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chenzarino 04-20-2010 01:35 PM

(un)bending laminate countertop
So I'm adding a breakfast bar to the kitchen, and naturally want it to match the existing countertops. They are your run of the mill laminate countertops with backsplash.

The breakfast bar will not be against a wall, so I want the nice rounded edges on both sides. To get a piece custom made is way overpriced.

What I did was purchase a piece of the same countertop, and i want to turn down the backsplash side so the whole piece is flat with the rounded edge on both sides.

The countertop is actually 3 pieces, the base, the backsplash, and a squared off piece that they both are attached to, all covered with the single piece of laminate.

What I have done is cut out the piece in between so I can turn down the backsplash side to make one flat countertop.

Now I need to heat the laminate to turn it down and flatten it. I tired the hair dryer route, but by the time I got from end to end it was cool again. I'm thinking i'll need to use an actual heat gun or a torch to get it hot enough to bend the whole thing down at once, but ive never done it so im concerned about ruining it since I have pretty much no margin for error. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Here is a pic of the piece ready to be bent:

Just Bill 04-22-2010 06:11 AM

That is a post formed top, done in a very controlled atmosphere with expensive machines. Formica will not stand the kind of heat you are talking about. For a short piece it might be possible for a DIY, but not for a long piece. Invite 6 guys with heat guns over to help, but only use on the low setting.

tpolk 04-22-2010 06:14 AM

gonna stress at the seam

chenzarino 04-22-2010 08:39 AM

well, I was able to bend it down flat using a torch. You can see where the seam is if you get down and look at the right angle, but standing up looking at it you can't tell.

I'm on the fence about it, I may end up just cutting it and doing something else for that side.

Scuba_Dave 04-22-2010 02:10 PM

That seam really sticks out, even in the little pic
And will be a failure point I imagine

Big Bob 04-24-2010 08:42 PM

I am amazed that you did as well as you did. :thumbsup:

Post formed counter tops are usually made from (VT) very thin not offered in the full assortment of laminates.

If your not happy.... you could salvage most of the top if your desired dimensions cutting off round edge and install some wood or solid nosing at perimeter. :)

Bud Cline 04-25-2010 02:37 PM


thetalkingmule 06-07-2012 02:41 PM

Just did this today with boiling water trickled along the joint. Worked like a charm, but the line is still very visible. Maybe gonna try a towel and iron tonight to flatten it out more.

Jaymoy 10-12-2014 12:38 AM

hello can I use a heat gun to soften the seem of the laminate counter top so I can bend it flat? I am trying to make a kitchen counter bar with the sides rounded on both sides. I plan removing the middle squared piece so it will lay flat. I also think if I staple the seem together and apply wood glue it will hold it together stronger and flat. Could someone plz post some pictures of their project that they have done on this subject plz

Jaymoy 10-12-2014 12:41 AM

Do you have any pictures of your countertops after you bend it???

mako1 10-12-2014 08:06 AM

You can bend laminate using a heat gun as long as the bend is not to radical.You need a temperature of around 280 degrees.Staples and wood glue are not the way to go.
Stick with a good grade contact adhesive,

joecaption 10-12-2014 10:23 AM

Could have just bought what's called a bar top and had two rounded edges.

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