Attaching a Plexiglass Protective Top

      Clear silicone adhesive caulk works well. December 6, 2011

The auto shop down the way asked me to put a protective top on their new counter. It's an ultra-thin plastic laminate over some sort of softwood and mars easily. They suggested Plexiglas. Is there an adhesive I can use to glue the Plexiglas layer down or must it be screwed? Or does anyone have another idea?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor E:
Stainless steel top. Up front cost is more. It will clean and hold up well. Most likely never need to replace it. Screwing plex would be easiest. You'll need to replace it when someone drops a heavy part on it and breaks it, it gets scratched, or some solvent eats it.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Although you are right in nearly every way about the utility and durability of stainless steel, I doubt that is what they want to go with. Mainly because if they could just keep customers from touching the piece, it really looks great as is. It just won't stay that way, but they want to be able to see it rather than cover it. You don't happen to know of a clip-down system for stuff like this do you? But screwing it down is likely the only practical way.

From contributor S:
What about a couple of strips of a clear double stick tape on the edges? Just the two short edges should be enough to hold it in place. If you keep it from sliding, it shouldn't abrade the surface over time.

From contributor G:
A dab of clear silicone in each corner?

From the original questioner:
I like both of those ideas. Actually I had thought of the double sided tape but only had in mind the white carpet tape so I kept going. It's true the top is going to get scratched over time and will need to be replaced periodically.

From contributor E:

From contributor S:
Plexi doesn't take very long to get all scratched, and you will be replacing it often if you want to be able to see what's under it. Maybe Lexan would be better, but really any plastic product will scratch. If you screw it down it will crack around the screws, even if you predrill. Would they object to having a trim moulding put around the edges to hold it down? Like an outside corner, maybe out of aluminum or stainless.

From the original questioner:
I cut and installed the top earlier this week. The silicone is what I ended up using partially because the clear, double sided tape wasn't readily available. The guy likes it very much so far and the adhesive is holding.

I did think about some sort of trim molding but part of the problem is that the edge around the top has 3-4 beads as a trim feature so I'd be covering that up. Plus, the laminate finish is a darkly stained cherry that I would have to stain match with any sort of molding I used.

The beads were problematic themselves. In order to use the laminate trimmer to cut the curve on the top I needed to run numerous layers of tape to make a smooth surface for the bearing to run across and prevent the bit from cutting into the PL finish.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Laminates and Solid Surfacing

  • KnowledgeBase: Laminates & Solid Surfacing: Fabrication Techniques

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2018 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article