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Laminate Repair Tips: Reglue Loose Laminate

Fix loose laminate quickly and easily before it breaks off

FH07JAU_LOOLAM_01-2Family Handyman
Repair loose laminate on a countertop quickly and easily with contact cement. It takes only 15 minutes.

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Reglue loose laminate

Photo 1: Apply contact cement

Spread contact cement on with the applicator or a disposable natural-bristle brush for a laminate countertop adhesive, covering all edges.

Photo 2: Let the glue dry

Keep the two sides separate until the glue is dry but still a little tacky—usually in about 20 minutes.

Photo 3: Join the surfaces

Align and then push the laminate edge back against the particleboard, applying pressure with a smooth block of wood for a good bond.

End caps and other laminate edges sometimes come loose and can get broken off if not reglued, but as long as the particleboard backer is in good condition, the fix is simple. Scrape off chunks of debris or dried lumps of glue from the end cap. If the countertop is newer, first try to iron the end cap back on with a medium-hot iron to reactivate the glue. However, in most cases the loose piece will need to be reattached with contact cement.

Sand rough areas with medium-grit sandpaper, then apply the contact cement (Photo 1). Open nearby windows to dissipate the fumes from the glue. After both sides are completely coated, keep them separated with a toothpick (Photo 2) until the adhesive is tacky. Carefully rejoin the two sides, starting at the back of the glued area (Photo 3). Contact cement bonds instantly, and if the wrong areas accidentally touch, you’ll have great difficulty pulling them apart.

Finally, rub away any dried glue around the edges with your finger.

Note: If your end cap has broken, scrape it off and take a piece to a home center to find a matching replacement piece.

Required Tools for this reglue loose laminate project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Putty knife

Required Materials for this reglue loose laminate project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Contact cement
  • Sandpaper
  • Toothpick