Does Laminate Flooring Need to Be Sealed: Explained

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners because it is durable, easy to clean, and relatively inexpensive. However, one question often arises is whether or not laminate flooring needs to be sealed.

Most laminate flooring comes pre-sealed, so you don’t need to seal it. If the manufacturer did not pre-seal it and it’s not against their warranty, sealing it will protect it from water damage, scratches, and high-volume traffic over the long run.

Laminate flooring is made of multiple layers of compressed wood, but that is not enough to make it durable, which is why most manufacturers seal it.

Can you put Sealer on Laminate Flooring?

Even though you’d mostly find pre-sealed laminate floorings these days, some manufacturers still make them without. So if you think that laminate floor is considered sealed, you might want to read this article first

If your laminate flooring didn’t come pre-sealed, you can quickly buy sealer from a home improvement store and apply it yourself. Luckily, putting the sealer is simple.

However, before doing so, there are one or two things you should check. 

Are you using the right type of sealer? 

And is the laminate flooring brand sealable? 

Lastly, before applying sealant, you should always check the manufacturer’s warranty because if it’s against their recommendations, it might void it. 

Does Laminate Flooring need to be sealed?

When it comes to Laminate flooring durability, there is nothing more fundamental than having sealer. 

But this doesn’t also always mean that it won’t last long if it’s not sealed. It actually depends on the brand and type of Laminate flooring. 

Since laminate flooring is becoming popular among homeowners, many manufacturers install strong seals to stand out from the competition. So you’ll most likely end up with a pre-sealed one anyway.

Should you seal around Laminate Flooring?

But let’s just say you did manage to buy one that has no sealant. I would strongly recommend sealing your laminate flooring to protect your floors.

Seals are generally known to make laminate flooring waterproof and resistant to scratches, especially in places with high foot traffic. But there are more benefits to it: 

#1. It protects from scratches and damages

Seals in areas with high traffic, such as home hallways and offices, ensure the laminae flooring can sustain these scratches whenever many people walk through them; thus, your floors last longer.

#2. Makes laminate flooring easier to clean

Many people don’t realize this, but it is much easier to clean sealed laminate flooring. Sealed surfaces are mostly stain and water-damage-resistant, which makes them very easy to clean. 

#3. It makes laminate flooring waterproof

Laminate flooring can be used on floors or even walls in kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-humidity places. Waterproof seals ensure they are waterproof, and thus water cannot sip beneath the floors and cause molds and damage to the floor. It thus ensures they can last longer and protect you from health infections caused by mildew. 

How can I tell if my laminate floor is sealed?

Some homeowners, however, prefer custom-made laminate flooring, especially when selecting luxury vinyl flooring options. And they don’t usually come pre-sealed, so you should first start by asking your vendor whether they are or not. 

Or you can check it yourself. This can be done by:

#1. Simple inspection

Inspecting the laminate flooring is the simplest way to identify whether it has a seal. A sealed floor has a glossy sheen that shines when sunlight exposes. This should indicate that your laminate flooring is sealed and could have a light or heavy top coat. Others have a natural luster, which is distinct and forms part of the seal. 

#2. Scrape the floor lightly

This may sound counterproductive because the whole point of sealing is to prevent scratches. But if you can find a corner on your floor that is inconspicuous and where the scraping won’t be easily noticed, such as under the bed.

You can use a sharp kitchen knife to scrape a tiny section of the floor, and if there is a small clear material on the knife’s blade, it shows your laminate flooring is sealed. If it’s missing, it means you don’t have a seal, and you can thus apply one yourself if applicable. 

#3. Look for peeling at the edges

Its edges would likely peel if your laminate flooring was installed long ago. This is especially true if these areas are constantly exposed to water, kitchens, and bathrooms. Peeling would not happen if the floors were properly sealed. 

But this technique is not always 100% accurate, as peeling may have been caused by constant exposure to humidity/water. And even with the best of best sealing, it would still peel. 

Also, if you have a new floor, it can be challenging to identify peeling; thus, alternative options will come in handy. 

#4. Inspect floor edges

Laminate floor edges are at the doors, and if installed on the walls, they are on windows. Here, you can spot if there is a thin layer sticking out and thus conclude that your laminate flooring has a seal. Additionally, you can try to scratch these sections, and if you get a thin film, it shows there is a seal. 

