How Do You Repair A Laminate Countertop?

How do you repair a laminate countertop? Laminate countertops can be difficult to take care of. Many homeowners ask "How do you repair a laminate countertop?" in an attempt to save money. Jason Flippo, who...

Many homeowners ask "How do you repair a laminate countertop?" in an attempt to save money. Jason Flippo, who is the owner and president of Signature Home Improvement Inc, which is a business that concentrates on remodeling kitchens and living areas, says, "It is really hard to repair. If you have a broken or chipped piece you have to go and find the same color and replace it with the same color material. If you have a big piece broken off or if you have a tiny little chip, you could get a filler that's a close match."

If there are just small scratches in the laminate, you can buy a polish that can be reapplied every few months to hide them. With smaller dents or chips there is a laminate repair paste available that you can have tinted to match the color of your existing countertop that is smoothed over the entire damaged area. There is also the option of cutting out the damaged area and replacing it with an exact sized piece but this is almost impossible to do so in a way that won't be noticed. If you do choose this route, take care to ease off the old piece with a putty knife, so you do no further damage to the area around it or underneath. For best results, also make sure that all the old glue is removed. If done cautiously, so as not disturb the rest of the countertop, a hair dryer can be used to soften the glue for easier scraping.

There are kits available made specifically for laminate repair that should include everything you need and professionals that offer the service of doing it for you. Either way, there is no real guarantee that it will last long-term and it might actually be worth it in the long run to replace the countertop.

If you do decide to replace the whole countertop and wish to try doing it yourself, there are many books available on the subject. The key is to remember the old adage "Measure Twice- Cut Once" and take your time. If at all possible, save the factory cut edges to use on your backsplash because you will be covering the others with molding. This will save a lot of tedious trimming work for you. A few tips are to fill in any cracks with wood putty and sanding them smooth to create a flush surface if you are not removing the old laminate first and make sure that both the countertop and the new laminate are free of any dirt or dust particles that may prevent them from fully bonding together. If for, some reason, an air bubble does form somewhere, an old fashioned way that works really well, it place brown paper over it and set an iron on top of that until the heat from it re-softens the glue. You can then use a rolling pin or any small roller to smooth out the area. Keep doing this steadily until the surface is once again cool so the bump doesn't re-form.

Like any kitchen remodeling experience, everyone has different "luck", not to mention outlooks, when it comes to certain projects. You may be able to repair your laminate and like the results or you may make your mind up to scrap the whole thing and invest in a more durable material. Either way, it is your kitchen and that means that only you can decide what's best for you and your lifestyle.

© High Speed Ventures 2011