Asked on Nov 16, 2020

How can I fix the sides of these cabinets in my son’s bathroom?

Agnes ChrzanowskaKim  |Exquisitely UnremarkableHomeroad


We had this bathroom remodeled a few years back. These are custom made cabinets. Not really sure why this happened. (Moisture issue?) I found some stick on “tile” on Amazon that I think might work but if I use this, how would I finish out the edge/corner? Is there anything I should do to prep the surface before if this is what I use? Does anyone have other suggestions? Thank you in advance. I am not particularly handy and need to do this in a cost effective way! :) (3 pictures posted)

20 answers
  • Betsy
    on Nov 17, 2020

    Hi Janet: Not quite sure what that 3rd picture is, but what you can do that is quick and cheap is to use Spackle. Spackle is a ready-to-use compound used for holes, cracks and imperfections in plaster, wallboard, wood, painted metal and masonry. It dries very quickly and is considered to be shrink-free. You do not need to prime over a hole repaired with spackle unless you are spackling an exterior area. It's ready to go right out of the container. Use a razor to cut around where it's peeling and tear that area off. Then, just get a bit on a putty knife and spread it over the area. Smooth out as best as you can and let it dry. Then, put on another coat to make it really smooth and let that dry. I don't sand, what I use is a damp cloth to smooth out any ridges. Let that dry for about an hour and then you can paint. Easy as it gets :) You can small containers of Spackle at the home improvement store. I've done this a bunch of times with good results. Good luck

  • Vrohde
    on Nov 17, 2020

    The tiles would work also. At the corner just use a waterproof caulk to finish. On areas that are lose remove that first. Good luck and happy DIYing

  • Since they are custom-made cabinets, I would contact the person who made them and see what they will do about it.

    That being said, it looks like the laminate is peeling. All of it needs to be glued down securely before attaching anything to it. Or scrape it off and fill the area with wood putty, then you can attach your tiles.

  • Dmholt4391
    on Nov 17, 2020

    Fill w/ wood filler and level off so is flat. Sand a little if needed. Paint.

  • Redcatcec
    on Nov 17, 2020

    The tiles are beautiful but I would not use them in the bathroom, too many patterns.

    It does look like the laminate is peeling off, the major pieces and the start of some more.

    If you get no satisfaction form the vendor, or the product is out of warranty, I would proceed with spackling, at least that would be water resistant.Then refresh with paint.

  • Rachel Marlene
    Rachel Marlene
    on Nov 17, 2020

    Cover with some trim or a mirror. Done.

    on Nov 17, 2020

    I would add a trim piece to cover the peeling. It’s definitely a water issue. He’s likely leaving puddles around the sink that are soaking up water.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    Kathy Gunter Law
    on Nov 17, 2020

    It appears they used luan plywood and if it gets wet, it will do this. So even mopping could produce this effect. What about adding trim? I was thinking the wide baseboard and do it on each side of the cabinet. You could go with matching but thinner baseboard on the front.

  • Janet
    on Nov 17, 2020

    Thank you for the help. This is not on the floor but up on the counter beside the sink. I so appreciate all of the help I’ve received on this, I now think I have the confidence to tackle this! :)

  • Janet
    on Nov 17, 2020

    A huge thank you to everyone of you who took the time to help me out!! This looked insurmountable, but thanks to ya’ll I really think I can tackle this! Much appreciation!

  • Janet
    on Nov 17, 2020

    A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to help me out with this! For the longest time this seemed insurmountable, but with your help I think I can tackle this and maybe more! Much appreciated!

  • Dee
    on Nov 19, 2020

    I think you need to fix it so that the water from the sink is not reaching the cabinet. I would definitely use the tiles. As for the corners, I would use spackle or wood filler. Sand and paint.

  • Can you put the tile around the whole bottom edge of the vanity so it looks like it is supposed to be there?

  • RobynnNinjah
    on Nov 19, 2020

    Wood putty may work! Just make sure it's paintable

  • Mandy Brown
    Mandy Brown
    on Nov 21, 2020

    It looks as though the contractor either did not use a latex tub/tile caulk around the base of the cabinet or an enamel paint/sealer for high moisture areas.

    The plywood under the laminate has been acting as a “wick” and sucking the water up into the cells of the wood; therefore, you get peeling of the laminate and those fine hairline cracks. This is caused from the expansion/contraction of the wood cells. This needs to be addressed or you WILL develop mold. Since trim is usually made from solid wood you won’t see it as soon, but it will deteriorate as well.

    You have a few options depending on your budget, level of skill and whether you want to tackle it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

    In any case you’re first step is going to have to be getting the wood completely dry (no moisture in the room during this process). (There are moisture meters that will show if it is dry all the way through.) Then you’ll want to treat any exposed wood with mold/mildew killer.

    Now...whether you want to replace the entire side (plywood and laminate), a partial section, the laminate sheeting or just a portion of the laminate; there are different ways to go about each.

    After the cabinet has been fixed you’ll want to use a latex tub/tile caulk to seal the base where it meets the countertop. This should keep the water from seeping underneath.

    Finally, give the whole piece a coat of good enamel paint and seal it.

    Hope this makes sense!!

  • Sabrina's Organizing
    Sabrina's Organizing
    on Nov 21, 2020

    If you are concerned about moisture, you could try getting the vinyl wood like thin strip of wood and cut it to place it horizontal covering the cabinet and counter. Or cover the whole cabinet side with a sheet of it. They are in white already and you can paint them if you want. We have used the corner round type before and they do well in moist areas. Hope this helps.

  • PJ
    on Nov 21, 2020

    I can understand wanting to cover this. But, if it's a moisture problem, that problem needs to be addressed first. Just covering it up will only be a temp. fix and could end up with mold.

  • Homeroad
    on Nov 22, 2020
  • You can cover it with a wood filler, but I'm lazy. I'd probably just cover it with a piece of moulding and paint it to match.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska
    Agnes Chrzanowska
    16 minutes ago

    Wood filler would be my answer

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