Vinyl Wrap Alternative to Formica Replacement

playonepocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The formica on my GC-I has worn down, and I'm not in a position to have it replaced.

The table is disassmbled, and being recovered.

I am going to give this stuff a shot. Reviews online have been positive. I figure it can do no harm, as long as I carefully install it. It's a residential table so "wear and tear" is less of a concern.

Will post the results when done, but would like to hear some opinions in the meantime.

zXxBhiF.jpg
 
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trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
Why waste your time? Its not that expensive to have it done the right way... Whats $500 for a lifetime table? I am sure there is someone near you that is capable of doing either new formica or even hardwood veneer. GOOD LUCK!!

Trent from Toledo
 

playonepocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Vinyl Wrap Review / Installation Notes

I installed the vinyl wrap over the preexisting formica...

Link to album: http://imgur.com/a/pbx34

Bottom line up front: I was very impressed with the quality of the product, as well as the end result.

As you can tell by the before pictures, this table has endured a torturous life. Much of the original wood grain print was fading away - and the tops had their fair share of dings and scratches as well. Typical for a table of this age - coming out of a commercial environment. One of the main appeals of the vinyl is the finish. It is a semi-gloss matte finish, with etched grain. Very natural looking compared to the original formica which, even when new, appears fake and "plasticy". The pattern ordered was rosewood, although it does appear to be more of a mahogany. (Other finishes were available.)

The results are striking. However, the vinyl fails to cover deep dents or dings. If I did it over again, I would prep the formica first by filling any voids and then smoothing out.

A thin mist of water helped the installation process. Just like vinyl wrapping anything else (car, boat, etc.) It affords the ability to manipulate the product before final adhesion. The draw back is you have to wait for the moisture to dispel before hard use. I started by laying an edge flush where the formica meets the feather strip. I favored the formica side. If the rails weren't already covered I would have laid it along the feather strip dado and cut it flush with a razor knife. Once I had the top edge aligned, I smoothed and fanned it with a credit card to get the bubbles out. I then went over it with a laminate roller. I used the aluminum trim as a guide for trimming the bottom edge. The rail sights remained faintly visible, beneath the vinyl. Just enough for me to punch them out with a spare socket.

The product cost $13.49 - with $20.00 shipping from overseas. The shipping estimate was 3-5 weeks, but it arrived in closer to two. The install time was around two hours. However this was my first time working with the product, and I had no previous experience. The adhesive is of high quality - it helps that the formica substrate is non-porous, which promotes bonding to the wrap.

Scratching and blunt impact seemed to have little effect on the vinyl. However, it is susceptible to piercing and cutting. Fortunately, there was plenty of extra material if I ever need to go back and recover a rail. It might accept a clear coat which could offer additional protection. However, I wasn't willing to test it. I am curious to see how it wears "as is". Durability and longevity are the unknowns here. Typically, vinyl wrapped autos have a life span of 7-9 years, but the environments are totally different... Even by this logic spending $30-something dollars every 10 years isn't going to break the bank!

Why waste your time? Its not that expensive to have it done the right way... Whats $500 for a lifetime table? I am sure there is someone near you that is capable of doing either new formica or even hardwood veneer. GOOD LUCK!!

Trent from Toledo

I disagree with what Trent said - replacing the formica or re-veneering isn't a lifetime "move". If these solutions stood the test of time, they wouldn't have to be replaced in the first place. Although we like tables bright, shiny and new - they were meant to be played on. Wear and tear is going to happen. Do you want it to happen to your brand new $500 formica or $15 vinyl wrap? :scratchhead: :scratchhead: :scratchhead:

Maybe a solution is to have the formica replaced, and then have the rails vinyl wrapped for a layer of protection? Similar to how autos have the clear film applied on the fenders, hood, bumper etc. in order to protect from rocks chips and road debris.
 
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Tony_in_MD

You want some of this?
Silver Member
That looks good!!


I installed the vinyl wrap over the preexisting formica...

Link to album: http://imgur.com/a/pbx34

Bottom line up front: I was very impressed with the quality of the product, as well as the end result.

As you can tell by the before pictures, this table has endured a torturous life. Much of the original wood grain print was fading away - and the tops had their fair share of dings and scratches as well. Typical for a table of this age - coming out of a commercial environment. One of the main appeals of the vinyl is the finish. It is a semi-gloss matte finish, with etched grain. Very natural looking compared to the original formica which, even when new, appears fake and "plasticy". The pattern ordered was rosewood, although I does appear to be more of a mahogany. (Other finishes were available.)

The results are striking. However, the vinyl fails to cover deep dents or dings. If I did it over again, I would prep the formica first by filling any voids and then smoothing out.

A thin mist of water helped the installation process. Just like vinyl wrapping anything else (car, boat, etc.) It affords the ability to manipulate the product before final adhesion. The draw back is you have to wait for the moisture to dispel before hard use. I started by laying an edge flush where the formica meets the feather strip. I favored the formica side. If the rails weren't already covered I would have laid it along the feather strip dado and cut it flush with a razor knife. Once I had the top edge aligned, I smoothed and fanned it with a credit card to get the bubbles out. I then went over it with a laminate roller. I used the aluminum trim as a guide for trimming the bottom edge. The rail sights remained faintly visible, beneath the vinyl. Just enough for me to punch them out with a spare socket.

