How To Seal Laminate Flooring

How To Seal Laminate Flooring

Inexpensive laminate flooring stormed the flooring industry with its durable locking edges and crisp appearance. Homeowners can have the look of hardwood without the sticker price. Laminate flooring is installed within living rooms and hallways, and bathrooms and kitchens. Areas with high levels of moisture are susceptible to floor damage, because water can seep between the wall and laminate panel edges. Silicone caulking these edges will ensure your laminate panels will not be warped over the years from moisture damage.
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How To Seal Laminate Flooring

Laminate and hardwood floors sometimes contain slight, 1/4 inch gaps at walls and around fixtures to provide space for the boards expansion and contraction. Fluctuations in humidity levels cause laminate and hardwood to swell and shrink, depending on the season, and therefore require extra room for movement. Expansion gaps are required or flooring planks would eventually compress together and possibly crack or pop upward. Although these slight gaps are crucial, they may incite moisture problems when left unsealed. The gaps allow leaks to seep underneath the flooring and possibly damage it. Caulk gaps in laminate and hardwood flooring by sealing them with a highly flexible caulk that still allows the planks to expand and contract.
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How To Seal Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is intended to be cheap, readily disposable, and resilient against scuffs and scrapes. Against moisture, it is much more vulnerable due to the MDF core. The top layer is already sealed, but moisture will eventually work its way between the planks, and I don’t believe there’s any practical way to seal these gaps. It’s simply not intended for this. You’ll probably be fine as long as there isn’t a major spill that never gets cleaned up. But if the floor ever experiences a big one or a flood, it’s a goner. In that case, if you want to stay with wood, I would recommend replacing it with real hardwood or engineered hardwood with a plywood core and a thick (3mm+) veneer layer, which will allow it to be re-finished once or twice should it get severely damaged. Either of these will be substantially more moisture-tolerant than MDF-core laminate flooring.
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How To Seal Laminate Flooring

Pergo and other laminate flooring starts with a durable backing followed by a photorealistic image of wood grain sealed under a tough, plastic coating. This makes flooring planks suitable for almost any room, including damp areas such as kitchens. A true floating floor, each laminate plank interlocks with the next so no nails or glue go into the installation. Some homeowners wish to seal the whole floor after it’s installed, but Pergo does not recommend it; sealing certain exposed edges is the right approach.
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How To Seal Laminate Flooring

Next Up How to Clean Laminate Countertops Safely and effectively clean spills and stains from laminate countertops with these tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floors Make your ceramic tile look like new with these easy cleaning tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Vinyl Floors Remove dirt, scuffs and stains from vinyl floors with these easy cleaning and maintenance tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Concrete Floors Cleaning outdoor concrete flooring is very different from indoor concrete flooring. Here’s how to remove dirt and mildew without damaging your concrete floors. How to Clean Cork Floors Learn how to safely clean and seal a cork floor with these simple tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Hardwood Floors Learn how to care for hardwood floors by using these natural cleaners and following these simple tips. Tips for Cleaning Tile, Wood and Vinyl Floors Get expert tips, techniques and recipes for cleaning all types of floors, from ceramic tile to hardwood. How to Clean Windows Like a Pro Learn the three simple steps and the proper tools you need to make your windows look as if they were professionally cleaned. How to Clean Ceramic Tile Countertops Dirt, stains and bacteria on ceramic tile countertops can make any kitchen or bathroom unsanitary. Here’s how to properly clean ceramic tile and grout to keep counters beautiful and germ-free. How to Clean Granite Countertops Keep granite countertops shiny and stain-free with these cleaning and maintenance tips from DIY experts.
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How To Seal Laminate Flooring

