Last year, we replaced our old laminate counter tops with new laminate counter tops. My parents helped us install them, and they make the kitchen look so much better. At the mitered corners, we used the seam sealer that was sold to go with the counter top we bought, and it worked well. But on the seam closest to the sink, the seam sealer sort of got washed away. I think it’s because it gets wet so much more than the rest of the counter, but I could tell that the seam was no longer sealed. I reapplied some of the sealer a few months ago, but last week I noticed that the seam had bubbled up. I guess some water had gotten into it, and the result was an obvious warping where the two pieces of the counter joined.
I was bummed. Not only because we worked so hard on the kitchen to make it look nice, but also because we’re hoping to put our house on the market soon, and a bubbly kitchen counter probably isn’t a big selling point.
We dried the counter thoroughly and put dumbbells in a saucepan on top of the bubbled area overnight. But it didn’t do much. So we decided to wait and think about it. Over the next few days, we were careful to make sure that the area stayed completely dry, and we noticed that the warped area was shrinking. It seemed to be drying out on its own. It became much less obvious, but it was still there, and still bothering me.
I turned to my buddy google to see if I could find any tips, and the best advice I found was to apply heat and pressure (not too much heat though, because apparently that can melt the glue that holds the laminate to the wood). I pondered how I would go about applying heat and pressure, and then I remembered an appliance that gets used about once every three years in the Frugal Babe house: my iron.
I put a thick towel on the counter, and ironed over the towel. I spent about 30 minutes rubbing the iron back and forth over the towel, applying as much downward pressure as I could, and moving the towel around to keep the counter from over-heating. My son was watching from the floor, and I’m glad he’s only 11 months old and still thinks that his mama is awesome even if she does spend half an hour ironing the counter top.
The result is a nearly perfect countertop seam. You can’t see the damage anymore, but you can feel a slight rise in one side of the seam if you run your hand along it. Overall, it’s dramatically better than it was, and well worth the half hour of ironing (and four days of waiting while the counter dried out and shrank on its own). Now I just need to go find a better quality laminate counter seam sealer!