toh master contractor tom silva fixing an oops in a laminate counter
Photo: Russel Kaye
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How to Handle the Oops!

Laminate is tough, but it's not totally immune to damage. TOH general contractor Tom Silva explains what to do about blemishes.

Burns: If a hot pot creates a crispy blister on your countertop, rout out the affected area and fill the recess with a heat-proof cutting board, like the Surface Saver (Vance Industries, Inc.).
Delamination: Occasionally an edge or a top may pop loose from its base. Most times, all you need is a hair dryer or a heat gun to reactivate the adhesive (shown). Use a rolling pin to press the laminate back in place. Weight it down for 24 hours.
Chips: Disguise small chips with color-matched laminate-repair paste, such as SeamFil (American Technology). Larger chips aren't repairable; you have to replace the entire surface or, for countertops, you can put a new sheet of laminate over the old one. Fill the chip with Bondo, then sand it smooth. Rough up the old surface with 80-grit sandpaper, and adhere the new sheet with contact cement.
Stains: Attack stubborn stains with a thick paste of baking soda and water. Apply directly to the stain and let it sit overnight, covered with plastic wrap to keep it moist, then wipe clean in the morning. Avoid abrasive cleansers, which leave minute scratches that pick up dirt. Use bleach only as a last resort, dabbing stains with a cotton ball. Rinse thoroughly; bleach residue can discolor laminate.

How to install and repair laminate: watch how Tom Silva glues up and fixes countertops.
Ask TOH users about Kitchen Countertops

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