What is Countertop Resurfacing?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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Countertop resurfacing is a process of recycling rather than replacing an existing countertop. This strategy makes it possible to alter the appearance of the countertop so that it appears to be new. Choosing to resurface a bathroom or kitchen countertop is both cost effective and an excellent way to ensure the final product is exactly what you want for the space.

While countertop resurfacing is sometimes referred to as countertop refinishing, there is a subtle difference between the two approaches. Both strategies do make an older kitchen counter look new again. However, the refinishing process often involves repairing or re-coating the existing laminate or surface layer of the countertop, rather than stripping off old laminate and affixing new product to the existing countertop. In spite of the small difference, it is not unusual for the two terms to be used interchangeably.

The actual resurfacing process may utilize one of two methods. For a badly damaged counter, the usual approach is to remove the laminate covering completely, then strip off the underlying glue. By leaving the bare counter as smooth and clean as possible, it is possible to spread an even coat of glue and set a new laminate panel in place. The end result is a brand new look for the bathroom or kitchen counter at a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire top.


A second approach to countertop resurfacing does not call for the removal of the original laminate. If the existing laminate cover is in good condition, the homeowner may choose to clean the top thoroughly, then use sandpaper to scratch into the surface. After removing any dust and debris created by the sanding, cement or glue is spread in an even layer across the surface and new laminate placed directly on top of the older laminate. This approach does tend to take less time and can speed up the pace of a kitchen renovation significantly.

Generally, it is a good idea with any countertop resurfacing project to allow some overhang with the new laminate. Doing so minimizes the chances of accidentally setting the new covering in place without achieving full coverage of the countertop. After allowing the cement or glue to dry and cure for a day, the overhang can be cut to allow the edges to be flush with the counter itself.

Depending on the size of the kitchen, it may be a good idea for two people to work on a countertop resurfacing project. Doing so not only cuts the actual work time involved, but also will make it easier to place the new laminate in precisely the ideal position before the cement begins to bind the new covering.


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