How to Repair Laminate Counters
Quick tips for repairing damaged laminate counters with This Old House general contractor Tom Silva
1. To hide damage with drop-in cutting board, set template that comes with board over damaged section of countertop, then mark around its cutout area.
2. Use a jigsaw or router fitted with a straight bit to cut out the damaged section of counter. (If using a router, you'll also have to make a template and attach a guide bushing to the router's base.)
3. Drop the stainless steel base of the cutting board into the hole and fasten from below.
4. Set the cutting board in place atop the stainless steel base.
5. For a loose laminate edge, start by carefully pulling away the edge and scraping behind it with a putty knife to remove any debris.
6. Take a clothes iron, adjust it to the cotton setting (no steam) and hold it against the laminate edge for a few seconds to reactivate the contact cement.
7. If ironing the edge doesn't work, pull back the loose edge and apply a thin layer of contact cement to the back of the laminate edging and to the edge of the counter. Allow the cement to dry for a few minutes, then press the edging into place.
8. If a laminate edge is broken off, you'll need to steal a replacement piece from an inconspicuous place on the countertop.
9. Measure the length of laminate edging needed to replace the broken piece.
10. Use a sharp utility knife and layout square to score the laminate edge several times.
11. Heat up edge with the iron to loosen the glue bond, then peel off the piece of edging.
12. Hold the replacement piece of edging against the broken edge, making sure the two pieces overlap slightly.
13. Score the broken edge with a utility knife.
14. Use the iron to heat up the broken piece, then pry it off.
15. Hold replacement piece of laminate edging against the countertop edge and iron it on. If the glue doesn't reactivate, adhere the replacement piece with contact cement.