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Installing Laminate

Maybe I am behind the times, but I had pretty good luck making a large table and covering the top and edges with laminate. This Old House has a fairly good (albeit thinly explained) video that I recommend if you are contemplating doing some laminate.
I would add these tips/clarifications: (1) Use solvent-based contact cement, not latex type; (2) Absolutely use the trick where you space apart the two surfaces with dowels or thin wood in order to position the top before adhering; (3) The way you trim the laminate is to use a special router blade with a little wheel on the bottom - pay the money for a quality bit, and don't buy one with a too-long cutting blade; (4) Watch out that you don't chip off the ends of the edge laminate when your router is trimming the top - make sure the *edge* laminate is trimmed very close on the ends before you trim the top.
This was my first time ever applying laminate, and I highly recommend you consider it as a desk/working surface. Lowe's (not HD)has a good selection to order from. Here is my final product

Re: Installing Laminate


I would concurr with your post. Given the good results which can be had, laminate is amazingly easy to handle with only a few basic power tools.

I would add to only use high density substrates. Plywood is too soft and porous. The contact cement will require more coats to get good adhesion. The soft substrate will allow the laminate to dent if something heavy is dropped upon it. MDF or better will probably have only a minor chip if struck.

When working on verticle surfaces, waxpaper can be used to prevent premature contact. The waxpaper is then slipped out starting from the center, just as with the dowel rods.

Re: Installing Laminate

i agree with ordjen about using mdf, as its so dense and flat its great for veneering

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