Laminate Countertop Repair Guide

Laminate countertops are durable and attractive, but they can suffer some damages. Knowing the causes and how to repair the damage is important if you want long-lasting counters.

Common Causes

Moisture is the main enemy of a laminate countertop. Although the surface is impervious to moisture, the sealant around the edges of the counter and at joints between the counter and the sink can fail and allow moisture to seep beneath the laminate. The problem can be even worse if moisture tends to collect and sit on these areas, such as from a sink that is allowed to overflow often or due to a dish drainer that traps moisture against a seal.

Heat is another issue with laminate. Some laminate may develop scorch marks in response to high heat, but a more common problem is for the heat to soften the adhesive beneath the laminate. Once loosened, the laminate will be more prone to moisture incursion during normal daily use.

Damage Symptoms

Damage usually shows in one of two ways on a laminate countertop. The most common, perhaps, is peeling. The edges of the laminate become loose. The laminate then peels up from the counter. Over time, it may curl or crack in the loosened area. Sometimes the laminate doesn't even peel up in a single sheet. Instead, the layers of laminate separate so that the edge looks like riffled book pages.

Bubbling is the other usual type of damage. Bubbling is when heat, moisture incursion, or both have caused pockets of adhesion loss between the laminate and the counter subsurface material. The laminate begins to warp and bubble across its surface because it is no longer able to lay flat. The problem can become worse if the counter is regularly exposed to hot pans or other sources of uneven heating, as the unsecured laminate warps more in response to the temperature.

Repair Options

If the laminate hasn't begun to separate or become badly warped, repair may be possible. If bubbling is minor, your repair tech may use a heat gun to evenly heat the countertop and reactivate the adhesive. Heavy weights will then be used to flatten the laminate into the adhesive as it cures. This may also be used in areas of minor edge lifting, as well.

For more advanced peeling, your tech may first scrape out the old adhesive and then allow any moisture trapped beneath the laminate to dry. Then, a new adhesive will be applied and the counter will be weighted until the adhesive cures.

Contact a laminate countertop repair service for more help.