How to Protect laminate Flooring

How to Protect laminate Flooring

We will tell you how to cover your laminate floor, how to seal the seams and how to care for your laminate to make it last longer.

The service life of a 33rd grade laminate designed for public spaces is approximately 20 years, and the simplest, 21st grade, intended for home use, is only a few years. The figures, of course, are very approximate and largely depend on the operating conditions. We suggest exploring ways to extend the life of your laminate.

How to treat the surface of the laminate

1. Waxes

Laminate is constantly exposed to mechanical stress: computer chair wheels, bed or chair legs, heels, animal claws, and much more. Naturally, even the most resistant coating can be damaged sooner or later. If we are talking about scratches, abrasions and small chips, you can use a special wax for the laminate. It can be liquid, soft (pencil-shaped) or hard. The composition must be selected in accordance with the color of the coating. This is generally not a problem as there is a wide range of waxes in different shades on the market.

Liquid wax

Liquid wax is applied to small areas of the damaged surface. The laminate should be pre-washed and dried, and after waxing, polish with a soft cloth. Repeat polishing after 3 hours. It is not recommended to walk on the treated laminate for about 12 hours to obtain the desired result.

Soft wax

It is best to always keep soft wax on hand to restore the coating in time, without allowing water to get into the scratch. To remove damage, you need to clean it of dirt and just paint over with a wax pencil. Deep damage is painted over in several steps, waiting for each applied layer to dry out. When the surface is level and the wax is dry, polish the treated area with a soft cloth.

Hard wax

Before use, hard wax is heated with a soldering iron and carefully poured into the scratches. After drying, the excess must be removed with a knife. It is recommended to cover the restored surface with a protective varnish.

The regenerating wax is intended for local use, since streaks cannot be avoided when processing large areas.

2. Mastics

Want to keep your laminate color? Need to bring back an attractive look to your flooring? Do you dream to keep your floor clean for longer? Then treat the laminate with a special mastic. This composition was specially created in order to increase moisture resistance, extend the service life, and improve the wear resistance of the floor covering. One treatment is enough for a couple of months on average.

The mastic in the form of an emulsion must be diluted with water in the ratio indicated by the manufacturer, and then the floor must be treated with the composition, also rubbing the product with a sponge.
The mastic in the form of an emulsion must be diluted with water in the ratio indicated by the manufacturer, and then the floor must be treated with the composition, also rubbing the product with a sponge.

The mastic is not intended for repairing the laminate, but to prevent damage.

Whichever composition you choose, the preparatory work is always the same: the floor must be thoroughly washed and dried and only after that the protective composition must be applied. After processing, the agent must be allowed to dry well. Until then, walking on the surface is prohibited.

How to protect interlocks

Why laminate, for example the most simple, 31-grade, can cost expensive? Among the reasons is the impregnation of the locking system with special wax. It would seem, why do you need to wax the ends, which are not even visible? Another marketing ploy? In fact, the processing of the locks affects the comfort of use of the floor covering and the duration of its service life.

So, what does the impregnation of the locking system provide? Firstly, additional waterproofing of the floor. The connection is tighter, therefore, water does not pass through the cracks. In addition, a protective film is created on the surface of the laminate lock to prevent moisture from entering the material. Secondly, such a laminate will not  creak over time. In this case, wax is a kind of lubricant that prevents friction.

At the same time, there are special sealants on the market for lubricating laminate joints. They are used during assembly, processing each end of the web. It has the same effect as a factory wax treatment, that is, it protects against moisture and prevents squeaking. It should be understood that such compositions only form a protective coating, but do not hold the panels together. Consequently, the treated laminate can be disassembled and reassembled. There are other options as well. Cost and consumption differ depending on the manufacturer.

When using ready-made liquid mastic, it is recommended to use a cloth to apply the composition.
When using ready-made liquid mastic, it is recommended to use a cloth to apply the composition.

Compared to a factory-made laminate with waxed joints, the use of a sealant can be beneficial, but the time and labor involved in applying the compound cannot be ignored. If you have no experience with laminate flooring at all , the need for end trimming can be a problem.

The result of processing the laminate is an increase in its moisture resistance. But this does not mean that you can pour water on the floor or wash it with a too wet cloth. The basic maintenance rules remain the same: a slightly damp cloth and immediately wiped off water. None of the laminate flooring can withstand constant locking and abundant moisture.

How to apply sealant

  • The sealant can be applied to the joint groove or to the top flange of the lock. The first option is preferable, since in this case the mass is evenly distributed over the entire end of the panel.
  • Masters also recommend using a piece of laminate with a lock to smear the composition not with a brush or rags. Insert the tongue of the lock into the wax groove and run along the entire length. Thus, you can quickly and evenly distribute the composition over the surface.
  • Some sealants thicken quickly, therefore, before processing a complex joint, it is recommended that you first prepare the parts, assemble, accurately fit in size, disassemble and only then apply the composition to the locks.
  • Be very careful while working. Some formulations have a rather pungent odor and can also corrode extruded polystyrene substrates.
  • Excess sealant formed during the sealing of joints must be carefully removed no later than 15–20 minutes after application. You should especially carefully approach the question if the laminate is chamfered, since it is extremely difficult to remove the dried composition from the recesses.
  • When buying a sealant , take the product with a certain margin. It is almost impossible to extract the entire composition from most tubes. In addition, when the sealant comes to an end, it becomes difficult to apply and it is very difficult to achieve even distribution.

Laminate operating rules that will extend its service

  1. Wash the floor with plenty of water.
  2. Use abrasive detergents.
  3. Use sharp objects to remove dirt.
  4. Use moisture-retaining mats on the surface of the laminate.
  5. Lay carpets on the surface of the laminate, under which the underfloor heating system is installed.

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