Counter tops delaminating - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-15-2017, 01:32 AM   #1
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Counter tops delaminating

I have an 08 17' that I have an issue with.
ALL the formica countertops have developed bubbles and are loose. they are coming delaminated from the plywood base. The formica and the plywood are completely separated.
I am dealing with it by popping the formica off the plywood ( barley held on at all) , removing the installed glue with solvent an re installing with new contact cement. I am able to deal with this because I have the time and am familiar with cabinet construction but can see where this could be a real issue for those that would have to pay to have this repaired.
Is this a common problem with the Escape counter tops or is this an isolated problem? I understand different temperatures, humidity, weather can wreck havic with the glue system but this seems excessive for this age of a trailer..Seems like a quality issue to me.
I hope Escape Industries is aware of this quality issue and can rectify with their supplier or manufacture process to prevent this from happening to others. I have not read of any others reporting this type of failure so maybe it is an isolated incident.
Anybody else experiencing this type of failure with their countertops?
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:40 AM   #2
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Nope. Haven't.
I've had that problem at home where there was excessive moisture.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robind View Post
I am able to deal with this because I have the time and am familiar with cabinet construction but can see where this could be a real issue for those that would have to pay to have this repaired.
The usual way to address the matter of the cost for owners, if a problem occurs during the warranty period, is for the owner to contact Escape Trailer Industries (ETI), explain the problem, and obtain approval from ETI to get problem professionally repaired. ETI would then reimburse the owner for the cost of the repair.

Of course nine years later warranty coverage is no longer in force. It does seem strange that a construction problem with adhesive would show up only after that many years. Robin, do you know the history of this trailer, including whether or not it has had a moisture problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robind View Post
Is this a common problem with the Escape counter tops or is this an isolated problem?
...
I have not read of any others reporting this type of failure so maybe it is an isolated incident.
Anybody else experiencing this type of failure with their countertops?
I'm no authority on this, but I follow this forum pretty closely and do not recall any other similar incidents. Of course many owners are not active in this forum, but it seems very likely to me that it is an isolated incident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robind View Post
I hope Escape Industries is aware of this quality issue and can rectify with their supplier or manufacture process to prevent this from happening to others.
They will be aware of it, just as soon as you tell them!


According to all the home renovation shows, nine year old countertops are just so 2008, and must immediately be replaced by something more fashionable. Think of this as a design update opportunity...
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:30 AM   #4
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What I usually see is that heat is usually the culprit of delamination of countertop laminates. We don't deal with a lot of moisture here in Calgary. If you can clean as much of the old cement off as possible, maybe wipe clean with alcohol, and reapply new, maybe using two coats if the surface is at all rough, it should hold good.

A couple things to look at with the existing job. Was the coverage of the cement over most of the top? Where did the delamination occur, with the cement adhering to the laminate or the substrate?

This would be a great opportunity for a facelift, maybe choose a new laminate to use.

I just met with a customer last week that was having issues. It turns out the builder used OSB for the countertops. Well, OSB is a great product for sheathing a house, but with the binding adhesives on the surface, it makes a lousy bonding surface.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:04 AM   #5
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I have to agree with Jim in that excess heat will cause bubbles .
The other two reasons for bubbles I've seen is insufficient glue and not allowing the contact cement to dry long enough to release all the vapors before installing the formica..
Because your trailer is an 08 , I would suspect heat or moisture is the cause.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:00 AM   #6
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That does seem unusual, As I've not heard of any similar problem with Escapes of that age. As others have mentioned, it's caused probably by either heat or inadequate/improperly applied adhesive during construction. Moisture is less likely, unless somehow the plywood underneath got wet from some other source.

If you're going to install new laminate, I would make sure to do a light sanding of the plywood after you've scraped off any adhesive residue - and make sure the contact cement has had a chance to cure long enough before laying/rolling the new laminate.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:23 PM   #7
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I have a 2012 and have had the Formica pop complete off the flip up extension counter on the end of the kitchen cabinet. Simple enough repair , we have high heat and moisture here. I keep the fan running with two windows open from spring till late fall. The edge of the white Formica on the door frame closest to the same end is loose when it comes off I am likely to just re cover with thin polished stainless and be done with it.


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Old 08-16-2017, 09:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input and insight. I did manage to get the formica re-glued to the plywood.
I ended up taking the formica totally off the plywood base and used laquer (not liquor) thinner to melt the glue. This took three applications with wiping the glue off each time as it melted away. Both plywood and the formica were clean. On the wardrobe cabinet top I used one coat only . On the burner and fold up counter top I used two coats as I don't want to have to do this again. I had to pull the sink and gas burners to get the formica off to work with.
Kudos to ETI for using plywood and not particle board or OSB for the counter top backing.

Conclusion: The trailer was originally in Arizona and I brought it to Alaska. I think perhaps the extreme weather change caused the plywood to dry out in AZ and then expand in our moist air in coastal AK. causing the bond between the plywood and the formica to break.
The glue was also applied in what I thought was a very thin layer. Two coats may be a better process for ETI to adopt in that being a travel trailer it will be subject to extreme weather and humidity conditions.
Hopefully the fix will last another 8 years in which case it may outlive me.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:58 PM   #9
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Good to hear. And your explanation about the cause seems plausible. There's definitely an extreme difference in climate between the Alaska coast and the Arizona desert.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robind View Post
Two coats may be a better process....
I have often done two costs on the substrate, but usually just one on the laminate. Not sure how Escape applies their cement, but lots of shops slowest it on, allowing any thickness they wish.
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