The Ultimate Formica Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

You or someone you know probably have Formica in your bathroom or kitchen. Are you interested to know more about this widespread material? By taking this quiz you can see what you know about how Formica was created and how to repair your Formica countertops.

When was Formica invented?

Formica was created in 1913 by the Formica Corporation. In 1927 they patented the "barrier sheet" which would become the tabletop and countertop we know today.


What was Formica made to replace?

As the name indicates, Formica was made "for mica" -- in place of mica electrical insulation.


Which famous ship used laminates from Formica?

The Queen Mary used Formica laminates on her walls.


How did Formica contribute to the war effort during World War II?

During the war, Formica built burster tubes for bombs and also built "Pregwood" airplane propellers, staying true to its original aim to improve electrical insulation. Formica production peaked during the war.


What is Formica made from?

Despite its hard appearance, Formica is actually made from treated paper.


What is the paper soaked in?

The paper is soaked in resin. The filler is soaked in phenolic resin and the decorative, outer part is soaked in clear melamine resin. The paper goes through a drying oven and a wringer to remove excess resin during the Formica process.


What is the maximum pressure applied to the stacks of resin-soaked paper to bond them together?

The pressure applied using a hydraulic ram ranges from 800 pounds up to 1,500 pounds per square inch. The ram heats the paper so that the resin liquefies and spreads, bonding the papers together to form a single laminate unit.


What is done to the laminate to allow it to be easily glued?

The laminate is sanded so that it will easily stick when glued to a countertop.


What is laminate repair paste used for?

Use the laminate repair paste on chips and scratches. You can buy it in various colors so you will be sure to find one that matches your countertop. The paste can be found at most hardware stores.


What should you use to clean the countertop before doing repairs?

Clean your countertop with ammonia before commencing repairs to remove dirt, grime and grease.


What is the problem with using countertop polish?

Countertop polish is an easy solution for small cracks. However, it will need to be reapplied every couple of months.


What is contact cement used for?

Contact cement is used to reapply laminate that is peeling.


When repainting Formica, what factors affect how long the process will take?

The process usually takes two or three days but it will depend on how much countertop you are replacing and how detailed and creative the artwork will be.


After cleaning and sanding your counter, what else do you need to do before painting the countertop?

You need to apply a primer to the counter before you paint it. Once the primer is dry you can apply the paint. Oil-based paints are best. You need to wait 24 to 48 hours before applying a topcoat which helps to protect the paint form chipping and cracking. Apply a second topcoat after the first one dries.


What is the problem with repainting a Formica countertop?

Although repainting is a cheaper option than replacing your countertops, the repainted countertop will be less heat- and wear-resistant, so you will have to be careful to use trivets when placing hot food on it and always use a cutting board. You will also need to redo the topcoat every couple of months to keep your countertop in good condition.


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