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substrate for "formica" counter top

oldknothead's picture

What is the curent thinking for best material for use under laminate ("Formica")counter top: sanded exterior glue plywood, furniture grade particne board or ?

Top will have corner sink and diagonal edge on counter top.

(post #77866, reply #1 of 7)

I have seen Advantech being put to use with great results. My next one will be that.

Last one I did I used 3/4" Luaun ply wood, and it was great. I hate Particle board and MDF.

Parolee # 40835  

(post #77866, reply #2 of 7)

To me, it would depend on its location and use. I would (and use) a 3/4 b/c ply, especially in a wet location. A better grade or sanded seems like overkill. The manufacturer suggests particle board.

(post #77866, reply #3 of 7)

I've used just about everything- pb, mdf, plywood.

But on 2 jobs about 10 years ago, I had a problem with the glue, and the counters started de-laminating. Fortunately, I had used the furniture grade pb, so the manufacturer covered me for both materials and labor on replacing the tops.

My supplier said that if I had used ply, I wouldn't have gotten anything.

Now, this is an extremely rare circumstance. And I've done ply since. But to be covered for any defects in materials, you gotta follow the manufacturer's rules.

(post #77866, reply #4 of 7)




    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #77866, reply #5 of 7)


Medex, Medite, or marine ply. I used to do institutional millwork and all wet area counter's substrates were water resistant per 6400 specs.

Chuck S

live, work, build, ...better with wood
live, work, build, ...better with wood

(post #77866, reply #6 of 7)

Our supplier sells 25" blanks ob particle board specifically for laminate tops.  We get them in 12' lengths.  That doesn't mean thats what you have to use, but that what its made for.  I made some temporary tops for my kitchen and laminated just the top side of 3/4" cdx.  They sat on my cabinets for about 8 months with no problems.  Now I have a big peice of it outside that I throw my lacrosse ball at.  It's be out in the weather for over a year and hasn't delaminated yet. 

(post #77866, reply #7 of 7)

Ditto for the plywood. ACX plywood all the way, or lauan if it's a dry area. Depends on what's cheaper and available at the yard when I need it. Particle board and MDF always get messed up when water hits them. Also after a few years, the particle board starts turning to sawdust.