How to Fix Laminate Countertop Lifting

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Laminate countertops can get damaged with time due to heat and moisture. Sometimes excess heat can warp the countertop (always use a heat mat with hot items on a laminate countertop!) and water damage can seep through the laminate edges.

Be prepared with a matching laminate sheet and contact paper lifter and smoother.

We expect a lot of countertops to be durable, heat, and water-resistant. It is common when cooking to place a hot pan directly on the laminate countertop that could lead to warping. This guide shows you how to fix laminate countertop lifting.

How to Fix Laminate Countertop Lifting

How to Fix Laminate Countertop Lifting

Method 1: How to Fix Laminate Countertop Lifting Using a Matching Laminate Sheet

This method could use a wood repair filler that is often used by builders and painters. With this, you can get rid of the damage and patch the laminate countertop to look good as brand new.

1. Lift up the damaged laminate area

Before you can start resurfacing your laminate countertop, you need to ensure the surface is flat.

Pull up the swollen areas. Be prepared with your safety gear (goggles, ear protection, and gloves) as you use a contact paper lifter to move the laminate off the countertop.

If the laminate paper itself is damaged, you’ll need to replace it with a matching laminate sheet.

If the laminate itself is damaged, your other option is to redecorate your countertop by creating a marble look.

2. Use sandpaper for the chipboard

Once the damaged laminate is lifted, sandpaper is used to flatten down the countertop underneath. Use a cloth to wipe off any loose sandpaper materials.

3. Apply the wood filler to any holes

You may need to use a wood filler to even out the surface. Ensure you clean off excess filler before it sets for a sleek finish.

Let the wood filler dry thoroughly.

4. Scrape off excess wood repair filler

The excess filler should be scraped once it is dry. A chisel and scalpel can be used to do this gently.

Use 120-grit sandpaper for sanding the top roughly. When it’s level with the counter, use finer 240-grit sandpaper to smooth back the surface. Brush off the counter surface and get ready to paint it.

5. Attach the laminate

If your laminate paper comes with a sticky vinyl surface, you can skip the glue. If not, apply waterproof wood glue to attach the laminate paper to your countertop.

Use the contact paper lifter and smoother to help create a smooth look of the new laminate sheet.

Method 2: Heat Application

Before the countertop gets damaged completely, reattach the laminate as soon as possible.

1. Remove the loose laminate

Use a knife to remove any debris accumulated between the laminate and substrate. The particleboard is mainly used as a substrate on countertops.

2. Heat the laminate surface with a hot iron

When using a hot iron, place it on the “cotton” setting without steam. This heating process softens the glue, helps to strengthen the bond between the laminate and substrate. Apply heat until the underside of the laminate is slightly sticky.

3. Allow it to cool

You can place books or flat weights on the countertop. Apply fresh adhesive if you notice that the laminate is still loose after weight removal.

4. Press the laminate against the substrate

A laminate roller may be unavailable, but you can improvise with a rolling pin. Press the laminate against the substrate to spread the adhesive evenly. Work from the still-attached portion of the countertop to the side.

Aerosol contact adhesive is easier to apply. Be careful while lifting loose edges since laminate can be brittle.

FAQs – Common Questions about How to Fix Laminate Countertop Lifting

How Do I Fix Buckled Laminate?

Sometimes if the laminate is not well installed, it can buckle as the glue dries out. This is a result of it not having enough space to contrast. A typical laminate releases in the center while remaining stuck, which forms a giant bubble or warp. You shouldn’t be worried about this, get under it and add fresh glue.

Use a putty knife around the edge of the laminate. If it is difficult, you can apply force until a small crack opens underneath it.

A small amount of acetone could be injected into this open crack. You have to wait for about three minutes for the acetone to soften the glue. Once it is soft, slide the knife deeper under the laminate.

Slide the knife from left to right. As the laminate gets tight, add more acetone underneath it. Wait for three minutes, then continue pulling the laminate until you reach the buckle. Don’t bend the laminate too much because it can be brittle. Just lift it as far as it will go.

Place any form of the wooden prop under the laminate. You can use craft sticks or scrap sticks. Place the brace vertically under the laminate, so the brush has enough space to move around under it.

A paintbrush can brush a wet coat of contact cement on the wood under the laminate. If you see a piece of debris underneath, brush it out with a paintbrush before applying glue. This is not necessary if the glue has dried.

Remove the wooden prop so that the laminate can settle back on the wood. You can use a laminate roller to flatten the laminate. It will bond it into the glue.

Around the side of the laminate where the wood is pulled from, you may place clamps around it. Place the clamps 6 inches apart.

To apply pressure on the laminate, place a 2-by-4 on each edge of the laminate. Use a clamp to tighten both ends. To add extra pressure, drive wedges under the 2-by-4 where the buckle was. After 2 hours, remove the clamps.

How Do I Apply Plastic Laminate?

Every work surface is known to experience a lot of work on its surface.

Use a Laminate Roller

You can make the application of plastic laminate easier with a laminate roller. It will help exert a good amount of downward pressure in an even, flat manner.

Laminate will protect these worktables from chemicals, glues, and finishes during the work process. It also helps bear the beats from repeated use.

To fix a laminate to a substrate, install an oversized piece. You can trim it to your preferred size later. Measure the tabletop you are applying the laminate to. An extra inch can be added for proper fittings. Then, cut the laminate to this size with a blade.

To remove contaminants or dirt from the backside of the laminate, use spirits to clean it. Dirt could affect the glue bond. A compressed air or shop vacuum can also be used to clean the substrate surface.

The best adhesive to use for bonding plastic laminate is liquid contact cement. Use a foam paint roller to put in a thin coating of the liquid contact cement to both the substrate and the laminate.

Leave the adhesive surfaces to dry for about 20 minutes. Be careful when applying contact cement, use gloves, and protect your worktable from spills. The contact cement will bond immediately when the laminate and substrate surfaces touch. You don’t have to bother about this.

To avoid mistakes when lining the parts up while the glue takes hold, lay several strips of scrap wood across the substrate. This will serve as spacers between the glued layers. Start in the middle, pull out the center spacer gently and press the laminate onto the substrate.

Continue this carefully, one spacer at a time, and keep pushing the laminate down flat.
Use a rolling pin to flatten the laminate and also remove air bubbles under it. Start from the center and work gradually to the edges.


It’s normal for laminate countertops to get nicked and scratched despite looking pretty strong. All these minor imperfections can be fixed, and stains can also be removed.
The damaged countertop sections can be repaired by cutting them out and replacing them with a cutting board or glass insert. The lifted edges and corners can be glued down once the undersurface is smoothed. You can also take care of minor stains and scratches with a sealant.

It doesn’t have to be a big, expensive project if you want to have a beautiful countertop. You can have a countertop that looks brand new, all without paying a fortune to hire a professional just by using the advice here for removing stains, repairing damages, and refinishing your laminate countertops. With this guide, you must understand how to fix laminate countertop lifting now.

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