How to Prevent and Repair Formica Discoloration

Over time your Formica countertops and surfaces will become discolored and lose some of their luster. When this happens, you can take some steps to repair the Formica and keep it from any further erosion or deterioration. Here are some tips for addressing discolored Formica tiles. 

Keep the Formica Cleaned and Polished

Once of the best ways to prevent your Formica from becoming discolored is to clean it with the cleaner that is recommended for your Formica surface (whether rubbing alcohol, warm water, soap or something else). You should clean and polish Formica on a regular basis, at least weekly.

Keep Hot Liquids off the Surface

Avoid placing hot liquids or other scorching items directly on your Formica surface. Hot items can wear out the surface over time and eventually bring discoloration. Use a coaster or pot holder between hot items and the Formica surface.

Clean and Wax Formica Tiles

When you notice discoloration, use soap and water to clean the surface. You can then rub a color-matched Formica wax over the surface. See if the wax helps restore some of the original color. Rub the wax into the surface where the discoloration occurred and use a soft rag to buff the wax and complete the shine.

Time Marches On

There is no way to stop time or the aging of your Formica tiles. The previous solutions are merely stop-gap measures that should be part of your regular cleaning and inspection routine. If your tiles become too discolored for these methods, you'll need to consider replacement.

Replace Badly Discolored Formica Tiles

If waxing the discolored Formica does not work as intended, you will need to replace the Formica tiles with new ones. With a chisel and chisel hammer, carefully remove discolored tiles at the seams. Chip away any of the bonding adhesive or thin-set mortar underneath the tile. Apply a new layer of thin-set mortar and place new Formica tiles in.

Follow the Care Instructions

Since Formica is designed to last a long time, you should follow all care instructions that accompanied the product. If you do not have the care instructions, look them up online or locate the manufacturer for information concerning your Formica tiles.