Laminate kitchen countertops should last a lifetime, if you know a few tricks for maintaining and repairing them. Laminate comes in an seemingly infinite number of styles and patterns these days. It also requires practically no maintenance to keep it looking good. But like all indestructible things these days, there comes a time when the inevitable happens, and things need a little TLC.
Wax On Wax Off
One of the great things about having such a variety of patterns that laminates comes in these days is how well they hide the dirt. Assuming you want the dirt hidden. Every once in a while, giving your countertops a little extra cleaning with a soap and a brush will remove a surprising amount of hidden dirt. This is a good exercise for both your countertops and the people who use them. Now here's something you probably never thought of doing for your countertops now that they're squeaky clean. Try a little car wax. Yep you heard me. Car wax. The same way your car enjoys the protection of a little wax coating, so will your countertops. Not to mention a nice shiny finish. If your a little unsure of the benefits, try waxing a small section that is the least visible of all your countertops. That way you can see if you like the look after all that effort.
Bubble Bubble Boil and Iron
Every notice little bumps forming in your laminate countertops. If your like me, you probably figured the only way to fix something like that was to replace the whole countertop. Well, there is a way to fix those bumps, and it's much cheaper then replacing the entire thing. Simply place a damp towel or cloth over the offending bumps. Next heat up a clothes iron, and place it on the cloth for ten seconds or so. This kind of softens up the glue under the laminate that is causing the bump. Next you need to place something heavy on the laminate section for at least twelve hours. You could try getting one of your kids to sit on it. A medium sized eight or nine year old should do the trick. Of course if you don't have one of those available, then a few really heavy books should do the trick.
Just A Flesh Wound
So someone (usually named I-don't-know) in my house has just taken a chip out of your beautiful laminate in the most visible spot of the entire countertop. Apart from the obvious aesthetic damage, this chip now has the potential to allow water in to damage the supporting wood base underneath. Forunately most home centers carry a chip filler that comes with an assortment of colors that should match your countertop. While not totally naked to the eye, it should be less noticeable, and will definitely prevent water from doing any damage.
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