GEM-LOC and BEVEL edges are durable, decorative edge trim options for laminate countertops and casework. Our GEM-LOC edges and backsplash caps are made with a unique combination of laminate face and solid surface edges, top and bottom, making it the ultimate laminate countertop surface edge option.
Whether you’re looking to install, replace, or rejuvenate a laminate countertop or just repair a laminate countertop edge, GEM-LOC or BEVEL are the answer. You get the choices and budget-mindedness of laminate without the sharp edges and ugly seams plus, with GEM-LOC, you get the durability of solid surface without the expense.
GEM-LOC laminate countertop edges can be installed by anyone with decent carpentry skills and tools. The tools and skills needed to install GEM-LOC edges are common for carpenters and countertop fabricators.
Installation of GEM-LOC edges with the T, TG, or BC profiles require a router and slot cutter bit. Installing GEM-LOC with the FB or BCF profile does not require a router.
A miter saw and optionally a disk sander are needed to cut to length and miter the corners. Since GEM-LOC edges are made from MDF, laminate, and solid surface (plastic) no special blades are needed for cutting.
Masking tape and good waterproof wood glue, such as Titebond® III, are all that’s needed for the actual attachment of GEM-LOC edges to a countertop. A damp rag is recommended for cleaning up squeeze out glue.
Then, a fine flat file is recommended for finishing the top of the edge to the countertop. Some 000 steel wool can be used to rub out any flat spots to the top edge after filing or to bring the stock matte finish up to a high shine. Finally, a good wax surface treatment (if you wish) to really make it shine – we recommend PROTECTALL™ Shine Plus. It’s great for the laminate countertop as well.
BEVEL edges can be installed by anyone with decent carpentry skills and tools. The tools and skills needed to install BEVEL edges are common for carpenters and countertop fabricators.
A miter saw and optionally a disk sander are needed to cut to length and miter the corners. BEVEL edges are composed of MDF and laminate, so no special blades are needed for cutting.
Masking tape and good waterproof wood glue, such as Titebond® III, are all that’s needed for the attachment of the BEVEL edge to the countertop. A damp rag is recommended for cleaning up squeeze out glue.
Finally, a good wax surface treatment (if you wish) to really make it shine – we recommend PROTECTALL™ Shine Plus. It’s great for the laminate countertop as well.
1. Applying to an inside corner: Here’s a trick to use when applying our edges to a countertop with an inside corner. Instead of filing out the inside radius left by the router, use a file to round off the backside of the edge. With a little practice, this process will become just as easy and you will notice better results than with the traditional method.
2. Around the dishwasher: To help prevent damage to your edge when installing around the dishwasher, simply apply a bead of silicone sealant to the edge of the dishwasher mounting board, then press the board into the backside of the edge. Next, strike the excess silicone with your finger to create a waterproof seal.
3. Cold bending: GEM-LOC can be cold bent, but only in the Flatback (FB) style and when using an acrylic solid surface, such as Corian®. The counter must also be an absolute radius, free of any bumps or flat spots. The Flatback (FB) profile can be successfully bent to an 18″ radius.
4. Easy way to set edge height: An easy way to find the approximate height to overlap GEM-LOC edges is to use a piece of masking tape. Put a piece of tape on the countertop deck right in front of the edge. The solid surface element should protrude approx .005-.007 of an inch, or 1 layer of tape, above the decking.
5. Getting a gloss finish on the solid surface element: The GEM-LOC corner element comes in a standard matte finish. If a higher sheen is desired, 00 or 000 steel wool quickly brings out a high gloss. This technique can also easily remove small scratches in the solid surfacing.
Here’s some tips to keep in mind when using a flat fine file to finish the edge.
6. Keep from scratching the laminate when filing: One way to keep your laminate scratch-free during the filing process is to use a few wraps of masking tape on the end of the file that will be moving against the countertop. This will make it safe and easy to file your GEM-LOC edge flush with the countertop decking.
7. Wall impedes routing: When routing for a TG profile, a wall or obstacle can stop your router short, leaving an unrouted section in the deck. To get around this, simply shave off the excess tongue with a razor knife.
8. Glue – more is NOT better: When gluing, run a thin bead 1/4” from the top of the edging and a thin bead 1/4” from the bottom, apply to countertop, tape tightly bottom to top, and remove squeeze out with a damp rag. You want a little squeeze out but using too much glue can cause thick seams, gaps, and even wood swelling.