Bonding Laminate to Melamine

Tips on surface preparation and adhesive selection for making laminate stick to melamine. November 9, 2005

We need some feedback on the success rate of bonding laminate to melamine with spray type adhesives. The site condition in question will not be affected by direct sunlight. The melamine substrate will be roughed up with light sanding and wiped clean before spraying. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor A:
We rough it up with 60 grit belt, wipe down with alcohol, bond with Sovereign-Flexweld 301 waterborne contact. Apply by spray in the shop, with roller or 4" foam brush in the field. It works very well.

From contributor B:
This sounds like standard operating procedure. I hit it over with 80 or 100 grit to cut the surface and go. I use a standard solvent based sprayable contact. I tried the water based years ago and didn't like it. They may have reformulated them, but I stick with the tried and true. If you're talking about the spray that comes in the little cans, I tried that also and didn't feel it held as well as what comes in the can or drum.

From contributor A:
We tried lots of waterbornes before starting to use Flexweld 301. My guys wouldn't consider going back to solvent now. We tested the spray can stuff. It was OK when laid, but you could peel it off easily in 6 months time.

From the original questioner:
The main concern is the relatively poor adhesion of the spray contact to the melamine. Sanding the melamine substrate does help somewhat. Is there any there anything else we can do to help get a decent bond, besides wiping down with solvent?

From contributor A:
If you are laminating in the shop and not in the field, run your melamine panels thru the widebelt before assembly to remove most of the melamine coating. Then assemble fast because they will want to curl.

From contributor C:
You can stick laminate to melamine but it is not a good practice. The panel is not balanced and it will warp. I do it occasionally but not on doors or anything that can warp.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor D:
Laminating over Melamine is standard practice for us. We are a production shop in Florida (constant humidity fluctuation) and have no problems at all with it. Building cabinets out of 5/8" Melamine board that has the Melamine surface 2 sides, we then belt sand the exterior with 60 grit, blow off the surface with an air gun, and laminate using spray contact adhesive. Doors are laminate faced and Melamine backs, and very rarely have we ever had a warping problem, even in this unstable climate.