Laminate counters are stain-resistant and attractive, but they can show signs of damage after years of regular use. Knowing the causes of damage, as well as how to repair and prevent issues, can prolong the life of your counters.
The main causes of laminate damage are wear and tear, impacts, and heat. Wear and tear most often occurs along the edge of the counters. The laminate may begin to peel up are chip away at the edges if peeling isn't addressed quickly. Impacts and cuts can also occur, which can chip or loosen the laminate. Scratches are especially common. These are usually caused by knives and other utensils.
Laminate isn't only moderately heat resistant. Modern laminates are less likely to discolor from heat, but the surface can warp from repeated heat exposure. The adhesives that secure laminate countertops are even less heat resistant, so exposure to hot pans and similar can cause the adhesive to fail and the laminate to bubble.
Fortunately, there are repair options for laminate. If peeling along the edge is the issue, fresh adhesive and sealing of the edges can solve the problem before chipping occurs. Bubbles can also sometimes be pressed out carefully. Heat may be used to soften the existing adhesive and then weights are placed to hold the laminate down until the adhesive cures.
Minor chips and cracks can be filled with a matching filler epoxy. This type of repair isn't completely invisible, so it is best reserved for small damages that won't be very noticeable. If there are major damages, then you may need to have the damaged area cut out and removed. Depending on what looks best and your preferences, you can have replacement laminate installed, or you can integrate a tiled trivet section or a wood cutting block into the counter instead.
You can reduce nearly all damages from occurring again, which ensures your repairs last a long time. Using proper protection on the countertops is the best type of prevention. Always use a cutting board when chopping so that small cuts and scratches aren't an issue. Trivets will protect the counters from heat as well as from the scratches caused by debris trapped beneath a heavy pot bottom. You can reduce edge and corner wear and tear by avoiding the use of abrasive cleaners, as these are major culprits at wearing away at laminate edges.
Contact a laminate countertop repair service for more assistance.