What is a Dog Leg Miter and Why do I Need One?

Maybe you've been told that your new laminate countertops will require a dog leg miter, and that the mysterious dog leg miter will cost an additional $50, $75, or more. Maybe you saw the countertop/cabinet expert draw the miter on a worksheet and thought - I don't want that ugly scar running through my new kitchen counter! So you may be left to ask the question - What is it and why do I need it. Here you go...

A dog leg miter is required if:

A) You are installing postformed laminate counters with a rounded front edge and backsplash, sometimes called a no-drip edge or bullnose edge. AND... B) You are joining two sections of countertop that are not the same depth. For example a 25" deep counter joining a 30" deep counter.

But - You were told that a dog leg miter could also make the backsplash from the standard kitchen counter extend to the end of the bartop counter. Yes - Maybe it can, or maybe you figured out that it can but the countertop fabricator doesn't want to do it or asks for a hefty fee. This maneuver of extending the backsplash is possible but takes a lot of time and in those cases, you are adding a dog leg miter for the sake of backsplash, not a good trade in my mind but to each their own.

An exception might be if your countertop fabricator has what's called a CNC machine that can make complex cuts accurately and quickly. These machines won't be found in most shops. They are expensive and take some training to operate, or program actually.

Bottom line is this - If you are joining two sections of postformed laminate counter with a backsplash that are not the same depth, you need a dog leg miter. If you are trying to use a dog leg miter for any other reason, consider all other options first. Unless your shop has a CNC programmed for these cuts, in which case go for it.