How to Repair Laminate Countertops

With time, your countertops will show the effects of water, heat, and daily wear and tear. Minor damage to laminate is inexpensive to fix. For more serious damage, it's best to replace the countertops entirely.

  1. For small areas of bubbling, reactivate the adhesive by heating the laminate. Use a hair dryer or an iron on low heat, taking care not to scorch the surface. Weigh down the repair area with heavy books or cans (see illustrations).

  2. For large areas of peeling, use a small knife to scrape away old adhesive from the support surface and the back of the laminate.

  3. Heat the edging gently, if needed, and press it back into shape.

  4. Spread contact cement on both the support surface and the underside of the laminate. Use toothpicks or wood strips to prop up the laminate until the adhesive is almost dry.

  5. Press the laminate down firmly, easing out air pockets with a rolling pin. Weight the surface evenly with heavy objects. Use masking tape to hold the edging in place.

  6. Let the countertop dry for 24 hours.

  7. For minor gouges and chips, buy laminate repair paste to match the color of your counter. If needed, blend several colors.

  8. Clean the damaged area with rubbing alcohol.

  9. Fill the chips with the laminate paste. Smooth it flat with a putty knife. Let it dry completely, leaving it undisturbed for 24 hours.

  10. Remove stains with distilled vinegar, rubbing alcohol or bleach. For minor scratches, polish the counter with lemon oil or car wax.

  11. Tip

    Replace large areas of damage with tile or a cutting board: With a router, carefully cut away the damaged area. Lay down decorative tiles or butcher block, being sure to seal the edges well. You can buy contact cement at hardware stores. Laminate repair paste is sold at hardware stores and countertop suppliers.