The adhesive holding the edge banding on plastic laminate countertops can come loose over time, making it easy to break the brittle material if it’s not repaired promptly.

Start by trying to reactivate the old adhesive, here’s how to go about it.

How to reactivate plastic laminate adhesive:

  1. Place a cloth over the edging.
  2. Use a household clothes iron on the cloth to heat the edging while pressing firmly.
  3. Allow the surface to cool, then test to see if the edging is attached.
Using a clothes  iron to heat loose laminate edge strip to reattach it to countertop.
Using a clothes iron to reattach laminate edge strip.

If heating the adhesive doesn’t work, you’ll have reglue the laminate with contact cement. As the name implies, contact cement bonds two surfaces together on contact. Here’s how to go about it.

How to reglue plastic laminate edging:

  1. Carefully pull the laminate edging away from the countertop without breaking it.
  2. Apply a thin coat of contact cement to both the laminate edging and the countertop.
  3. Use a pencil or Popsicle stick to keep the two surfaces from touching for 15-30 minutes while the cement dries.
  4. After the sheen on the cement has become dull, carefully align and join the two surfaces together.
  5. Use a roller or block of wood to firmly press the edge banding to the countertop.
Using a pencil to hold plastic laminate edging away from countertop while contact cement dries.
Regluing laminate edging using contact cement.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Danny Lipford: Lori-anne is asking, “One of the edges of our laminate countertops is loose. How can I reattach it?”

If you have any edging on your plastic laminate countertop that’s come loose, I would suggest fixing it as soon as possible. Now, it may be very easy by reactivating the glue by putting a cloth over it and using a regular household iron to heat up the piece of countertop. And that may be all that’s necessary.

If not, you may have to go to a very unique type of adhesive called contact cement. Now, usually a small bottle—like this—will have a brush already built in. And you’ll have to apply the contact cement to both surfaces, and here’s where it gets unique.

You want to make sure you keep those surfaces apart by using either a wooden pencil, or maybe a Popsicle stick, so that they’re not touching for 15 to 30 minutes until the contact cement glosses over.

Then you can bond them together, but once you put those two surfaces together, there’s no adjustment.

8 COMMENTS

  1. The end caps on my plastic counter tops ( on both sides next to stove) have come loose, I saw your suggested remedies, but there’s a lot of food, etc stuck in there. So, my question is how do I take the end caps off completely, then clean out the food stuff? Then reinstall them?

  2. Use an iron set on medium, a hair dryer, or a heat gun, to warm the
    Laminate. Then gently work a putty knife under the Laminate to pry it free. You can then scrap or sand it to remove the debris. If there is a residue of cooking grease or oil, you can wipe it with acetone to try to remove the residue. NOTE: Acetone is extremely flammable (explosive) and the vapors are harmful. Extinguish any pilot lights and follow all directions and precautions on the container, when using it!

  3. We have old laminate sunday school tables that have lost their trim/edges.
    the tables are about 1/2″ thick. How can we go about replacing the trim?

    • Hi, Felicia! In this case, the strip was just dangling from the edge. You will need the strip for this process to work.
      Good luck finding that piece. 🙂

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