The new bride, so excited to be in their first new home, was so upset when she placed the hot pot on the surface of their laminate countertop, not knowing the damage that would occur. What would she do? She was so upset with herself. She asked me, “What can I do? I can’t afford to replace all of the countertops.” I told her you don’t have to; a simple repair will turn lemons into lemonade.

Sometimes a negative event can be turned into a positive result with a little creativity. The burnt spot in the top can be cut out and replaced with a cutting board. The end result can be a more practical and positive thing than you could have imagined.

Cutting boards can be glass, stainless steel, Teflon, wood or other type material. Years ago, I installed a glass cutting board with a stainless steel mounting ring in a laminate top that had a burnt spot in it. To do so, after opening the package, I used the paper template to draw an outline that fit the shape of the cutting board.

After making sure there was nothing underneath the countertop that could be damaged, I cut out the outlined laminate with a jig saw. Keep a shop vacuum near to clean up the saw dust as you make the cut. It’s a good idea to seal the raw edge of the cutout to prevent any future cleaning solutions or water from seeping down past the flange of the cutting board and swelling the laminate tops. The simplest way is to spread a thin layer of silicone around the perimeter of the cutout.

The stainless steel mounting ring secures the glass cutting board to the underside of the laminate top with thumb screws. Glass cutting boards come in an array of decorative colors and styles to choose from.

Other options could be to install a recessed stainless steel tray with a Teflon insert cutting board. This one can be easily removed from the tray for cleaning and placed back in the tray again.

Wooden cutting boards can be made or ordered in various wood species and be routed to have an overlapping flange that will sit down into the cutout. These can be left loose so that it can be removed and cleaned when necessary or sealed to the underside of the routed flange, depending on the desire of the homeowner.

This repair will take a couple of hours to complete, and once complete, you can sit back admire your new cutting board and sip on that sweet lemonade.

If you have any questions or concerns about a project you’re working on, email me @

JD Norris is the owner/operator of DreamMaker Bath&Kitchen and a certified S.C. Master Builder, certified “Aging in Place” Specialist and certified Green Professional.