Laminate countertop is highly waterproof, but the chipboard underneath the laminate is typically barely water resistant. This results in rotted chipboard whenever the laminate leaks. As the chipboard rots, you can usually see the bubbles and raises form in the laminate. When this happens, it’s time to repair the chipboard and replace the laminate.
Things You'll Need
- Paint scraper
- Wood bleach
- Rubber hand roller
- Utility knife
Peel up the old laminate. Don’t worry if you tear the laminate while you’re pulling it off. If you don’t know where to start, find a corner that’s peeling off and start there.
Scrape away any laminate that stubbornly sticks to the surface with a paint scraper.
Inspect the chipboard and apply wood bleach to any mildewed areas. You’ll know there’s mildew because the wood will have a black coloration. Let the bleach dry and the stain should be removed. This also kills the mildew.
Mix your epoxy according to the directions on the package and paint over any weakened, chipped or rotting areas. Fill any gashes completely. Let the epoxy cure for 24 hours before continuing.
Roll out and apply the new laminate to the countertop. Most laminate simply has a peel-away back with the adhesive already in place. Simply press the laminate onto the chipboard and roll over it with a rubber hand roller. If you have any overhang, cut it away using a utility knife.
For irregular countertops or areas with cutouts, such as sinks, measure the area in advance, draw out the pieces onto the back of the laminate and cut out the pieces with a utility knife.
Caulk any cracks or end pieces with a bead of clear silicone caulking. This will protect the chipboard from further water damage.
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