My wife destroyed the counter top this weekend

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Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,764
Oakland, California
This weekend I took my daughter for a walk in the RV park and left my wife at the camper to rest. While we were gone, my very absent minded wife decided she would fill the sink in our popup with water to soak some utensils to clean them. She turned on the faucet and quickly started doing something else and forgot about the faucet running. Water overflowed out of the sink and started flooding the camper. She realized her screw-up and turned off the water and started drying out the camper. But water from the sink spilled over the edge of the counter where the sink is mounted. There is plastic edging around the counter and the counter is Formica laminate on top of particle board. The particle board soaked up water and swelled up to twice it's normal thickness on the edges. I was ready to choke her. So this fall I will have to build another counter top.
Do not criticize your wife in public - its poor form. You job is to support her not knock her over every little thing.

FYI - I rented my boss's 2-storey cabin at Lake Tahoe. Wife and daughter took off on a snowhoe walk. I turned on dryer to warm up pipes - son and I drove to store to get beer. By the time we got back pipes to upstairs vanity had thawed - and the taps had been left open (to allow the system to drain before winter) - we had water damage to the ceiling below and a very embarassed yours truly.
 

CampingFamily1

Super Active Member
May 12, 2007
969
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Here's a bulge in my MDF cabinets from water damage caused by good intentions.

Read more about it at this link, read the captions below, and forward to the right to see more photos.

DSC_8853-XL.jpg
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,063
Cabinets and counters are made with MDF/particle board because the plastic fake wood stickers stick smoothly to them. Laminate also works better on it. It's more stable with less expansion and contraction due to weather effects. It's an excellent substrate for all kinds of veneers...in dry locations.



Caulk around the sink. They never do that for some reason...
 

Del Kelso

Active Member
Jun 11, 2020
106
Saint Charles, Missouri
i just rebuilt our dinette table. neither home depot or lowes (in my area) had formica, but menard's still carries it and will special order less than full sheets, saves bucks. i used baltic birch for the table top, put a slight roundover on the edges, and clear coated the edges and bottom. this was my 1st attempt at laminating formica and i was surprised how easy it is. watching video's of the process on youtube helped a lot.

gonna have to re-do the legs. they are mounted on hinges and my system to lock them in place isn't working out like i hoped.



upload_2020-9-8_20-44-20.png
 

Luck7s717

Member
Oct 21, 2018
45
FACT: My wife is better looking than I am. I'm racing in a higher bracket, admittedly.
My wife burns brakes off cars. It is a magic talent of sorts. I've see her burn a set in 7k miles. My dad said one: "If she rides you like those brakes, just shut up and replace the brakes boy."

She runs semi metallic pads now, so they can burn off easier and I don't buy rotors. Problem semi-solved...
LMAO!
 

1380ken

Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
2,924
Mass
Do not criticize your wife in public - its poor form. You job is to support her not knock her over every little thing.

FYI - I rented my boss's 2-storey cabin at Lake Tahoe. Wife and daughter took off on a snowhoe walk. I turned on dryer to warm up pipes - son and I drove to store to get beer. By the time we got back pipes to upstairs vanity had thawed - and the taps had been left open (to allow the system to drain before winter) - we had water damage to the ceiling below and a very embarassed yours truly.
I would not classify this post as criticizing your wife in public. He is merely stating how the damage occurred.
 

MOSCDENC

Member
Aug 23, 2018
95
Wilmington, NC
To go with what SgtRon said you might want to steer clear on interior grade plywood for use around water, or at the least seal the edges really well with paint. Previous job involved formulating no-added formaldehyde adhesives for the hardwood plywood (HWPW) industry and all the glues used are going to be water sensitive (soy, PVA, UF). HWPW is perhaps not as sensitive as particleboard, but there is a reason they are used only for cabinet boxes and not counter tops.

As for why particleboard is used vs other. 1) Cost... particleboard is essentially made from lumber mill waste and it can be made on a continuous machine so output volume is huge with minimal labor. HWPW is very labor intensive. Aside from the veneering machines they essentially still do it the same way they did it back in the 1930's. 2) Smoothness. As pointed out earlier laminating works/looks better on smooth surfaces. Depending on the grade of plywood you may see "telegraphing" of knots under the thin (1/40") surface veneer. If you were to laminate HWPW the telegraphing would probably look even worse.
 

