The formica countertops in our kitchen are ugly and have some stains.
Replacement is not in the budget.
Is is possible to lay new formica over the existing? I'd want it to
last 5 years.
If possible, what's the procedure? Remove caulking, sand with 80 grit?
60 grit? Apply contact cement, laminate, roll, then trim edges?
Advice is appreciated.
There are ways to get out or reduce many stains in laminate. A lot of elbow
grease (and I think baking soda) is involved. Also, what do you mean by
"last 5 years" - does this mean in 5 years they're ready to be thrown out,
or in 5 years they're just starting to show wear? We sell a lot of Formica
furniture where I work, and putting new laminate over old is a definite
It used to be you could go to a home store and buy pre-made laminate
countertops pretty cheap and cut and joing them yourself. Thats probably
the best way, because you'll be paying full retail for raw sheets of
laminate anyways. And also, if you have bullnose edges, you'll need a
special machine to heat and bend the laminate, but this heat would also
cause the original layer of laminate to come off. Have I talked you out of
In 5 years we'll likely be selling or ready to rip the whole place
apart and do a total remodel. If we sell, the new owners will either
want to rip it all out or will be willing to live with whatever's
Why? What are the issues? Furniture is different than countertop, no?
I was told at a local home reno store (Rona, here in Canada) that it
was sand and go. I'm (obviously) asking for a second opinion.
Not yet. <g>
No bullnose edges, everything is square.
I can replace the counters myself for the cost of 3 sheets of 3/4 inch
MDF, 2 sheets of formica, and a couple of weekends. Maybe $300 Canadian
Should I plan to apply heat and lift the old laminate, then sand and
apply the new stuff? That's feasible... It's a small kitchen and I
could probably lift the old stuff in a long day.
Thanks for your feedback and advice, Steve.
Based on your info and the feedback from bambam, I'm thinking at this
point to lift the old formica with heat, scrape the old glue to a
reasonable point, then glue/screw 1/8 inch hardboard or MDF (instead of
the 1/4" bambam suggests) and reapply new formica over that. Not a big
increase in cost, but (it seems to me) a better adhesion on the new
Waddayathink? A weekend's work (in this kitchen, two countertops), and
maybe $350 in material.
If I'm off-base I'd love to hear why. No sense wasting time and money...
If you're going to layer additional mdf, then you only need to remove enough
glue to hold the MDF in place with new glue.
Be careful if you screw down the MDF however. The screws have to be counter
sunk and you don't have much thickness for that. If the screws aren't
countersunk you'll get pimpling after you lay down the laminate. The
appropriate stapler/nailer _might_ be better, although you don't want nails
are staples to just go right through 1/8" material.
But if you sand down the original substrate enough the new laminate will
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