Laminate Seam Separation Causes and Cures

      Melamine glue in the right place can stop those seams from opening up. September 26, 2006

I just installed Wilsonart laminate using solvent-based glue. I have very little experience in counter tops. Everything went fine and the seams looked great. The next day I went to cut out the sink and noticed my two seams had separated about a 32nd of an inch. Is there any kind of seam sealer that I can fill the seams with to help hide them? If not, is there any way to remove the laminate without destroying the MDF Particle Board.

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surfacing Forum)
From contributor A:
A 32nd of an inch is a good sized crack to fill or disguise. You can take the laminate off with laminate thinner or lacquer thinner. Did you use Wilsonart contact cement? Let it dry well, then you can put the contact cement back on. I usually place a melamine glue line about 1 inch back from my seams. This tends to bond the substrate and laminate together since they usually expand and contract differently.

From the original questioner:
I used Formica brand contact cement. What brand of melamine glue do you use on the seam? Do you put it on top of the contact cement 1 inch from the seam?

From contributor A:
I'll get back to you on the brand. As for the glue line, I run a strip of 3/4" masking tape across the substrate one inch on both sides of the seam location, and do the same on the back of the laminate. I leave enough of a space so that the contact will completely envelop the glue without leaving an air space at the edge. Spray the contact, pull the tape strips, put the glue on the line left by the tape on the substrate and put your seam together, and roll out. Prior to doing it this way we got complaints about the seams opening up and closing, and now we don't get any.

From contributor B:
You have an expansion problem due to humidity. I bet it was built in the humid air and then installed in a house with air conditioning.

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

    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 © 1996-2019 - 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