Wood laminates – Tips for easy installation



When we made a post on a DIY laptop stand, Vinay Oommen from House on the Rock asked : "Hi Can you post sometime on how to work with laminate : How to cut it, paste it and precautions to be taken, tools to use and avoid etc." So here goes.
Wooden laminate, a popular choice for wardrobes and kitchen cabinets, is ideal for your small woodworking furniture projects. Laminates provide a whole range of options in terms of color, texture and patterns adding the much needed variety to your home DIY projects. You can check out Merino Laminates or Greenlam India to get an idea.

Laminates for wardrobes and cabinets
Cabinets installed with laminates


This tutorial only addresses simple installation of laminates using Fevicol SH synthetic resin glue for “small” projects that you do inside your home. Their industrial applications and factory installation using presses are not handled here. This DIY also has nothing to do with wooden floor laminates.

Step 1: What you need

Laminate installation - materials required
Materials required for laminate installation

  • Laminate (May be available only in 8ftx4ft or similar standard dimensions. You will have to check with your supplier if he will have left over stuff)
  • Cutter (A mica cutter or an xacto knife)
  • Glue (Fevicol SH Synthetic resin glue)
  • Masking tape or clamps


Step 2: Cutting the laminate

Laminate being cut using a mica cutter
Cutting laminate using mica cutter / Xacto knife

  • The laminates are only 1mm thick which makes it easy to cut them to the desired size using a mica cutter (shown above) or an xacto knife.
  • They can be cut much like how you would cut a sheet of cardboard using a pencil knife.
  • Run the knife or the cutter along the cutting line couple of times before breaking the laminate off.


Step 3: Applying glue

Glue application for laminate installation
Glue applied on the rough underside and on the wood surface

  • Have you seen tiles being installed on a smooth wall?  Before the installation, the wall is chipped a little along the area of installation to make it rough. This makes it easy for the cemented tile to have a strong hold.
  • Similarly, laminates and Mica sheets come with a very rough underside enabling a strong bond to be created with the surface it is being stuck on to.
  • Apply glue generously on the underside and also on the wooden surface. Give it a minute.


Step 4: Installing the sheet

Laminate held onto the wood using masking tape
Use masking tape and clamps to hold laminate in place

  • Remember I mentioned that they are only about 1mm in thickness? It means that they have a natural tendency to bend (will break beyond a certain point). Because of this bend, they may not sit properly when the glued underside is placed on the wooden surface.
  • To overcome to issue, it is important to hold the laminate tightly pressed onto the wooden surface until the glue dries.
  • Use a masking tape (Click here for other practical uses for the masking tape) or C-Clamps to keep the laminate in place. Allow enough time for drying (Be safe and wait 8 hrs at least)

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Any protrusion of the laminate can be trimmed using the xacto knife to ensure it is neatly aligned along the edge of the wooden surface.

So there you go. Try it out. My plywood supplier has lots of leftover laminate sheets in different sizes. He does not have much use for them because there may not be takers and so is always happy to part with them for an amount. You just need to be lucky enough to find the colors of your choice just as I found the orange laminate for my DIY laptop stand.


It's your turn now
  • Have you worked with laminates before? 
  • Have you used it for your wardrobes and kitchen cabinets ? 
  • Did you have a tough time choosing from the variety of available designs ? 
  • Share your thoughts.

Linking in : Colours Dekor
- Somu


To stay updated about our latest projects and product launches,




139 comments:

  1. Lovely tips!! You truly make all this look so easy... You just do!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patricia, thanks :) Am not sure if I make it look so easy, but I sure want to show that somethings are not so difficult if one has the right hand tool :) Thanks for being ever supportive of our work.

      Delete
  2. Thanks a lot. This demystifies working with laminate. I had tried cutting laminate with a jigsaw. What I got was very chipped pieces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vinay, glad it demystifies. Using the mica cutter can chip it too if you are not too careful. Sometimes you can just run the blade across the sheet multiple times that it cuts right across the laminate eliminating the need to break it off.

      The mica cutter is sure a handy tool that I use for even cutting 6mm plywood. It can however be conveniently used on anything that it upto 4mm thick. Thanks for the pointer :)

      Delete
  3. Nice tutorial for wood laminates. I wonder how we can apply this technique in our business to give more value to what we do.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautifully framed for first time user.
    I learnt and did lot of works from this article
    I welcome more articles on this

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautifully framed for first time user.
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    I welcome more articles on this

    ReplyDelete
  6. is any other adhesive for laminating the plywood? and what is contact cement?

    ReplyDelete
  7. in some cases the plywood gets bend after pasting the laminates...how to avoid that? can anyone help?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, Very good tutorial. Congrats!! Can you PLEASE also share your ideas on how to design wardrobe for bedroom. Few basic concepts, platforms, kind of plywood/plyboard etc.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks a lot for the helpful tutorial. Is there any other glue that can be used (instead of fevicol) to avoid the bending problem? I have glued a thin strip of wood to a wooden floor, and I placed weights on top, but that didn't prevent the bending.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Much obliged. This demystifies working with cover. I had a go at cutting overlay with a jigsaw. What I got was extremely chipped pieces.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice tips i loved the way you used wood laminates, can you please share some important tips regarding door laminates and high pressure laminates in details.

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