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Old 12-26-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
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Counter crisis


Hello,

My husband and I bought a 1953 ranch this summer and have begun to update the kitchen. The kitchen has an ugly laminate backsplash that matches the counters, ca. 1985 or so. The seam between the backsplash and counters has a metal trim. We want to re-laminate the counters, layering a new laminate over the old one, but the metal trim has to go first. We also plan on removing the old backsplash and probably taking out the crumbling plaster behind it, putting greenboard in its place. That project is moving ahead sloowwwwly.

Today I began to try and lift out the metal trim, figuring it would be better for backsplash/plaster removal to do it sooner than later. Hoping, per the internet's suggestion, that it was just epoxied in place, I used a tiny crowbar-type wedge to lift it....and out it came, with four nails and a couple of chunks of laminate and the composite substrate. This section of counter is tiny and stand-alone, on a bookcase next to the stove, but I'm not sure what to do with the bulk of the counter now, which is edged in the stuff all around.. I'm trying to get the top lip of the trim to lift open so I can maybe get a saw behind it and cut the nails, but that's not going especially well. Is this worth working on more?

Is there a way to reseal the substrate and chip, and relaminate over it, so I can just yank trim with nails out of the walls? Or should I try and detach the counter, so that I can pry the trim off appropriately? I feel like I'm in way over my head at this point.

Thanks,
Jen
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Hoping, per the internet's suggestion, that it was just epoxied in place,
Typical of the BS you can find on the Internet. Those trims were never "epoxied" on the counter-tops that I know of. Those trims were always an integral part of the countertop with a "critical-path" installation technique.

The laminate is installed with contact cement. You can probably use a heat-gun to heat the laminate and that will allow you to lift it a little. Be careful it will be very brittle and could snap and break.

The best way to renew those tops is to remove the entire top and start over.

You may well be in over your head.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:10 PM   #3
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I'm with Bud on this one, it a real chore to try and remove laminite, not likly to stick properly when going over an old top, and next to imposible to install a new laminite with the top in place, plus one section of laminite is going to cost over $100.00, plus you would have to have a trim router with trim bit.
Also you would spend days trying to do it.
Far faster to remove the old top and trash it or use it in the garage, and install a whole new one. Plus that would allow you to do your wall repairs whith out the top in the way.
Check out the ones there selling in Home Depot that look just like granite and have an ogee edge on the front and back of the back splash.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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Problem is, our counters don't meet in a nice 90* angle. There's a lazy susan in the corner and a diagonal bit of counter on top of it, so I'm not sure that we could even install the prefab ones. I was looking at them earlier.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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No corner is 90%, two choises Install the counter top first and try to get equal spacing on the two ends and set the drywall or tile board flush with the top of it, or just use a belt sander to remove some of the back splash back side. Done all the time.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyjen View Post
We want to re-laminate the counters, layering a new laminate over the old...
er, no.

Quote:
Or should I try and detach the counter, so that I can pry the trim off appropriately?
Yes.... And when you have it off throw it away or put it in the garage.

Get some new plywood and make all new countertop that you can glue your new laminate to and maybe some tile to make a simple back splash with and hide the wall damage too.

hth
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