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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Any ideas on laminate coutertops

    First time installing counter tops and I'm not sure how to bend the edges around a corner. any hints!?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Sand Springs, OK
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    Default Re: Any ideas on laminate coutertops

    heat it up. Not too hot but it will be pliable enough to bend with a little heat and a lot of pressure.
    Debby in Oklahoma

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Any ideas on laminate coutertops

    Quote Originally Posted by debbysewn View Post
    heat it up. Not too hot but it will be pliable enough to bend with a little heat and a lot of pressure.
    Thanks debbiesewn. Do you think that and iron will work and if so do you heat it with the glue on or preform it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Denver, CO
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    666

    Default Re: Any ideas on laminate coutertops

    Me thinks you are asking for a nightmare of a project if you try and bend your laminate.

    You will have a much easier time of it by either banding the edge with laminate or going with a wood band for the edge.




    Here's a work top I made for my office with an oak/stained edge.

    Man! I gotta clean this place up!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: Any ideas on laminate coutertops

    How easy or how difficult this might be will depend upon how tight of a radius you're attempting to turn with your laminate.......and whether you'll be using horizontal or vertical grade laminate. (The veritcal grade will bend easier than the horizontal grade.)

    If the radius is 3" or greater, you shouldn't have much a problem at all, although some heating of the material may still be advisable/desirable as you approach 3". Maybe, maybe not. It depends upon the material. A little quick trial and error experimenting will guide you.

    If you're trying to bend to a tight radius such as 1 1/2" - 2", then heating will be necessary. You can use a heat gun and a heavy leather glove to pre-bend/form the laminate. Most common plastic laminates (such as Formica & Wilsonart brands) will bend easily/best at around 325 - 350 F. Carefully coax the material up to temp with the heat gun and bend the material right around the edge it's to be attached to......and then allow it to cool in place. Then apply your contact cement and lay it. Or you can use PVA glue for this, but you'll likely find the contact cement to be handier because it grabs instantly and no clamping is required.

    If this is the edgebanding on a countertop you could cement the most of the straight run to within say a foot of the corner and then do your heating, bending and gluing of the cornerand the remaining straight end/side. Or you can clamp/secure (double-stick carpet tape) the straight run in a temporary fashion, do the corner bending and then cement the whole piece at once.

    If you overheat the laminate, you can ruin it. There are temperature "revealing" markers that can be very helpful. Your laminate supplier may have these on hand......or maybe not.

    http://www.airgas.com/browse/product...381&WT.svl=381

    I suspect/ hope you know that you'll want to attach your edgebanding first, then remove/trim the protruding excess so it is dead flush with the top and bottom edge.....and then apply the laminate on the top of the counter.

    I am not a big fan of water-based contact cements. They have a tendency to dry out and let go of the laminate after a couple/few years....particularly near the edges. I use solvent based adhesive. Much ventilation is a MUST !!! when using solvent-based contact cement.

    1" radius bends on edgebanding are *possible* by hand, but require more experience and caution. If you intend to attempt such a thing, plan on doing a few trial runs first to get your techniques down pat before approaching the real deal. Don't be surprised if you fail on that tight of a radius. There are reasons that countertops with bends that tight are ordered from manufacturers who have the specialized equipement to pull this off with efficiency.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 03-21-2008 at 10:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sand Springs, OK
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    467

    Default Re: Any ideas on laminate coutertops

    Quote Originally Posted by seanttracy View Post
    Thanks debbiesewn. Do you think that and iron will work and if so do you heat it with the glue on or preform it?
    I was thinking about a heat gun or hair dryer but I think an iron through a cloth would work too, start at a middle setting and work you way up if you don't see any results.

    Yes, put the adhesive on first.
    Debby in Oklahoma

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,190

    Default Re: Any ideas on laminate coutertops

    It is very difficult to post form (bend ) laminate, particularly if you don't have the right one. Laminate comes in different thicknesses. There will be no way to post form the thick stuff and you'll have varying results with the thin, depending on the radius you're trying to accomplish. You'd be better off installing a wood nosing and routing a radius than you will trying to bend laminate around the same corner.

    Sorry, not what you wanted to hear, but this is what experience has shown.

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