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
Not sure, but I found this:
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:
: 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.
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
I am a Pro, I use approx 5000 sq feet of laminate a year
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
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
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
Finally if you want a fairly standard size and color consider premade
countertops as they may be cost effective.
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.'
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.
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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