How to Cut a Countertop with Backsplash

Cutting a countertop to fit your kitchen can seem daunting, especially when dealing with tricky corners or a backsplash area. With some careful planning and the right tools, you can make precise cuts to achieve a custom fit. Here is a step-by-step guide to cutting a countertop with a backsplash.

Selecting the Right Countertop Material

The type of countertop material you select will impact the cutting and installation process. Some common options include:

  • Laminate – Composite countertops like laminate are easy to cut with a circular saw or jig saw. Use a fine-tooth blade and take your time to avoid chipping.
  • Solid Surface – Materials like Corian can be scored with a utility knife and snapped off. A table saw or jig saw also works well. Sand cut edges smooth.
  • Natural Stone – Granite, marble and other natural stones require a wet saw with a diamond blade. Make precise cuts and polish edges.
  • Tile – Ceramic or porcelain tile is best cut with a wet saw. Use a tile nipper for small irregular cuts near walls.
  • Concrete – Cut concrete counters with a concrete saw using water to control dust. Smooth and seal cut edges.

Planning the Cuts

Before making any cuts, measure the existing countertop space carefully and draw up plans:

  • Measure length and width of countertop area. Include details for corners and alcoves.
  • Mark down locations of sink, stove, corners and edges. Indicate measurements.
  • Draw the shape of any backsplash, including height and length.
  • Sketch out where cuts will need to be made, like openings for sinks.
  • Plan how countertop pieces will fit together after cutting, like around corners.

Having detailed plans will allow you to make all necessary cuts accurately.

Cutting the Countertop

Use the appropriate saw and blade for the countertop material. Follow all safety precautions:

Step 1: Make Backsplash Cuts

If adding a backsplash, make these cuts first:

  • For solid surface or laminate, score deeply with a utility knife then snap off.
  • Use a wet saw for backsplashes made of stone, tile or concrete.
  • Cut backsplash pieces a little longer than measured to allow for adjustments.

Step 2: Cut Out Spaces for Sinks, Cooktops, etc.

  • Refer to measurements and trace cutout spaces on countertop with a pencil.
  • Make cutouts using a jigsaw with guide or a router and template.
  • Smooth and polish cut edges with sandpaper.

Step 3: Cut Countertop to Fit Space

  • Place countertop in position on cabinetry and trace room shape.
  • For straight sections, cut with circular saw or tile saw.
  • For L-shaped sections, make precise 45 degree miter cuts.
  • Cut 1/8″ shorter than measurements to allow room for caulk.

Step 4: Cut and Test Pieces

  • Cut pieces to shape using drawings and plans.
  • Test fit pieces together and make adjustments as needed for seamless fit.

Installing the Countertop

Once cutting is complete, clean all countertop pieces and make sure cut edges are smooth. Use caulk and adhesive to install pieces per manufacturer instructions. The backsplash can be adhered last after the countertop is in place. Finally, apply grout and sealant where required.

FAQs About Cutting a Countertop with Backsplash

How do I get clean straight cuts?

Using the proper saw and blade for the material will give you the best results. Take it slow and steady. For laminate and solid surface, score and snap method also works very well.

What if I mess up a cut?

It happens! Have extra material on hand in case you need to recut a piece. For small chips, fill with caulk during installation.

Should I cut the countertop before removing the old one?

It’s best to take precise measurements, but complete cutting after the old countertop is removed. This allows you to fine tune for a perfect custom fit.

What about cutting for an undermount sink?

For an undermount sink make the countertop cutout about 1/8″ larger than the sink dimensions to allow room for caulk and adjustments.

How do I cut openings for stoves and cooktops?

Use the appliance specs to determine cutout size. Cut with a jigsaw then smooth and polish the opening’s edges. Make test cuts in scrap first.


Cutting countertops to create seamless custom installations takes careful planning, the right tools, and a steady hand. Always use the proper saw and blade for the material being cut. Make cuts incrementally, testing the fit as you go for a precision fit. With some patience and attention to detail, you can achieve professional looking results.