Manutara

Member
Aug 14, 2017
37
QC, Canada
Maybe when you redo the counter, you can install an overflow protector in the sink??? Heed the old saying: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Find a way to prevent it from happening a third time.

I fully agree, this summer I removed the stove, the plan is to redo the coutertop and install a deeper sink with an overflow drain, I have three young kids, they specialize in keeping the faucet running.

I've been looking for something like this:
Integra-body.jpg
 

Jack Sprat

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
184
NC
This weekend I took my daughter for a walk in the RV park and left my wife at the camper to rest. While we were gone, my very absent minded wife decided she would fill the sink in our popup with water to soak some utensils to clean them. She turned on the faucet and quickly started doing something else and forgot about the faucet running. Water overflowed out of the sink and started flooding the camper. She realized her screw-up and turned off the water and started drying out the camper. But water from the sink spilled over the edge of the counter where the sink is mounted. There is plastic edging around the counter and the counter is Formica laminate on top of particle board. The particle board soaked up water and swelled up to twice it's normal thickness on the edges. I was ready to choke her. So this fall I will have to build another counter top.
I was able to buy laminate by the sheet at Lowes while I was building my house and all the kitchen cabinets. Make your new tops out of cabinet grade plywood. It is supposed to be made with water proof glue.
 

Floridagal

Member
Mar 23, 2018
30
This weekend I took my daughter for a walk in the RV park and left my wife at the camper to rest. While we were gone, my very absent minded wife decided she would fill the sink in our popup with water to soak some utensils to clean them. She turned on the faucet and quickly started doing something else and forgot about the faucet running. Water overflowed out of the sink and started flooding the camper. She realized her screw-up and turned off the water and started drying out the camper. But water from the sink spilled over the edge of the counter where the sink is mounted. There is plastic edging around the counter and the counter is Formica laminate on top of particle board. The particle board soaked up water and swelled up to twice it's normal thickness on the edges. I was ready to choke her. So this fall I will have to build another counter top.
Take a look at the Pop up princess (google it). Some beautiful reno’s there and ideas and instructions on how to do it!
 

kcrouth

Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2015
75
Durham NC
IMG_7138.JPG

The same thing happened to our outside high-pressure stove board (clamps on to outside of camper) years ago. I replaced it with a piece of 5/8 plywood with MANY coats of urethane on it, making it waterproof. Also, we took the opportunity to "decorate" it with beer and other stickers applied under the urethane coat, making it unique and interesting. (photo attached).

We've had both our sink counter top and also the dining table (when used outside and rained upon) start the swelling process. We plan on re-working the dining table and eventually the sink counter in the same way. It is a bit of a project, but fun with a nice result.

kevin

ps. We renovated the pop-up a few years ago due to significant damage to the subfloor in the corners, and also the storage compartment in front. Replaced all the crappy particle board with treated 3/4" plywood - added a little weight, but it will not be rotting out. Also fixed the leaks that caused the problem. It is like a new camper.

But water from the sink spilled over the edge of the counter where the sink is mounted. There is plastic edging around the counter and the counter is Formica laminate on top of particle board. The particle board soaked up water and swelled up to twice it's normal thickness on the edges.
 

Souper

New Member
Jul 25, 2020
6
What really pissed me off is that this is the second time this year that my wife has flooded the camper like this. I am going to hide the sink drain plug from now on when we go camping.

I went to Home Depot today to see what my options are. They do not sell Formica laminate by the sheet unfortunately. But I think I have come up with a game plan. They had some nice furniture grade 3/4" plywood that was very smooth. I plan to get a sheet of that and cut it to the size of the damaged counter top and edge it with 3/4" quarter round. Our current counters are a faux tan, brown, and black looking granite pattern Formica. I plan to paint all sides of the new plywood counter with a tan base coat. I then plan to use small sponges to blot on the other colors to closely replicate the Formica pattern. Luckily is it just a random pattern of various colors
 

Souper

New Member
Jul 25, 2020
6
In renovating our 2012 Ranger my husband replaced the counter tops with an old table we had and it vastly improved the look... and quality of the counters. sorry I don't have a picture of the counter with sink and cooktop
 

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