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Laminate Countertops
Re-glaze, Re-laminate, Re-place?

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My laminate countertops need improvement.  What are my options?

First, what is a laminate counter? A laminate counter top is fiberboard or particleboard covered by a thin but durable decorative layer that is cut to size and glued down.   Laminates include brands such as Formica and Wilsonart. The laminate itself is made of a brown paper impregnated with phenolic resin. The top layer of paper, which contains the pattern of color, is impregnated with melamine resin. The sheets are bonded together, and applied to fiberboard or particleboard.
 
The primary benefit of high pressure laminate is that it offers a hard, impact-resistant surface which is easy to keep clean and they are available at a reasonable price and in hundreds of patterns and colors. 

The options for improving a laminate counter top are:

  • Re-glazing

  • Re-laminating

  • Re-placing

Which option should you choose?  It depends on the condition of the counter, the look you want, and of course budget. Cheaper options should be considered when budget matters, as it usually does.  This article is intended to help make that decision.

Repairs to laminate counters can be done by fixing or replacing the laminate layer itself, or by reglazing it which means resurfacing the counter with a durable sprayed on material much like the process performed on old bathtubs to make them new again. 

The reglazing material cures to a very hard finish and even though it is a sprayed on finish it is surprisingly durable. It is a very popular solution because it is fast, inexpensive and available in any solid color and can be produced in some textured or speckled finishes as well.  Price is the primary advantage over other the options.  It can instantly transform an old worn or outdated surface into a beautiful countertop that enhances the desirability of a kitchen or bathroom.  Reglazing is a very good, low budget solution that makes it possible to avoid re-laminating or replacing an old laminate surface. 

Reglazing can not reproduce the patterns of a laminated surface, so designers may opt to choose a laminate with a color and pattern that better suits the look they are after.  Laminate surfaces are also somewhat more durable than a reglazed surface.  A new laminate surface can be achieved by either replacing the counter or re-laminating the existing counter.  In general if a laminate counter needs to be re-laminated it is better to replace it.  Some counters can be re-laminated, but the labor involved in removing the old laminate can make replacement of the counter a more attractive option.  If the old laminate is easy to remove and the board is in good shape, then re-laminating may be a good  option. 

The labor involved in removing old lamination usually makes replacement a better option but it is absolutely necessary if the counter material (often particle board) has been water damaged causing it to swell in some areas.  When this has occurred, little can be done to repair the counter and replacement is the best option.

Pacific Reglazing now offers custom laminate counter installations.  Beware! Not all laminate counters are created equally! Many new counter installations being done by other installers are cheap prefabricated counters purchased at home supply stores.  While they may be inexpensive, the result is often flawed since the counters are not made to fit the space where they are installed.  One of the obvious problems we see is where two portions of a counter meet, leaving a seam.  That seam is often left unsupported and is subject to swelling from water damage.  

A better solution is a custom counter built in-place.  The result is stronger counter that fits the space exactly and is not subject to water damage and warping.  Our custom counter service is very competitively priced so there is no need to settle for an inferior product.  For laminate colors you can look here.  Countertops are also available in CaesarStone®.

Use our Order Form to place an order or request an estimate.

See samples of the different colors available.

 

 

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