the quote for the countertop came back at over $600, it was a definite no go!

Instead, we got creative and found a way to cover our existing white melamine board with vinyl flooring to achieve a wood plank countertop look very similar to the Wilsonart laminate version we had our eye on - but for LESS THAN $100! 

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I started by lugging the white melamine board from the laundry closet out to the backyard so that I could sand it down a bit. 


I wasn't trying to remove the white melamine finish, but I needed to rough it up enough that the surface would easily accept the adhesive we planned to use to affix the vinyl planks.


Next, we unboxed our Allure Ultra Vinyl Floor Planks. After a bit of debate about the best way to start, we concurred that we should trim out the edges of the melamine board first, and then affix the full size planks to the top of the melamine board. 

The instructions say that all you need to cut the planks is a good utility knife to score the vinyl planks, and then you simply bend and snap. 


Fortunately, I've seen Legally Blonde more than my fair share of times, so I was already familiar with the "bend and snap." {Don't know what I'm talking about? Watch this and thank me later.} Unfortunately, we quickly discovered that while bending and snapping works great when you are cutting across the width of the vinyl planks, it's just not possible when you're trying to cut a thin strip along the entire length of a plank {we just couldn't get good enough leverage for a nice smooth snap}. After a few failed attempts, we gave up and went to the table saw.

We cut down the vinyl plank down into 3/4" thin strips to match the depth of the melamine board.


We then cut the strips to the right lengths to fit the edges of the melamaine board.


This time the bend and snap method worked perfectly...


We used our brad nailer to attach the thin strips of vinyl plank to the edges of the melamine board {front and sides only, not the back since it would be against the wall}. We used one brad nail about every six inches, but they are virtually invisible against the dark color of the vinyl.


Now we were ready to start covering the top of the white board. We started by laying out a four of the full-size planks. We decided we wanted to offset them for a more natural look.


We used clamps to hold the full size planks in place while we measured planks to fill in the rest of the space. We used the utility knife to mark where those planks needed to be cut.



Once we had a small mark at the top and bottom of each plank, we lined up a straight edge ruler between the marks and used it to score across the full plank.


More bend and snap action...


After "cutting" all of of the planks to size to fit perfectly on the top of the melamine board, we had just one more task before gluing them down. 

Each plank has a ridged rubber strip (a "grip strip" that protrudes along one long and one short edge. These rubber strips fit into notches on edge of adjacent plank, making them essentially snap together during installation.


But for use on my countertop, I didn't want these rubber strips protruding on the exposed edges, so we used our utility knife to trim it off on the planks that would align with the front and edges of the countertop board. By sitting the planks on top of a couple of pieces of cardboard, we were able to press deep enough with the utility knife for a nice, smooth cut.


Once all of our vinyl planks were cut to the right sizes, and the rubber edge trimmed off of the edges that would be exposed on the finished countertop, we were ready to start gluing down the planks using Loctite Premium Construction Adhesive


We placed the tube of adhesive in a caulk gun, and applied zigzag of glue to the back of the planks and then sitting them in place, working one at a time, and starting in the front corner of the melamine board.


After gluing down the first plank, we used a clamp to hold it in place so it wouldn't slide around as we added the next board. Using the "grip strip," we snapped the second board into place and added another clamp.


We continued to add glue to the back of the board and snap them into place one by one, working from the front of the melamine board to the back. 


As I mentioned above, when we first started using the plain white melamine board as our laundry countertop years ago, we cut a notch in the back of the board to accommodate the laundry hoses. This meant that we needed to cut a similar notch in one of the vinyl planks. We covered a section of vinyl plank in blue painter's tape, and then used the measurements of the notch to draw the same shape on the tape.


We then took the vinyl plank out to the garage, clamped it to our workbench, and used a hand saw to cut along the two short sides of the notch.


We then used the utility knife to score along the long edge of the notch, removed the tape, and used the "bend and snap" method to remove the notched section.


Our melamine board was not quite as deep as our washer and dryer, so when we added the last row of planks, it overlapped the back of the white board by a few inches. This not only allowed us to use the full planks without needing to cut them to a narrower width, it also ensured that the finished countertop would fit properly on top of the washer and dryer without any gap against the back wall.


Once the DIY countertop was finished, we prepared to carry it up to the laundry closet to put it in place. We first laid out pieces of non-slip shelf liner on to cover the top of the washer and dryer.



Then we sat the new countertop in place, and adjusted it until the back and side were positioned flush with the walls. Our wood plank covered board simply rests on top of the washer and dryer. We decided not to attach the counter at all, because the washer and dryer shake and jiggle during the cycles, and we worried that if the counter were attached to the walls, the movement of the washer and dryer might put to much pressure against it. The non-slip shelf liner between the machines and the counter allow the board to shift and move with the washer and dryer, without ever sliding out of place.

DIY laundry room countertop

I just love the way our faux countertop looks, and you'd never know that it was nothing more than a white melamine board covered in vinyl planks! This solution looks so similar to the WilsonArt Noir Timber laminate counter that I had my heart set on, but for a fraction of the price!

The WilsonArt counter would have cost us more than $600 for this small space, and our DIY version came in just under $100 (and that includes the cost of the white melamine board that we already owned).


This dark wood-look countertop not only adds function to our small laundry space, it also makes it look so much more like the finished laundry room I had been dreaming of!


By extending the counter all the way to the wall on the left side of the washer and at the back of the washer and dryer, we gained extra usable space for canisters of detergent and a cute basket for collecting lint!

DIY wood plank Laundry Room Countertop

My collapsible laundry baskets also fit nicely in the little nook to the left of the washer below the counter.


Now I can fold laundry on top of the washer and dryer without worrying about clothes and socks falling behind the machines!


Our DIY countertop turned out better than I could have hoped! It's been a year and a half since we first created it {sorry for the delay on the tutorial} and it's holding up great!

DIY budget wood plank laundry counter

This simple DIY wood plank countertop is perfect for our laundry closet, but it would also be a good way to create a desktop or work surface in an office, craft room, or kid's room!

DIY Wood Plank Laundry Countertop Under $100


You can read all about the other design and organizing details of the laundry room and linen closet in these posts:




2 comments :

  1. Just wondering what you did for the front edge of the counter, where the top meets the edging? Love this idea and I really want to do this in my kitchen!

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    Replies
    1. We just attached a thin piece of the vinyl "wood" to the front edge of the countertop board. The thin gray-ish line you see at the top is just the raw edge of the vinyl plank on the top of the counter.

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