The product cost $13.49 - with $20.00 shipping from overseas. The shipping estimate was 3-5 weeks, but it arrived in closer to two. The install time was around two hours. However this was my first time working with the product, and I had no previous experience. The adhesive is of high quality - it helps that the formica substrate is non-porous, which promotes bonding to the wrap.

Scratching and blunt impact seemed to have little effect on the vinyl. However, it is susceptible to piercing and cutting. Fortunately, the was plenty of extra material if I ever need to go back and recover a rail. It might accept a clear coat which could offer additional protection. However, I wasn't willing to test it. I am curious to see how it wears "as is". Durability and longevity are the unknowns here. Typically, vinyl wrapped autos have a life span of 7-9 years, but the environments are totally different... Even by this logic spending $30-something dollars every 10 years isn't going to break the bank!

By the way - I disagree with what Trent said - replacing the formica or re-veneering isn't a lifetime "move". If these solutions stood the test of time, it wouldn't have to be replaced in the first place. Although we likely tables bright, shiny and new - they were meant to be played on. Wear and tear is going to happen. Do you want it to happen to your brand new $500 formica or $15 vinyl wrap? :scratchhead: :scratchhead: :scratchhead:

Maybe a solution is to have the formica replaced, and then have the rails vinyl wrapped for a layer of protection? Similar to how autos have the clear film applied on the fenders, hood, bumper etc. in order to protect from rocks chips and road debris.
 

trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
I installed the vinyl wrap over the preexisting formica...

Link to album: http://imgur.com/a/pbx34

Bottom line up front: I was very impressed with the quality of the product, as well as the end result.

As you can tell by the before pictures, this table has endured a torturous life. Much of the original wood grain print was fading away - and the tops had their fair share of dings and scratches as well. Typical for a table of this age - coming out of a commercial environment. One of the main appeals of the vinyl is the finish. It is a semi-gloss matte finish, with etched grain. Very natural looking compared to the original formica which, even when new, appears fake and "plasticy". The pattern ordered was rosewood, although I does appear to be more of a mahogany. (Other finishes were available.)

The results are striking. However, the vinyl fails to cover deep dents or dings. If I did it over again, I would prep the formica first by filling any voids and then smoothing out.

A thin mist of water helped the installation process. Just like vinyl wrapping anything else (car, boat, etc.) It affords the ability to manipulate the product before final adhesion. The draw back is you have to wait for the moisture to dispel before hard use. I started by laying an edge flush where the formica meets the feather strip. I favored the formica side. If the rails weren't already covered I would have laid it along the feather strip dado and cut it flush with a razor knife. Once I had the top edge aligned, I smoothed and fanned it with a credit card to get the bubbles out. I then went over it with a laminate roller. I used the aluminum trim as a guide for trimming the bottom edge. The rail sights remained faintly visible, beneath the vinyl. Just enough for me to punch them out with a spare socket.

The product cost $13.49 - with $20.00 shipping from overseas. The shipping estimate was 3-5 weeks, but it arrived in closer to two. The install time was around two hours. However this was my first time working with the product, and I had no previous experience. The adhesive is of high quality - it helps that the formica substrate is non-porous, which promotes bonding to the wrap.

Scratching and blunt impact seemed to have little effect on the vinyl. However, it is susceptible to piercing and cutting. Fortunately, there was plenty of extra material if I ever need to go back and recover a rail. It might accept a clear coat which could offer additional protection. However, I wasn't willing to test it. I am curious to see how it wears "as is". Durability and longevity are the unknowns here. Typically, vinyl wrapped autos have a life span of 7-9 years, but the environments are totally different... Even by this logic spending $30-something dollars every 10 years isn't going to break the bank!



I disagree with what Trent said - replacing the formica or re-veneering isn't a lifetime "move". If these solutions stood the test of time, they wouldn't have to be replaced in the first place. Although we like tables bright, shiny and new - they were meant to be played on. Wear and tear is going to happen. Do you want it to happen to your brand new $500 formica or $15 vinyl wrap? :scratchhead: :scratchhead: :scratchhead:

Maybe a solution is to have the formica replaced, and then have the rails vinyl wrapped for a layer of protection? Similar to how autos have the clear film applied on the fenders, hood, bumper etc. in order to protect from rocks chips and road debris.


If you or people you invite to play on your table, cannot be careful, maybe you should not worry about the looks of the table at all. It takes a lot to make permanent marks on formica. Using a cheap vinyl cover is going to scratch fairly easy. Everyone likes what they like. I stick by my statement, I feel that is a total waste of time . Good luck with that!
 

playonepocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Using a cheap vinyl cover is going to scratch fairly easy.

It's too soon to label this as cheap. It is however an inexpensive alternative for someone looking to give their table an upgrade on a budget.

A 20 pack of Bic single blade razors for $5 is cheap. No matter what, you get a bad shave.

The Dollar a Month Shave Club triple razor with edging blade for $5 is an inexpensive alternative.

An Ivory handled straight blade appeals to shaving aficionados and those who demand only the finest things.

Thanks for your well wishes - I'll let you know how it works out longterm!
 

trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
You can rationalize it any way you want. Gold Crowns are awesome pool tables and in my opinion, using something like that ruins it. :)

Trent
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
You can rationalize it any way you want. Gold Crowns are awesome pool tables and in my opinion, using something like that ruins it. :)

Trent

It don't change the integrity of the table, he's just thinking outside of the box on his own table....hes not selling it.
 
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