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Thurman 09-23-2010 09:32 AM

Buckled countertop
I installed new formica counter tops about a year ago in a ladies home. She calls the other day to tell me that one of the tops has "buckled" up really bad. When I go over to look at it: There is a place where two tops meet at 45, and is about 2" long which has a very slight buckled up place, maybe four inches from the front edge. This appears to be where some water may have gotten in between the two pieces and caused the pressed wood product to swell some, raising the formica just enough to catch something slid across this area. It's not as bad as she had put it for sure. I did use a glue between the joints and a sealer on the top at initial installation. I'm still thinking some water/liquid got in there to cause this. Bottom line: She wants a new counter top. Any suggestions on how to lower this one little area and maintain the formica top's coloring? Thanks, David

BigJim 09-23-2010 02:05 PM

Thurman, this is just MHO only. Why did it take a year for this to show up? There must be water involved some way, at least that is what I think. Is her dishwasher close to that area? There could be steam from the dishwasher causing it, there could be a leak in her sink or under the cabinets allowing vapor to cause it. It don't seem logical to me that the counter top would have popped after a year just on it's own unless one of the bolts was way too tight. Just a thought.

Thurman 09-24-2010 12:57 AM

Thanks Jim, more detail: NO dishwasher, sweet little older widow lady lives alone. Joint in c'top is to left of sink, no known leak under sink, and I was all under it the other day. Range is to the left of joint. Bet it is hardly used anymore. It's just odd to me that in the entire length of this joint, approximately 26" (?) there is this one place about 2" long, 4" from the front edge buckled up. And as I said, about the thickness of the formica. It's just a nuisance thingy to her, but she wants that one entire section of c'top (with sink) replaced. I hate to be ugly, but I just don't see it her way. I'm trying to find a way to smooth this over. Both from a c'top solution and a PR solution. David

Just Bill 09-24-2010 06:25 AM

Once the particle board swells, it is all over, I know of no way to repair that. This is obviouly not a high dollar top, since it has a miter, so either she pays or you pay. It sounds like you did what you could to prevent water damage, but she spilled water, probably a lot over time. It has been a year, so it is not a manufacturing/installation error. See if she will go halves with you.

BigJim 09-24-2010 09:03 AM

That is an unfortunate situation for both of you. I really hate to sound so cold but even most new construction is over with after a year. If there had been something wrong, it would have shown up before a year, so like Bill said it isn't a manufacturing/installation error. I would tell her I would have to contact the manufacturer and see if they will stand behind it since so much time has lapsed, if so we will get it changed out, if they will not my hands are tied.

I personally would be willing to change it out if she bought a new one but make sure she pays up front as you will lose, widow or not. For some strange reason, every time I tried to help some one who I thought needed help, I got burned.

Just had another thought, you said the bad place was next to her range, I would almost be willing to bet she set a hot pan down on it or spilled hot water on it.

Ron6519 09-28-2010 08:59 PM

If this is one of those curved front counters, the front is usually raised a bit. If water pooled in the area, it would get into the seam if it wasn't water tight. Replacement would be the option.

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