7 Signs it’s Time to Put a New Phenolic Top on an Existing Table

phenolic top

Tables are undoubtedly one of the most used pieces of furniture in the world. Sturdiness and durability make phenolic resin countertop a staple of industrial settings, laboratories, office spaces, and kitchens alike.

Whenever possible, you want to select a table with a long lifespan, a set it and forget it kind of table. But, we aren’t perfect humans—things happen, weather damage, food or drink spills, and sharp objects leave their mark on any piece of furniture that dares cross their paths.

When your table isn’t looking its best, you get a sense that it’s lost its edge. Also, the scratches and dents are not helping. It might be time to put a new phenolic resin countertop on an existing table.

Understanding Phenolic Table Tops

A phenolic tabletop is a resin-topped overlay. Phenolic resin is a material created by combining resin, plastic powders, and natural resins. The material is built up layer by layer, which then hardens.

It is ideal for high-traffic areas and conveying carts because it can withstand the bumps and scrapes of everyday use. Phenolic tops are often used in institutional and industrial settings because of their durability and toughness.

Phenolic resin can be used for a tabletop, as a flooring material, or to protect other materials from moisture. If you can identify with any of these points, maybe it’s time to put a new phenolic top on an existing table. 

Lack of Smoothness or Rough Edges or Corners

If you notice your Phenolic table top is not as smooth as when it was new, or that it feels rough to the hand, it’s time to consider replacing the old top with a new one. 

Another tell-tale sign is if you can feel small ridges and bumps in the countertop surface when you run your hands over it. Another indicator is when the table top’s corners are rounded off and are no longer crisp and clean—then it’s time for a new tabletop.

The Top is Warped or Cracked

A phenolic countertop is an engineered resin made of layers of phenol and formaldehyde, adhered together under acidic conditions. These resin tops are very strong, scratch-resistant, and water or weather-proof, but they will not withstand abuse over time.

Therefore, using a heavy object on these tabletops may cause them to crack or warp. There is no easy fix, and you’ll have to replace it at some point anyway. So, it’s best to get it done now before it gets further damage.

Some Surface is Peeling and Chipping

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to know for sure when your table will begin to chip and peel off. However, if you notice the signs of this chipping or peeling occurring, typically with white or gray spots and indentations, you should get it replaced as soon as possible.

These problems will only lead to further complications down the line, so it’s best to get things taken care of before they become a real problem. Not only is it unsightly and less functional as time passes, but hazardous as well.

The Tabletop Does Not Meet Your Current Needs

Think about what your tabletop needs to do for you now, and determine if a new phenolic countertop is the best option. If it doesn’t meet your current needs, there are many other options available that can do just as good of a job or better.

Replacing your phenolic tabletop with a high-performance alternative product is an economical choice when compared to the cost of replacing an entire table or reconfiguring its physical layout


A few discoloration issues can arise fairly easily. Extensive exposure to the elements or fading, oxidized metal legs can cause unsightly discoloration. In some cases, the discoloration can be corrected with a thorough cleaning and regreasing of your tabletop fasteners.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, replacing your phenolic tabletop is quite affordable. Picking the right color will ensure that you get a new tabletop that blends in with the rest of your patio furniture.

If you have an outdoor space that lacks the variation of an interior room, your eye will find its way to the tabletop and other components. That’s why it’s so crucial to pick a replacement that complements your home’s decor.

Heat Damage

While it can be daunting to replace a table, it’s important to remember that heat damage is a leading cause of warping and cracking because the heat forces the phenolic top to expand and contract.

If your table seems fine, but you see evidence of heat damage on the tabletop or anywhere else, it’s probably best to replace your table. These tables are known for becoming mushy in the middle if exposed to excessive heat. Be sure to store them away from direct sunlight and sources of extreme heat.

Chemical Damage

Phenolic tables are made from a plastic material that is coated with phenolic resin that acts as a sealant. When it is damaged, the plastic underneath is exposed to air and chemicals.

Once exposed, the chemical starts to eat away at the surface of the table causing permanent damage such as discoloration and in some cases, total surface delamination.

When you have chemical damage, it usually means that either something spilled on your table causing damage, or discoloration—or something was left on the table for an extended period causing damage. If you notice chemical damage, consider replacing your phenolic tabletop.

Phenolic Table Top Maintenance

The beauty of a phenolic tabletop is undeniable. But it won’t retain its natural color if you don’t take the proper precautions—like using trivets or placemats and cleaning up spills quickly.

Don’t let the lovely sheen and smooth finish get marred by stains, rings, or surface scratches. With a simple cleaning plan and the occasional refinishing, your phenolic tabletop will look as good as new for years to come.

Get Your Replacement Today!

All in all, it would be a shame to let your table purchase go by without considering how it will look, feel, and function on a long-term basis. Picking the ideal phenolic resin countertop can make all the difference to your dining experience.

You’ll want something easy to clean, durable, and won’t change color or appearance over the years. Phenolic resin offers all of this and more—and you’ll get excellent service from us at resin tops as well.

To learn more, you may fill out our online form or contact us at 800-476-5228 at ResinTops.net today!

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