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How to Fix Formica That Swelled Due to Moisture

Rebecca Kling

Formica is a common laminate material used on countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. Formica is installed by attaching sheets of Formica to the surface underneath, usually wood. Due to the presence of sinks and liquids in kitchens and bathrooms, it's possible for water to get between the Formica and the surface to which it is attached. This causes bubbling in the Formica which, if left untended, can permanently damage or ruin the entire Formica sheet, requiring it to be replaced. Minor bubbling can often be repaired if it is caught early enough.

Removing Formica

Formica repairs can ensure long life for counters and tables
  1. Slide the knife between the Formica and the countertop.

  2. Slowly pull back the Formica, using the glue solvent as necessary

  3. Apply pressure where the Formica is still in place to help provide leverage.

Repairing the Formica

  1. Remove any dirt between the two surfaces and ensure the area is dry.

  2. Coat both the counter surface and the underside of the Formica with contact cement.

  3. Prop up the Formica with the dowel rods, keeping it from touching the counter surface.

  4. Allow the contact cement to dry. Once dry, it will bond with itself, meaning the bottom of the Formica can be reattached to the counter surface.

  5. Remove the dowel rods and slowly push the Formica back in contact with the countertop, paying special attention to push out any bubbles.

  6. Place a heavy object on the Formica to ensure the contact cement bonds properly.

  7. Leave the contact cement to dry for 24 hours.

  8. Apply water sealant to the edges of the Formica to ensure no additional moisture gets in.