There are two types of surfaces that our customers have: Existing Laminate or Bare Wood.
Prior to 1995 Sea Ray and other boat manufacturers used a thick Formica (usually white) covering for all the cabinet work. In most cases, if the thick Formica is in good shape, our laminate can be applied on top of it.
After 1995 the manufacturing process changed to a product called Vitricor. Vitricor was far more sensitive to moisture and temperature which caused the glue to release. Cloudy laminate, bubbles and mildew behind the laminate are indications that the glue has failed. When this happens, the old laminate must be completely removed and the surface prepped as bare wood.
Bare wood prep just ensures that the supporting surface is sanded and free of imperfections.
Step 2 -Cutting the laminate
Using heavy duty sharp scissors is the best way to rough cut the material for application. Ideally, the material should overlap all edges by 1/2" or more.
As you layout drawer faces and cabinet doors, pay particular attention to the "grain" orientation so that you get the correct grain alignment.
Cutting material for an exact fit is far more challenging if the cabinet framework cannot be removed. It is possible but the material needs to be carefully dry fit before it is applied.
Always keep the plastic grain cover in place and the wax paper attached to the back of the laminate.
Step 3 -Applying the Laminate
This is the hard part.
Our interior boat laminate comes with a very aggressive adhesive already applied to the back of the laminate. It is covered by wax paper. It will not release if it makes contact with a surface without damaging the laminate.
For application over existing laminate: No additional adhesive is required. Prep surface with a non -residue cleaner.
For application over bare wood: Coat the wood surface only with clear contact cement and wait the manufacturer's recommended time for it to set.
Apply laminate slowly by pulling the wax paper and pressing the laminate to the surface. This technique eliminates creating air bubbles in the surface.
Roll the surface with a laminate roller.
Step 4 -Trimming the laminate
With the clear grain protector in place, you can begin trimming the edges.
This is the fun part. Using a high speed router makes short work of cleaning up the edges and makes the greatest mess.
With different router bits you can blend edges or bevel them.
We generally stain exposed wood areas to match after we apply the laminate but you can also stain those areas before you apply it.
Step 5 -Removing the grain cover
Most of our customers can't wait to pull the grain cover off and admire their work. Make sure you have finished your routing, edging and staining before you do so.
When you are ready, remove the grain cover and celebrate.