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Step-By-Step Guide To Repairing Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are a very popular option in modern kitchens, and for good reason: Laminate countertops are easy to clean, available in a wide variety of colors and styles, and kind to the budget. They are equally beautiful for larger countertops, small kitchen island designs, and accent pieces.

Though laminate requires very little maintenance, it is not immune to the occasional nick, scratch, or burn. This guide will help you decide what you can fix on your own, and what might call for the help of a professional contractor.

Laminate Countertops: Do-It-Yourself Repairs

What can you fix on your own? Give these quick repairs a try:

  • Small Chips. Laminate-repair paste is available at your hardware store. You can choose from a variety of colors, or blend colors for a custom look. Simply press the paste into the laminate with a putty knife, smooth down carefully, and let dry.
  • Small Scratches. Countertop polish works wonders for scratches. Carefully follow the directions on the container, and reapply it every few months.
  • Cracks or Burns. A laminate filler can help with this quick fix. Apply the filler, let it dry, then sand it smooth. After that is done, spray the repair with a topcoat, which can make the laminate countertop look like new.
  • Damaged Edges. If the edges of the laminate are dented, cracked, or peeling beyond repair, it's time to remove the edge. A putty knife and a heat gun will make the job easier. Sand down the exposed surface, spread sealant over it, and apply the new laminate edge.
  • Peeling Laminate. A good contact cement will fix most peeling problems. Apply the cement to both surfaces, then press the laminate firmly back into place. If you can use clamps or some sort of binding to hold it down while it dries, all the better!

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes, even the best repairs won't hold up for very long. If you have a problem that keeps coming back no matter what you do, it might be best to replace the laminate countertops. Many kitchen island designs call for a smaller piece of laminate, and are cheaper to replace than an entire countertop. If your budget is stretched, you could start there to provide a fresh, clean surface on which to work.

A reliable kitchen contractor can often have the job done quickly and easily, leaving you more time to admire your new kitchen countertops!