How To Repair Water Damaged Formica: An Easy Guide

If you’ve ever experienced water breaching and damaging Formica, then look no further! This article will teach you how to repair water damaged Formica in an instant.


how to repair water damaged formica

What Is Formica?

Before discussing how you can salvage Formica despite water damage, we must first know the material. Formica is a laminated composite material, meaning it is not made purely from one thing. Instead, manufacturers make Formica from various parts or elements.

People credit Daniel J. O’Conor and Herbert A. Faber as the creators of this material. They invented it in 1912 while working at Westinghouse. However, the governing bodies only granted a patent for Formica on November 12, 1918.

O’Conor and Faber initially made Formica a substitute for mica, a naturally occurring mineral dust used in the makeup and construction industries. Mica was a popular electric insulator back in the day but was soon overshadowed by its manufactured counterpart.

At present, manufacturers use Formica in a wide variety of ways. Some people use it to make various laminated plastic items such as tabletops and countertops, which are some of the most susceptible to water damage.


What are the signs of water-damaged Formica?

Water damage can present itself in different ways, including but not limited to:

  • Warping and taking on a different shape
  • Water stains
  • Swelling
  • Splitting and cracking

If you notice these signs, inspect your item immediately for further signs of damage.


How do you fix water damaged Formica?

After seeing signs of water damage, you may now be wondering: how do I fix it? If this question is on your mind, read on to find out how to fix water-damaged Formica.


Step #1. Evaluate the damage

Before proceeding with any of the succeeding steps, you must first figure out the extent of the damage. Check for any of the signs of water damage that have been enumerated above.

If you find any, make a mental note of them. In this step alone, you can determine whether you have to get professionals involved. If the damage is too bad or if you think the repairs are too bothersome, then give your trusted handyman a call to fix your problem.

You can also determine from this step whether your insurance coverage should be checked. Depending on the provider, your insurance can cover the costs. If unsure, make sure to check with your lawyer.


Step #2. Clean up

After figuring out whether you can do the project yourself, you will need to clean up the affected area. If there are any items on the water-damaged Formica, you will want to remove them and place them on a cool, dry surface.

Next, remove any leftover moisture or wetness using a clean rag. Be careful not to wipe away too vigorously as this can damage the Formica.

Now that your surface is clean, the next logical thing to do is lift the laminate ever so slightly. Check for any trapped debris and remove it as needed. Be careful not to pry the Formica too wide open as this can cause further damage.


Step #3. Apply heat

With both the top and the bottom of the laminate prepped, you will want to apply heat to the surface using either an iron or a heat gun. This allows the glue to soften enough to become usable again.

This step can take a while, especially when the Formica has been damaged by water. Be patient and allow the heat to do its job.


Step #4. Apply pressure

Once the glue is tacky again, you can apply the laminate over the affected area and weigh it down with heavy objects. Books or perhaps a clamp, if you have one, should do the job well.

Allow the item to cool and check to see if it adhered properly. If not, repeat steps 3 and 4 using brand new adhesives to make sure the job is done.


Step #5. Glue the underside

Once the topside has adhered to the substrate, the entire item can be re-adhered. You may use contact adhesives.

After, roll out the bubbles to ensure a good finish. Again, place heavyweights such as books or a clamp for at least an hour or for however long the adhesive requires.


Step #6. Replace

If the water damage still hasn’t been resolved despite the steps enumerated above, the next logical step would be to remove the water-damaged Formica and replace it with something new. It is recommended to hire a professional for this.


How do you maintain Formica?

Formica is made to be resistant to heat and easy to clean. It can last for a long time as long as it is adequately maintained. The tips below can help you retain Formica’s looks and functionality:

  • Avoid too much heat.
  • Don’t use sharp objects.
  • Keep the surface dry.
  • Don’t use harsh cleaning agents.
  • Keep Formica away from humid or moist areas.



Despite how heartbreaking it may be to have your furniture damaged by water, do not lose hope. For certain plastic products, this guide on how to repair water damaged Formica will surely be helpful.

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