Laminate countertops have become a popular choice in many kitchens. They are easy to install, affordable, and have a wide range of texture and color options. Most importantly, laminate countertops look great!
I am drawn to laminate countertops for their durability and good looks. But just like me, you may encounter a few problems during their installation. One concern that leaves many homeowners wondering has something to do with how to hide seams in laminate countertops.
Table of Contents
- How to hide seams in laminate countertops
- How do you fill seams in laminate countertops
- How do you hide cuts on a laminate countertop
- How do you hide seams on countertops
- How do you hide Formica edges
How to hide seams in laminate countertops
While laminate countertops are known for their striking appearance and uncompromising performance, a common catch to them is the visible seams, even if you installed them correctly. Granted, the seams might not be visible to the point of being sore to the eyes.
You can also tuck them as flat and neat as you want. But, they are still comparatively more visible than other countertop materials’ seams. This is why you must learn to hide seams in your laminate countertops.
How do you fill seams in laminate countertops
One thing I noticed about laminate countertops is that the most minor gaps still tend to be visible even with a clean installation. You can fill in these seams, so that’s good news.
Here’s how I have done it in the past.
1. Use solvent to clean your countertop
Start by applying pure acetone to a soft rag or cotton swab. Never use abrasives like steel wool or scouring pads since these will only leave scratches behind. You can also use the solvent specified by the seam filler’s manufacturer. Use the solvent to clean the gap in your counter and its surrounding surface.
2. Rinse and dry your counter
Use a wet sponge to rinse off the solvent from the counter. Dry it with a clean rag. Use some sterile cotton swabs to ensure the gap is also dry. Let your countertop dry completely.
3. Prepare the seam filler
Squeeze a good amount of seam filler on a spare laminate piece or a paper plate. If the manufacturer recommends, you can mix the product with a putty knife. Wait for the filler to become less liquid. Fillers harden once exposed to the air, so stop mixing before it turns too stiff or hard to use.
4. Apply the filler
Scoop the filler on the putty knife and apply it to the gap. Scrape the knife in perpendicular motions across the seam, forcing any excess filler into the opening.
5. Remove excess fillers
Put some solvent or acetone into a cloth and run it perpendicularly across the gap to remove leftover excess filler.
I also made a second application if the gap needed to be filled more after the first one. Just make sure that you let the filler dry. I add more once the filler has shrunk and the gap is no longer appropriately filled. Finish it off by applying solvent on top to make the filler surface smooth and invisible.
How do you hide cuts on a laminate countertop
My laminate countertops also endure some cuts and scratches. They don’t look great, so let me share some ways to hide them.
1. Use baking soda for shallow cuts
It’s common for the knife to slip my hand when using it, resulting in a shallow cut on my laminate counter that doesn’t pierce through the finish and pattern layer. I buff these superficial scratches using a mild abrasive like white toothpaste or baking soda.
- Spread toothpaste or sprinkle baking soda on the cut.
- Dampen a soft cloth with water and wring it properly before you rub it on the surface.
- After buffing out the scratch, use water to rinse the area and check again.
- If you can still see the scratch, add more toothpaste or baking soda and rub until it’s gone.
2. Apply furniture paste wax to fill and camouflage knife cuts
Furniture paste wax offers an easy and quick way of filling and camouflaging knife cuts, just don’t expect scratches to disappear completely.
- Use a soft cloth to apply the wax because steel wool or other abrasives will only create more scratches.
- Allow the wax to dry for several minutes.
- Rub it vigorously to buff it up using a clean cloth or the one you used first.
- Although the wax turns into a hard finish, it won’t have the same hardness as a laminate repair paste.
The wax wears off after some time, so you should reapply it every several months, depending on the amount you use.
3. Repair cuts with laminate paste
Laminate repair paste products are pliable and soft once applied and cured after a few hours into a hard finish. These are available in different colors, and you can even mix colors to achieve the color that will match your counter. You should get an excellent match to hide the cuts properly.
- Use water and dish soap to clean the surface around the cuts and dry it with a clean towel.
- Use a putty knife to apply the laminate paste and work it deeply into the cuts. Remove any excess.
- Let the product harden, and use a soft cloth to remove any residue.
How do you hide seams on countertops
Since you can’t eliminate seams on your counters, you can still hide them using seam filler that will match the color of the surface.
- Scrape out the seams with a putty knife and remove any debris. Apply some acetone on a clean rag and wipe every seam.
- Use a plastic paste to apply a small amount of seam filler. Mix the filler until you achieve a consistent color. Scoop putty onto the edge of the putty knife and drag this across the seam. You can repeat the process until you fill the seam.
- Scrape off any excess filler using the putty knife. Avoid scraping across the top of the seam to avoid accidentally removing the stuffing. Brush off the dried filler and apply acetone on a clean rag to clean the seams’ surrounding area.
How do you hide Formica edges
You can buy different branded edging products to hide Formica edges. These products can adhere to the side of Formica laminate products. The edging products will also let you upgrade from the usual flat edges to many different profiles. These can even hide those brown lines. DIYers like you and I won’t also have a hard time installing these edging treatments.
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator, EvolutDesign.com
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation. To see the entire team at Evolutdesign.com, visit Our Team page.