Home>Discussions>KITCHENS>Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?
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A. Spruce
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

It will depend on whether you've got a preformed or post formed countertop. A preformed top has an integrated backsplash and a bead along the leading edge to prevent runoff. A post formed top the backsplash is a separate piece and there is no bead at the leading edge.

A preformed top needs to just be replaced, a post formed top can be overlaid with new laminate, which is a job that a moderately capable DIY'r can accomplish themselves.

Fencepost
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

As Spruce said, you can relaminate a post-formed countertop (square corners). To do this, you will have to rough up the existing laminate with coarse sandpaper (80 grit or coarser) -- easiest with a belt sander. It will create a lot of nasty dust that you won't want to breathe. This is necessary in order to get a good bond with the contact cement.

Once it's roughed up, the rest of the project is done just as if it was a new installation.

To expand on Spruce's comment, if you have a preformed countertop you won't be able to bend the laminate around the curve on the edge and backsplash -- that's why you must replace it.

If the existing laminate is peeling up AT ALL, you'll either want to remove it or cut out the bad part and glue in a piece of laminate as filler before putting the new topsheet on. Or remove the entire countertop, substrate and all and start over afresh. Removing and replacing the substrate won't be easy, because it's probably screwed down from the top before the laminate was applied.

ed21
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

While just terminology, post formed counters have the rounded edges and usually integrated back splash. The laminates used are thinner than the edged counter laminates so they can be bent around the radius.
I agree with the process stated if you want to re-laminate an existing counter.

dj1
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?
bardonsmith09 wrote:

You have to remember why you are changing laminate in the first place. They look bad, right? If they are square edged you can do it, but it will take some special router bits, files, etc. For the time and effort spent in doing what you contemplate I would custom build my own. I am probably going to do a laminate top because they do look great. It is simple, very inexpensive, durable, and I think it looks good.

I think the same way, and I don't even know the poster's abilities as a DIY.

Materials, time, dust, angry wife - is it worth it?

Replace it.

A. Spruce
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?
ed21 wrote:

While just terminology, post formed counters have the rounded edges and usually integrated back splash.

Nope, it's the other way around. Pre-formed is done "pre" consumer, by the manufacturer. Post formed it's done after the manufacturer, usually by a custom shop, though anyone can buy a piece of laminate and make something out of it, that is post forming.

As someone pointed out, pre-formed material is thinner and more pliable than post formed material, hence why you can't just reskin a pre-formed top.

ed21
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

That's not what they are called where I am. See the link or google post form.
http://www.jwcountertops.com/ct_l.php
http://retrorenovation.com/2013/05/28/curved-postformed-laminate-1952/

A. Spruce
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

I hate to be so bold as to say it, but their terminology is wrong. It is splitting hairs anyway.:cool:

ed21
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

Like I said its terminology.

keith3267
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

You can remove the old laminate with an iron. The heat will melt the glue and it will peel right off.

Condoman
Re: Is it possible to re-laminate a counter?

Our kitchen counters were built on site as part of the base cabinets. I worked inside the cabinets installing drawers & could see it would never come off without destroying the entire structure. The house was built by a by a carpenter for himself with way too many nails available. That was the deciding fact to recover the top with Formica.

The metal edging was removed & the corner metal was ripped off at the back splash. The counter was cleaned with TSP and sanded with 100 grit. In a few places where the old counter was loose screws were counter sunk to remedy that.

The 5 X 12 piece of Formica was rough cut to the size needed. I ended up with 1 seam instead of 4 & it was at the end under a cabinet. With warmer weather I could open windows & put an induction motor (no spark) fan in the window to remove fumes. The new Formica had contact cement applied out in the garage. I used the volatile contact cement as it was recommended for laminate on laminate.

With 20 or so 1/2 dowels the new sheet was positioned and set in place. Next I worked the piece setting & trimming with a small router. The final part was milling a custom maple edge molding that was set in clear silicone and pinned.

The effect was exactly what we wanted for our mid-century modern ranch.

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