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Glueing formica to old formica situation

Richard Member


I work on Yachts.
Have a situation with some horizontal interior surfaces of odd shapes need HPL glued over existing HPL.
Two things are of concern:
1. The best product for adhesion strength
wise that will also withstand heat from
the southern sun beating on it.
2. The areas are recessed down in with a
Teak border around them. Need an
adhesive other than contact cement
that will provide movement and at least
a few minute set time allowing correct
The 6 areas vary in size and shape and are from 1.5 sq.ft. to 10 sq.ft. and all are
odd shapes.

5/15/21       #2: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...

I would call Jamestown Distributers for advise on this. They specialize in all things boats and yacht supplies. I get my Epifanes marine poly from them.

5/15/21       #3: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...

3m makes double sided tape in different widths. The roll I have is 48Ē wide. I would peel a small section and stick it and then pull off backer. I think they use this stuff to apply some of the body trims on cars.

5/15/21       #4: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Mark B Member

Why wouldnt you just epoxy it down like everythung else on a yacht/boat deck. Seems obvious. Now HPL may be a concerning choice for a "yacht" but i guess it is what it is.

5/15/21       #6: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Richard Member

Jamestown would not know, double sided tape is questionable for endurance and epoxy is a thought but would hace to vacuum press each piece so a bit of an way to weight it to make sure it would have even adheshion. Thinking I could use epoxy and mix it a little hot, roll it for 15 minutes and hope it kicks.

Old 80's Grand Banks 42, formica on there now, owner doesn't want to rip everything apart fo solid surface.

5/15/21       #7: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
pat s gilbert

Richard if you do use a vacuum bag, get the laminate with a peal coat. And use the stuff that distributes the vacuum. Getting the glue off the laminate is a real PIA

I assume you can take the tops out of the boat?

Maybe just take some marine grade plywood down to a laminator and have them use a water proof glue instead of the usual PVA.

Use the old tops for a template?

Now it is your turn to tell me how that won't work (8^l)

5/16/21       #8: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Richard Member

Still working on it!
A tops (horizontal surfaces) are getting covered over, a lot of pattern making. What i normally do is make a stick pattern, from that make a 1/4" ply pattern ( and check it for fit) and overlay an oversized rough cut laminate to it (using double sided tape) rin the flush cut bit around with the trimmer.

The tops can not come out and there is a fiddle those, some are hinged and lift up so I removed them and take them to the shop.

The choice by the owner is not available with peel coat, there is also a problem that it can't squeeze up the sides where it meets either.

The ones with the fiddle (which can't be removed) are the problem. The laminate has to fit exactly down between and fiddles and around other things with no addtional trim. No chance to be taken trying to use contact, it's a one shot deal, if off by 1/32" when starts to go down it's satrting over with a mess.

Now the thought once i find the right adhesive is to use the 1/4" ply pattern on top and weight it down all over with ??

Put some photos in. been doint this stuff 40 years and this is a tough one, figure it out sooner or later.

View higher quality, full size image (640 X 480)

View higher quality, full size image (640 X 480)

View higher quality, full size image (640 X 480)

5/16/21       #9: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Richard Member

Need to also fit around all those guages...I know how to pattern around them for an exact fit ( they can't come out without a lot of time and work.)

Maybe somebody has a better idea that I. I figure it would take me 4 hours to make the piece to go in there. 12 to remove them all and get the piece in and put it all back together.

5/16/21       #10: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
David R Sochar Member

Your last post, with the photo of all the fittings that the HPL has to 'fit over' did it for me.

That simply is not reasonable to ask of any craftsman. If it is a lot of work to remove the fittings, so be it. It is a lot of work.

He is asking you to jump into a job that cannot be done well or even satisfactorily, and is hoping you will save him some money by sweating details that cannot be resolved.

Hell, man you are smarter than that, eh?

5/16/21       #11: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
james e mcgrew  Member


I took my old top off and used it as a template I hada areas in the top but i wanted a more permanent solution so i used a solid Phenolic (Learn solid surface in case you may know how already) these kinds of boats need to hold value, I know I have owned several, I was a Boatswains Mate in the USN working on Admirals Yachts and moved to private Yachts for ten Years Ended up developing the Crown Bay Marina in St Thomas (Google it) And Returned to the US in 1985 and most here Know my story till now.

Consider a new substrate of a better long term use with out rot like exteria or marine ply (seal all edges and sides.

I have some sheets of 3/4 phenolic left from a Change order that the client changed and left me with a few thousand bucks worth (We get lucky sometimes.

