Formica Installed Over Formica Countertops or Cabinets

People always ask me; “Formica laminate sheets” For some reason they think the existing plastic laminate might need to be removed before a new color can be glued on. As long as the existing glue bond is in excellent condition, new plastic can be applied directly on top of the old plastic.

In this article I will explain how this process of recovering is supposed to be done. It is a popular method of remodeling old countertops and cabinets.

Once the color has been selected, the job has been measured and the materials are in hand, the new Formica gets cut a little bigger than the existing areas that will be covered over.

The entire surface where the new plastic will be glued is then thoroughly cleaned with lacquer thinner or a degeasing solution.

The next step is to sand every inch of the countertop or cabinet space where the Formica will be installed with forty grit sand paper. This can be done with a belt sander or hand block sander. Most professional installers use both.

A shop vacuum is used often throughout the entire process. All of the dust needs to be removed before any glue is applied. It is very important that the surfaces are continually checked for dust and chips of laminate before any glue gets applied to a surface.

The process of fitting the Formica begins now. Walls, floors and ceilings are never perfectly straight. The edges of the plastic are straight. Therefore, the Formica needs to be fitted to the humps and bumps in the walls, floors and ceilings. This fitting process is generally done as each piece is ready to be applied to the existing laminate.

So, the way this works is you fit a piece and then glue it down. Then select the next piece of Formica, fit it and glue it down. The laminate can be cut with tin snips along the scribe lines to make the plastic fit the walls, floors and ceiling.

Once a new piece of Formica is applied to the existing Formica it is rolled and trimmed flush with a high-speed router.

After a piece of laminate is trimmed off, it is either filed or sanded flush with the edges of the countertop or cabinet.

The final step in applying Formica over existing laminate is cleaning off the excess contact adhesive with lacquer thinner. This is done by dampening a cloth with the paint thinner and then wiping it on the glue that needs to be removed. The rag should be plenty wet, but not dripping wet.

Having old laminate covered with new will cost less than replacing your existing cabinets or countertops. It is a great way to remodel your kitchen or bathroom cabinets or counters.

This process of Formica being installed over Formica is called several different things. Some people refer to this as recovering and others call it re-laminating.