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Delaminating Cabinet Doors, Sides and Bottoms

September 28th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Cabinet door delamination is a major problem when it occurs. If two or three doors in the kitchen begin to peel, eventually all of the cabinet doors will be delaminating. I’ve had entire Formica kitchens that needed to have all of the plastic laminate pieces re-glued.

At the time the easiest way to re-glue loose plastic laminate was to gently peel the Formica back and spray Stay-put adhesive on the services. Whenever I did this, I never pulled the pieces completely off and always left the hardware in tact.


I would just pull half of the door laminate back and glue it and then pull the other half back and re-adhere it. I did this without removing the kitchen, bathroom vanity or office doors off of the cabinets. I would use a protective piece of cardboard to keep the contact adhesive from spraying all over everything.

Delaminating Thermofoil Doors

There’s nothing that can be done to repair these once they start eventually the delaminating process will filter through every kitchen cabinet door that you have. It will be necessary to replace the entire batch of raised panel doors. If this occurs prior to five years from when the were purchased, most company warranty’s will cover the expense of replacing them but not installing new ones.

When your cabinet sides, tops or bottoms begin to delaminate, use the same process that I described for adhering the materials again with Stay-put Spray Adhesive. If you take your time, the loose laminate parts can be re-adhered and last for a long time afterward.

When delaminating begins on you cabinet doors or parts it will continue. Generally the whole batch of glue that was originally used was either bad or not put on thick enough. Many of the non-flammable contact glue brands just start letting go of the bond after several years. Give my suggestions a try for re-gluing the cabinet’s sides or other parts that have started to delaminate. It may or may not cure the problem, but to try it will be less expensive than replacing all of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

If your countertops are delaminating they may need to be completely replaced or resurfaced.

  1. CC
    January 24th, 2010 at 06:07 | #1

    Interesting tread about de-laminating cabinet doors. I have been in the cabinet door industry for 10 years as a dedicated manufacture of cabinet doors and I can not count the number of people I have had on the phone complaining about this problem. There is NO way that de-lamination can be completely eliminated and there is only one reason why anybody would purchase Thermofoil cabinet Doors, it all comes down to price and you get what you pay for. Most manufactures has limited there warranty to 5 years and many of them has made to warranty process extremely complicated and there terms and conditions clearly state that Thermofoil Doors should not be used in hot, seamy or damp environments. This means DON’T use them in a kitchen. My advice is simple, purchase a two-pac door, it might scratch but you can always get it repainted and the extra cost is definitely worth it.

  2. admin
    April 14th, 2010 at 06:37 | #2

    CC, you are absolutely right. It is the price in comparison to the rich look of the vinyl wrapped cabinet doors that have made these such popular items in homes. I think as cabinet makers we have a responsibility to inform our customers about the product that they are purchasing.

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