#5. Using water splashes

Water splashes are the easiest way to identify seals on laminate flooring, especially when they are waterproof. Spray some water onto the floor and observe whether it sips into the laminate flooring. If the water remains on the surface, it shows there is a sealer. Additionally, if the laminate flooring is sealed, it shouldn’t change color. 

Can laminate flooring be sealed to make it waterproof?

Laminate flooring can be sealed to become waterproof, especially if installed in areas with high spillages, like bathrooms walls, and kitchens. It increases durability, and since most of these alternatives are easily available, it’s more cost-effective than replacing them. 

Here are some sealing options that will make your laminate flooring waterproof;

#1. Applying a polyurethane coat

You can coat your laminate flooring with polyurethane to make it waterproof and scratch resistant, making it the perfect seal. It gives your floor a smooth and glossy appearance. It’s fairly simple to apply, and you only need a mop.

Firstly, pour some polyurethane solution into a bucket and identify the areas that require sealing. 

Secondly, dip your mop into it and wipe these areas before letting it dry. 

Once it dries, apply another coat and let that dry too. Polyurethane requires two layers for proper sealing or as recommended by the manufacturer. 

#2. Using silicone

Silicone is waterproof and widely available, making it a great alternative. You can use it on gaps on your laminate floors or walls to make them waterproof. Additionally, silicone forms a thin layer and thus will not interfere with the floor’s smoothness. 

#3. Using a caulking

Caulking is another reliable sealing alternative, especially if you have big gaps on your floor and you want to make sure that when it expands that it doesn’t crack or bend

Silicone caulking is also widely available; you only need a caulking gun for installation. 

Fill the caulking gun with silicone and aim it onto these gaps.

Apply the caulk in a straight line covering all the desired gaps. Let it sit for a while until it dries; thus, sealing is complete.

How to seal laminate flooring

Sealing laminate floorings is simple; few tools are required depending on the sealant used. Here is a step-by-step guide for proper sealing;

Step#1. Prepare your floor

Before sealing, you have to prepare your floor to ensure the sealant sets well and is durable. 

Firstly, clean any type of dust and other debris from the floor using a broom or vacuum cleaner. 

If it’s Drywall dust, make sure to use a proper vacuum cleaner, or you might end up ruining it.  

Additionally, you can clean it with a soap solution and let it dry. 

Step#2. Prepare the sealant

This step requires identifying the right sealant depending on the laminate flooring. Polyurethane is one of the best alternatives since it is simple to use and readily available. 

Pour the sealant into a proper container where your mop can easily fit to make the application process easier and faster. 

Step#3. Seal the floor

A mop is the best option for sealing since it covers a bigger area and handles sealant solutions well. 

Depending on the floor size, you can use a brush or roller. 

Dip your mop into the sealant and rub it onto the floor. Importantly, begin from one end of the room and proceed progressively towards the exit. 

Let the first sealant dry before applying the sealant again. 

Most sealant solutions require a double application for proper application and higher durability. If your floors have high foot traffic or are prone to water exposure, you can apply up to five times. 

Step#4. Let the sealant dry

The final process involves letting the laminate flooring dry. Ensure the room is well-ventilated; it takes up to 24 hours for proper drying. Some sealants, however, will take a shorter time, and you can inquire with the manufacturer regarding this crucial step.

Once the floor dries, proceed to buffer to make the floors smoother and ensure an even seal. Importantly, it ensures every section, including the edges of the floors, are sealed. 

Step#5. Maintain the sealed laminate flooring

Regular seal inspection ensures it lasts longer and the seal is effective. Look at the edges, joints, and throughout the surface to ensure the floor is not peeling off. In case of damage, repair the seals to prevent further damage. 


How to seal laminate flooring around the toilet

Sealing the floor around your toilet is similar to other areas around the house. You should use three to five layers since it has a higher spillage. It further reinforces the waterproof properties. 

Can you seal laminate flooring with polyurethane?

You can seal your laminate flooring with polyurethane, which is one of the most reliable alternatives. It is simple to apply, readily available, and durable. 

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