Applying new Formica

My wife has grown tired of the color of the formica counter tops in our kitchen. She wants me to put up some new formica on the existing kitchen counter tops. My question is can the new formica be applied over the top of the existing formica or will the old formica have to be removed before the new is installed. The old formica is about 15 years old but is in perfect condition without any noticable wear and is very well attached to the countertops. Removing the old stuff probably is going to be a PITA.
--
Joe Nation Assistant Superintendent - Retired
Ballinger, Texas 76821
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Not sure, but I found this:
http://www.taunton.com/inspiredhouse/pages/ih_resource.asp it has a link to lowes.com which I didn't try.
My GUESS is you can, dredging up a distant memory from ages ago, with "acetone" as part of the procedure...
oh, and only IF the edges are square, a DIY could do the lam over lam...
also try Googling "laminate over laminate counter"
Joe Nation wrote:

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: My wife has grown tired of the color of the formica counter tops in our : kitchen. She wants me to put up some new formica on the existing kitchen : counter tops. My question is can the new formica be applied over the top of : the existing formica or will the old formica have to be removed before the : new is installed. The old formica is about 15 years old but is in perfect : condition without any noticable wear and is very well attached to the : countertops. Removing the old stuff probably is going to be a PITA. : : : -- : Joe Nation Assistant Superintendent - Retired : Ballinger, Texas 76821 : :
Sand the formica to take off the gloss.
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"Joe Nation" writes:

SFWIW, I wouldn't screw around with the old stuff.
Make a new top from 3/4" cabinet grade board, then laminate it.
Rip out the old top, drop in the new one and enjoy.
Been there, done that.
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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Joe you have only one solution, take off the tops and remake them, You "CANNOT " glue new laminate on top of old, to do this you would have to sand the melamine completely off the old laminate I cannot begin to tell you how much in sanding belts this will cost you.
If you can get the pld laminate off you have to get rid of the old glue brfore attempting to apply the new laminate this is also a lot of work.
The cost of the Particleboard is the smallest cost of the new tops, If you have the skill and the ability to attempt the task of trying to do the aformentioned two scenarios then you would be able to remake your tops with ease, should you wish to attempt this e-mail me and i can guide you through the process.
I am a Pro, I use approx 5000 sq feet of laminate a year
Good Luck, Gorge

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Just completed a similar project. We have a kitchen table with pedestal base that was covered in Formica and was scratched, chipped, etc. The chairs were in perfect condition and we haven't found a suitable replacement.
The Formica website describes laminate over laminate. You must sand the gloss off. You don't have to take all the laminate off. You need contact cement. The project went well on the flat surfaces and large radius curves. The smaller radius curves were a !@#$%^&*!. The belt sander did get some use.
Having done this and also done new countertops I'd offer the following:
If the countertops are post formed or require bending any wide flat surfaces don't try it.
If removing the countertops would cause other problems (tile backsplash) then do it.
Whatever you do, call the Formica Tech line to discuss it (1 800 FORMICA).
Finally if you want a fairly standard size and color consider premade countertops as they may be cost effective.
Howard

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On 6 Nov 2003 05:29:34 -0800, you wrote:

we used to in the cabinet shop, do small radius inside corners... like 1 1/2" diameter curves..
takes a GOOD belt sander... you sand the back side of the formica down a LOT thinner than normal... a heat lamp to help soften it a bit, NOT a gun, but a lamp...
put good glue in place ONCE you know it will go the radius you want, and do NOT try to fit it solid...if there is 'air gaps' in that corner, dont worry..
ONCE the formica glue is dry, then go back with masking tape on the underneath side, and tape across so the formica/air gaps cannot drip glue through, then from the top side, fill the holes with something that sets up solid... epoxy IF you can be absolutely certain you can get it in all the cavities... or some other type that will both flow a bit, AND set hard... then go away for the necessary drying time, PLUS some more time... once its covered with the top piece, you cant tell its 'not exactly 100% solid wood behind it.'
--Shiva--
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Removal isn't necessarily a pita. I do alot of countertops (as a living) and I have found that using a heat gun to loosen the glue will provide for the existing laminate to peel off, exposing the existing countertop substrate. Just re-glue and put your new laminate on. I wouldn't put new laminate over existing laminate. Infact I won't! Just a tip from someone in the biz. SH
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Thank you for your replies. I was just hopeing that the old counter tops would not need replacing. I have the skills to do the job but I am not sure I have the energy to get it done. The cabinet tops are in a "U" shaped arrangement all custom fitted around a built in oven.

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