How to Clean Laminate Countertops Safely and effectively clean spills and stains from laminate countertops with these tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floors Make your ceramic tile look like new with these easy cleaning tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Vinyl Floors Remove dirt, scuffs and stains from vinyl floors with these easy cleaning and maintenance tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Concrete Floors Cleaning outdoor concrete flooring is very different from indoor concrete flooring. Here’s how to remove dirt and mildew without damaging your concrete floors. How to Clean Cork Floors Learn how to safely clean and seal a cork floor with these simple tips from DIY experts. How to Clean Hardwood Floors Learn how to care for hardwood floors by using these natural cleaners and following these simple tips. Tips for Cleaning Tile, Wood and Vinyl Floors Get expert tips, techniques and recipes for cleaning all types of floors, from ceramic tile to hardwood. How to Clean Windows Like a Pro Learn the three simple steps and the proper tools you need to make your windows look as if they were professionally cleaned. How to Clean Ceramic Tile Countertops Dirt, stains and bacteria on ceramic tile countertops can make any kitchen or bathroom unsanitary. Here’s how to properly clean ceramic tile and grout to keep counters beautiful and germ-free. How to Clean Granite Countertops Keep granite countertops shiny and stain-free with these cleaning and maintenance tips from DIY experts.
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How To Seal Laminate Flooring

Anytime you install laminate flooring in a bath, laundry room or kitchen, you should use AC3-rated flooring, leave 1/4-in. expansion gaps at the walls and fixtures, and then fill the gaps at flooring ends with 100 percent silicone caulk. It stays flexible, allowing the floor to expand, and in the event of a spill, prevents water from soaking into the laminate core. Filling the gaps can use up a lot of caulk, so buy more than you think you’ll need.
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How To Seal Laminate Flooring

Expansion gap details Caulking Hold off on setting the toilet and the baseboard molding until you’ve filled the expansion gaps around room perimeters and the toilet flange with 100 percent silicone caulk. Anytime you install laminate flooring in a bath, laundry room or kitchen, you should use AC3-rated flooring, leave 1/4-in. expansion gaps at the walls and fixtures, and then fill the gaps at flooring ends with 100 percent silicone caulk. It stays flexible, allowing the floor to expand, and in the event of a spill, prevents water from soaking into the laminate core. Filling the gaps can use up a lot of caulk, so buy more than you think you’ll need. Back to Top
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Covering your laminate with polyurathane is also a great way to make sure that your flooring is sufficiently waterproofed. Aside from installing waterproof flooring, this is the most effective way to have a waterproof laminate surface. The caulk and sealant will keep the gaps (both between planks and between fixtures) safe, but it won’t protect the actual floor boards. Coating your floor with polyurathane can keep the entire floor safe from damage.
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Entryway and Kitchen With Wood Laminate Flooring This home’s entryway features the same rustic-looking wood laminate as the kitchen, making the space feel fluid and cohesive. Dark kitchen cabinets contrast with the flooring, giving the space a more contemporary feel. From: Brother Vs. Brother and Brother Vs. Brother
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Backing. This is really all over the place. Laminate can be backed by rubber (high end but getting cheaper), cork (high end), MDF (normal), layered wood (normal to high end), plywood grade (normal), and then things in between. Each has different properties. I could sit my rubber laminate in a pool for a year and it would still be rubber. Cork handles low amounts of water well but will be totally jacked up in a big flood. MDF and plywood are the main ones known to expand on “big” spills. This is probably what your realtor was thinking of. Layered wood sheets won’t last with long-term water but anything short-term it handles well. I personally would never buy laminate or engineered hardwood with plywood/MDF backing.
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You can buy a laminate floor sealant at most home improvement stores, and because these sealants don’t glue the planks together, you can lift the floor easily if you ever need to. Buying a sealant specific to your laminate is important because it will allow your flooring to expand and contract with the weather rather than remaining rigid. This can help keep your wood from splintering or cracking when the humidity is high.
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However, it is important to note that polyurethane won’t adhere well to the top layer of resin on the laminate flooring. You also don’t want to sand down laminate floors, as it will ruin them because of the way they are constructed. You will have to apply the polyurethane with a mop and allow it to dry, repeating this process for at least two coats, though it is suggested to apply more depending on your brand of coating.

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