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Sealing Laminate flooring

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  • Sealing Laminate flooring

    I had laminate flooring installed. And I need advice on how I can seal it? My grandson dropped water on it and it seemed to warp on the edges even if I wiped it up quickly. So, I don't let anyone out of the kitchen with drinks until I get my floors sealed? What do I do?

  • #2
    Re: Sealing Laminate flooring

    Originally posted by Beatriz51 View Post
    I had laminate flooring installed. And I need advice on how I can seal it? My grandson dropped water on it and it seemed to warp on the edges even if I wiped it up quickly. So, I don't let anyone out of the kitchen with drinks until I get my floors sealed? What do I do?
    I feel your pain but some laminate floorings have only a thin veneer on top of mdf-type base which loves to absorb water. The damage is usually repaired by replacing the damaged boards if severe and ignored if minor. IMO I doubt if you can completely seal the boards to prevent water damage. A wax might slow the rate of absorbtion if you cannot wipe it up fast enough. Laminate flooring generally have tight seams so I suspect the water had enough time to be absorbed.


    • #3
      Re: Sealing Laminate flooring

      We had laminate flooring installed in our kitchen this past summer. This was in our older home that we hope to get on the market this spring. So, I wasn't looking for anything beyond looks, utility, and easy installation. Even then, I had no experience with laminate and decided not to tackle the challenge myself. I have too many other projects with the future home and let's just say that somethings are better left to others.

      We purchased the laminate at Home Depot for a very nice price and their advice was to seal all the seams with silicone. In this case, they recommended a clear silicone that was supposedly designed for this purpose. However, the installer (with "hundred's of installations" experience) insisted that it wasn't necessary and "it's a PITA" and he wouldn't do it. Personally, I wasn't up to dealing with it either and we proceeded to just get the job done. In the end, I had some questions regarding the guy's experience as the "fitting" around doorways wasn't nearly as precise as I think it should have been... but what do I know!

      (One thing I did... just out of curiosity about "laminate floors and thier problems with moisture and spills", was to place a couple of scraps out on my open deck, where they would be directly subjected to the weather.)

      At this point we're just coming out of (I hope so anyway) a miserable winter. The floor is now about nine months old and we've tracked in water and snow. The kitchen is the main entry point in this old home. That coupled with a few drips, splashes, and small spills have kept me on the lookout for problems like you describe. About the only negative that I can report at this time is that you don't want to come in with wet shoes or snow on your feet, as the surface will be so slippery you'll practically kill yourself.

      So far I've noted no swelling or problem seams. We DO, keep things wiped up as soon as we see them, but there are those days when we've returned home from the other house and spend fifteen minutes or so unloading the van with tools, bedding, and boxes that we carry from one house to the other on extended stays at either place. That certainly introduces more water and snow than I'd like.

      The scraps that I place out on the deck have gone through almost everything. I pulled those back in, back in October and noted only the slightest of swelling. They still fit with other non-exposed scraps to make a good seam. The two scraps that I left through the winter are swelled even more, and when fitted with non-exposed scrap, makes for a small differance...but they still fit. I can feel the difference, but visually, it's hard to tell. Probably dirt would define the difference quite readily.

      So, no silicone was used and I can see where it would be a challenge as you'd have to fit it together quickly before anything starts to set and then you'd immediately have to wipe away the excess that was squeezed out. Likewise anything like poly or other liquid sealers would present the same challenge. And, I don't know that painting or wiping a sealer into the seams would serve the purpose either. I think you'd have to experiment a bit.

      If forced to do "something" I think I'd try to seal the seams after the floor was down, or use a thin oil-based liquid on the tongue or groove of each piece before I layed the floor. The problem with that of course would be that whatever you used would have to be totally obsorbed without causing swelling, or adding to the thickness. Either way, and the pieces won't properly fit.

      Bottom line is that some laminates will be a real challenge and I wish the heck that the manufacturers would deal with the problem. Certainly they know it exists! The stuff that we used seems to be less suseptable for some reason. We bought Home Depot's brand (Taffic Master), with a 20-year wear warranty. Our purpose was to simply do anything that made the old worn vinyl go away. In most cases, (so all the realtors say) the buyers will opt for a new kitchen. Of course with the present collapse of the housing market, who knows if there will even be a buyer, much less one who opt for a new kitchen. If no buyer, then maybe this will become a rental... in which case the laminate will be an even better idea.

      Last edited by CWSmith; 03-01-2009, 07:47 PM. Reason: Additional info


      • #4
        Re: Sealing Laminate flooring

        Some of the laminate mfg. state that the seams should be sealed to help with this problem. They sell a glue in a specially designed bottle that is very easy to use. I use the least expensive laminate in my apartment kitchens, using the glue out about 4 feet from the sink and stove. So far, I have had no real swelling issues. I decided to do this years ago because luan is a lot of work to put down, seal the seams, sand, and glue down the linoleum. Once they scratch up the laminate, I sand it down and apply the linoleum over the laminate. Once they mess up the linoleum, it is an easy job to remove the laminate and linoleum and start again. So far I have gotten 7 and 5 years from the laminates glued in this manner before replacement, and got 5 years from the linoleum over the one laminate before having to replace the whole thing. People are very hard on kitchens when they don't own them.


        • #5

          Sealing laminate floors - Several years ago, I installed Pergo Presto flooring in our foyer and kitchen. We had a refrigerator that had issues with excessive condensation on the low pressure lines and defrost water that couldn't seem to hit the evaporation tray. As a result, the flooring under the fridge became badly deformed and warped.

          When the refrigerator died, I planned to replace the damaged flooring. Before doing so, I wanted to find some way to seal the edges of the 'new' boards so it wouldn't happen again. I did some searching online for methods of sealing them, but I didn't have much luck. Someone suggested Thompson's Water seal, but since that takes a long time to dry I was afraid it might cause some joint swell.

          I did see some references to products called "ClickGuard"and "Click Seal", but couldn't find a retail source for ClickGuard, and the only site I found (on Amazon) for Click Seal was prohibitively expensive and had poor reviews.

          However, careful reading of the ClickSeal details revealed that it was made up of waxes and oils. The thought struck me: "What about paste wax?"

          I had a couple of old scrap pieces that fit together properly, so I decided to test it. I got a fresh can of Johnson's Paste Wax (about $6 for a pint-sized can) at Home Depot. I decided that melting it would probably be the best approach. I found that it wouldn't melt if I put it directly in the microwave, but I heated water about 1/2" deep in a container to almost boiling, then put a couple of tablespoons of paste wax in a plastic fruit cup and set it in the water, where it melted. I then used an acid brush (an inexpensive coarse bristled brush about the size of a large pencil - available at a hardware store) with the bristles cut to about 1/2" long to apply the melted wax to completely and liberally cover the unfinished edges of the boards. It soaked in quickly and congealed immediately. I then fitted the boards together and wiped off the excess wax. Now to test.

          First I let the boards sit for a few hours to be sure the wax itself didn't deform the edges. It didn't. Next I super-soaked a paper towel and laid it on the seam. Checking it over the next couple of days revealed no visible deformation whatever. A couple of days later the towel was completely dry, and the boards were still perfect. The wax does not interfere with locking or separation of the boards.

          I then proceeded to repair the floor using the melted paste wax method to seal the edges. After wiping up the excess, I am quite pleased with the results. Of course, this method would have to be planned as part of the initial installation of the flooring, and would require a fair amount of time to treat each plank before laying.

          Now I'm wondering if I can apply some melted wax to the old seams on the rest of the floor in the hope that it will soak at least partway into the joints and protect them. I think I'll give it a try.