I love renovating boats, i sailed a good 200 k in KMs before i came ashore and now at 65 have rekindled my Love

I will install the new counters next week

Good luck and if i can hel feel free 1

5/16/21       #12: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
james e mcgrew  Member


Did not see your second Post,, Now i see what you are dealing with

5/16/21       #13: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
pat s gilbert

Dave said what I was thinking

Even if he willing to pay to the moon
and then only if he is willing to take the tops out

This is no way you can win doing this job

5/16/21       #14: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
pat s gilbert

Since you're probably going to do this job anyway

You might consider sticks that go to the ceiling that spring into place and put pressure down on the laminate

Your method of making a template will work if you take your time

At least tell the customer that you have to caulk between the Formica and wood

Talk to West Systems on the adhesive

5/16/21       #16: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Richard  Member


well for many reasons none of the above won't work:
The tops can not come out, just the area forward or the help is a few weeks work at least.

Epoxy does not stick to HPL well even if you rough it up. Basically plastic.

Can not press it down from the ceiling... headliner is perfect, would not take the chance.

Too bad solid surface is not available in Indigo, the choice of the owner ( long story). And forward of the helm and all the 6 pieces that lift into storage and some sliding companion way panels are also a problem..solid surface is out.

I have had this pattern thing down for years, no problem with that and making things fit right on.

No fillers or caulk allowed ( just my standards)

The main problem at this point is adhesive. What can you stick HPL to existing HPL ???

View higher quality, full size image (640 X 480)

View higher quality, full size image (480 X 640)

5/16/21       #18: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...

Rough up the Plam well.

I usually use poster board for exact templates with some hot glue as it usually wraps like very grade.

Titebond 2 with some contact. Contact will hold until the tightbond sets up

5/17/21       #19: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Kevin Dunphy


I've been down that road before .I did the bow of the boat all the side panels and ceiling it was an insurance job.
A boat that size is hard to work in trying to repair doesn't go well , I think replaced or nothing everything looks very old its beyound its life .The problem with boats that size the owners have egos the size of the Queen Mary they think there seasoned Captains know everything about boats

5/17/21       #20: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Gary Balcom

Doesnít wilsonart have a line that is made for this? I think itís called re-cover, and is basically peel and stick laminate.

But, Iím with the others, doesnít look like a job that your likely to come out on top.

5/17/21       #21: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Bruce H

Even if you fit it perfect and get glued to the old surface it is only stuck as well as the original surface was stuck. That is going to be your weak link. Laminate is made from paper and expands and contracts just like wood. If your substrate doesn't move at the same rate as the laminate it simply shears the glue line.

5/17/21       #22: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Richard  Member


Gary: I have used that before, it does nor permit time for positioning which I would need in the particular situation. If it's off by 1/32" I would have to start over. Re-Cover is just a sticky as contact.

5/17/21       #23: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Richard  Member


I get that, I have a solution once I come up with the correct adhesive.
I found so far that a Melamine to Phenolic glue would work the best ( ROO GLUE CLEAR).

As far as the movement the ROO is not rigid and should have enough give to assure adhesion according to the enginner at Choice Brands who supplies adhesives for Formica.
I ordered some and some Titebond for Melamine and will do a couple test to see
how they work.
I'm in Florida so between the hot sun and the refrigerator & freezer I can put the sample to the test.

Will post the results. with both sides roughed up with 40 grit it ought to work.

5/18/21       #25: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...

Sounds to me like you are in the wrong business. I would look for a different line of work.

5/19/21       #26: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Adam Spees

40 grit? That is gravel glued to paper. Epoxy likes 80 grit. I would guess that Roo doesn't care.

12hrs to remove a bunch of gauges and drill some holes? 4 hrs to try to exactly fit it? I would take out the gauges.

1/32" tolerances everywhere sounds a bit over the top.

"I work on Yachts" as your opening line is like saying I'm a neurosurgeon and I only do the absolute best work possible by a mortal.

I would consider West System G/flex. It's designed for odd materials like plastic. Give the Gougeon tech guys a call. Jamestown is simply a distributer. At the very least buy some and do a peel test with some laminate. You will no doubt find some use for g/flex in your future.

The Roo melamine stuff is good for melamine, so it should be okay to stick two pieces of roughed laminate together.

5/20/21       #27: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Dave L

Roo is water based a needs one surface that can absorb/transfer out the water.

5/21/21       #28: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Tom Gafgen

I've seen laminate stuck on over old laminate with construction adhesive and a notched trowel.

5/21/21       #29: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Josh Koschak

You could sub out to a laser scanning company to scan the surfaces that need recovering. They can then turn the scan in to a flat layout ready to cut the new material out by cnc. Then all you need to do is adhere the new laminate down. We have an Artec Leo handheld 3D laser scanner at work and use it for designing molds for urethane parts, the technology is incredible.

6/5/21       #30: Glueing formica to old formica situ ...
Richard  Member


Solution is found and it was right in front of me and no one even though of it.

I use "Heat Lock" when I do veneering that can't be clamped or fit in a vacuum bag.

I did some samples and the things come out rock solid, you can not get it apart.

Sometimes you just "can't see the forest for the trees"

I bet someone Googles Heat Lock,
I've been using it for years. Best thing since sliced bread.

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