Melamine is a type of particle board that has a resin-saturated paper heat-fused to its surface. The result is a pre-finished board that is highly resistant to staining and abrasion. However, the tough finish on melamine also resists the point of a screw, so it's difficult to start a screw. A few tips to keep in mind can make it easier to sink a screw into a melamine board.
Drill Guide Holes
Before placing the screw, drill a small guide hole through the melamine surface. Drill bits work better on melamine than screw tips, and small bits engage better than big bits. Drilling not only helps the screw threads bite into the underlying particle board, it also reduces the likelihood of splitting or chipping the board.
Use Coarse-Threaded Screws
A coarse-threaded screw, such as a drywall screw, will work better in melamine than a standard wood screw or metal screw. The underlying particle board is coarse and infused with adhesive, so fine screws won't find much additional purchase and can take more effort to screw in.
Use Larger Screws
Screws of size #8 and up are best for melamine, again because of the relative coarseness of the underlying wood. The threads of smaller screws won't adequately engage the particle board.
Don't Drill Too Close To The End
Try to keep screws at least 2 inches away from the uncoated ends of the melamine. Any closer and you risk splitting the board.
Scott Knickelbine began writing professionally in 1977. He is the author of 34 books and his work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including "The New York Times," "The Milwaukee Sentinel," "Architecture" and "Video Times." He has written in the fields of education, health, electronics, architecture and construction. Knickelbine received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in journalism from the University of Minnesota.