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    Marvin Watkins (50)
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    Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    My wife and I purchased a house in north Raleigh about five years ago. The kitchen countertop was in a black speckled laminate. We didn't have a major issue with this 'color' choice. However, five years on, my wife has decided that she is tired of not being able to see when the countertop is dirty. She would like to change to a color that is easier to see dirt on.

    Can anyone give me a quick rundown on what is involved in re-laminating countertops? The existing ones are in good shape. Would I have to strip the existing ones off or just apply new ones on top of the old ones. We are not changing the configuration of the cabinets. We have one section that is about 9' x 4' and appears to have been cut from one section of laminete.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Marvin A. Watkins
    Hillsborough, NC

    Making sawdust when I can...

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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    Marvin
    The countertop must not be water damaged or have signs of rotting as this will cause the new laminate to come away after a while. If there are any bubbles in the old laminate you should cut them out and fill the cutout area with an appropriate filler.
    You then simply roughly sands the old laminate to provide a ‘key’ so that the contact adhesive has a good hold. Then apply the new laminate and trim away the excess. What kind of back splash do you have? Can it be removed? If not it may present a problem when you go to relaminate it. I also think the laminate comes in 9' x 4' sheets
    Nick Z
    To do important deeds, two things are necessary; a plan and not quite enough time.


  3. #3
    McRabbet
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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    If they are the rolled edge/backsplash type, you will have real problems adding a layer of laminate over the tight curves. I'd recommend replacing the entire top; the big Home Improvement stores have a limited lelection of colors or you can special order them in your color choice.

    Rob

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    Marvin Watkins (50)
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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    Thanks guys.

    The laminate is in great shape, i.e. no water damage or any damage. The only reason to consider changing it is because it will make my wife's life easier.

    The backspash is a 3" laminated backspash. In theory you should be able to remove it.

    All of the edges are 90 degree edges. No drip guards or bent laminate. The only bending is on the 1 1/2" edge band on some of the corners. This is a very simple countertop collection.

    Is this something I should consider tackling myself or might it be simpler and quicker to get someone in to handle it for me?
    Marvin A. Watkins
    Hillsborough, NC

    Making sawdust when I can...

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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    Marvin, If you are going to Triangle Woodworkers on Tues nite, we have Marc Adams video on laminating in the library. Well worth taking a look at. Laminate comes in sizes from 3X4 to 5X12. Both Raleigh Hardwood and Web-Don sell laminate. Web-Don does only wholesale though. I can buy direct, but usually go to Lowes/ Home Depot and order for customer pickup. This way, I get "National Pricing", which is less than what I would pay direct. Go figure! Are you going back with same style of edgebanding, or something different, like "wood"? No larger than this project, I think I would get some stock for the substrate and make a whole new counter. You could cut up old counter to make router table top, extension wing, or outfeed for table saw. Nice thing about that black laminate is it won't show grease, but will show wooddust.

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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    Thanks Bruce. I will have to stop by and pickup the video.

    Hmm, new shop work surfaces.... hadn't thought about that!!!
    Marvin A. Watkins
    Hillsborough, NC

    Making sawdust when I can...

  7. #7
    Returning Member Travis Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    IMO, it is a PITA, but it is something you can do. Contact cement bonds quickly, and you need good ventilation. Personally, I like to have all of my parts cut to rough size, I use masking tape to hold the joints together, and stick dowels underneath to keep it from touching until I have it right.

    A laminate trimmer or flush trim bit is a must, but be careful as they "goop up" a lot and need cleaning. Also, a couple of files helps to smooth rough edges and get into the places the laminate trimmer won't reach.

    My .05 (went up from .02 due to inflation)

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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Porter View Post
    IMO, it is a PITA, but it is something you can do. Contact cement bonds quickly, and you need good ventilation. Personally, I like to have all of my parts cut to rough size, I use masking tape to hold the joints together, and stick dowels underneath to keep it from touching until I have it right.

    A laminate trimmer or flush trim bit is a must, but be careful as they "goop up" a lot and need cleaning. Also, a couple of files helps to smooth rough edges and get into the places the laminate trimmer won't reach.

    My .05 (went up from .02 due to inflation)
    I find that if I wait long enough for the contact cement to completely dry, I get very little "gooping" on the cutters. I take a 1/2" flush trim bit and add an oversized bearing from my rabbeting set to it. Then I trim laminate oversize on first trimming, and then go back with a flush trim bit. After edge banding is on and top laminate glued and rolled in place, I coat upper edge of edge banding with petrolium jelly. This prevents either cutter (solid carbide) or bearing from leaving tracks.

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    Returning Member Travis's Avatar
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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    I did this once and was told that I had to remove the old laminate. I used an iron to release the contact cement. The over lay method sounds much easier. Let me know the results you get becasue my mom wants me to do hers.
    Travis

    "the good thing with me and woodworking .... I have nothing to unlearn"

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    Re: Relaminating Kitchen Countertops

    i had a tenant the was kind enough to relaminte a counter top for me, over the origional. my wife was able to pull it all off without tools and cemicals in about 10 minutes. im sure that the person who put it down did not scuff it with sand paper first, but i would never go over another layer.

    the cost of rebuilding the top is a lot cheaper than what the laminate is going to cost you.

    if ou want to strip it the eaziest way is with laquure thiner, i spry it on with a small bottle that u can get for free at haie hair dresser

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