Is Laminate Flooring Considered Sealed? All You Need to Know

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners because it’s affordable and easy to maintain. But one question that often comes up is whether or not it’s considered sealed.

Most laminate flooring is considered pre-sealed unless they don’t have a glossy sheen, the material that is revealed on the surface when it’s scraped off is not transparent. Also, if the color changes when it’s soaking up liquid, the manufacturer will mention that you must apply it yourself if it’s not pre-sealed.

Unsure if your laminate flooring is sealed and needs some clarification? Well, you’re not alone. This is a very common question and one that you should probably know before you go out and buy your new laminate flooring. 

What’s Considered a Sealed Floor?

A sealed floor has its surface pores filled up with polymer molecules. The polymer-based coating creates a smooth surface that can resist dirt or water damage. The sealant is a physical barrier against dirt and grime and makes it easy to maintain the floor.

Now, if yours is not sealed, do you really need to seal it anyway? Check out this article to answer that question.

Are Laminate Floors Considered Sealed?

Yes, laminate floors are usually pre-sealed, so you should not apply any sealant to the surface. In fact, some manufacturers specifically mention that using any sealant after installation will void the warranty. 

It’s also important to note that this only applies to the laminate floor’s surface. This means the edges and joints are not sealed and may require sealant if you want to have extra protection. 

How Do You Tell If Your Laminate Floor Is Sealed?

There are quick and easy ways to figure out if your laminate floor has been sealed or not. Take a look at them below.

  1. Check the floor’s sheen.

The simplest method to check if your laminate floor is sealed is not is to look for a high-gloss sheen on the surface. This indicates that a protective layer of sealant has been applied to the floor. 

  1. Use a small amount of water.

The second method is the ‘water beading’ test. This involves putting drops of water on the laminate floor to see if it absorbs them or not. If the water stays beaded on the laminate floor’s surface and its color does not change, then you can assume that your floor has been sealed. 

  1. Check for scratches

Another way to distinguish a sealed floor from an unsealed one is to look for scratches. If the floor gets scratched when you drag a chair across it and a different color is visible because of the scratches, then it means there is no sealant applied.

  1. Scrape the floor lightly.

This method should be used as a last resort because it’s a little destructive. Use a blade or a floor scraper to scrape the flooring lightly. The material that is scraped off should be transparent. If not, then the floor has not been sealed. 

Can You Seal Your Laminate Flooring?

You can seal your laminate flooring with ease. However, it’s important to note that applying a sealant is not very common, and it should only be done if specifically recommended by the manufacturer. 

However, for extra protection, you can seal the joints and edges of the laminate flooring if they are not glued, and there are sealants specifically designed for this purpose that can be used. 

What Can I Use to Seal My Laminate Floor?

You can use two types of sealants to seal your laminate floors. 

  1. Silicone caulking
  2. Polyurethane coating

You should check the manufacturer’s instructions before deciding what sealant to use for your laminate flooring, as compatibility needs to be considered. 

Some manufacturers offer specialty laminate sealers for their own flooring. In addition, you need to purchase a sealant that has a sheen that matches your floor’s finish. 

How To Seal Your Laminate Flooring?

If you have decided to sell your laminate flooring, here are the steps you should take.

  1. Get the right equipment.

You’ll need some materials to start the sealing process. These include protective clothing, water, mop, floor buffer, and floor sealant. 

Not all types of sealants are suitable for the flooring you may have. While 100% silicone caulk is compatible with almost every brand, the same cannot be said for other sealants.

  1. Prepare the floor

Before starting with this step, when available reviewing the manufacturer’s instructions for sealing your laminate flooring is also highly recommended because some have very specific instructions. 

If not, there is a certain way that you have to go about it. First and foremost, you need to prepare the floor, which means cleaning it and removing all the furniture. You want to be able to access the floor without any problems and minimize any damage.

You also need to mop the floor and ensure it is squeaky clean because even the tiniest particles of dirt and dust can impact the quality of the sealant. Make sure to use the right type of products to avoid ending up with a white film on your flooring. Once the floor is ready, you should don protective clothing and gloves. 

  1. Prepare the sealant 

The instructions are usually provided on the sealant’s label, as some have to be watered down, or you may have to mix two solutions together. Always check them out because the steps can vary from brand to brand. Make sure you prepare extra, as you might need it. 

Moreover, some sealants are not prepared and can be used directly. The floor needs to be dry before you apply the sealant. 

  1. Apply the sealant 

Consider your laminate flooring as the canvas and the sealant you are using as paint. Depending on your preference, you can use a paintbrush, a roller, a rag, or a mop to apply the sealant to your laminate flooring. 

The key is to apply an even amount of sealant to the surface of the laminate flooring. If the sealant is too much, it will create a milky film over the laminate floor. If that happens, removing and applying the sealant is best. 

Some sealants have to be applied in several layers. In that case, you must wait for each coating to dry before applying the next. The brand label on the sealant will tell you what reaction you can expect. 

  1. Allow it to dry

The key here is to be patient and to let the sealant dry properly. Do not try to speed up the process in any way because that can lead to damage. Once the coating is dry, you can use a floor buffer or even a clean rag to increase the shine of your laminate flooring.

This can be done with every coating of the sealant you apply, or you can do it directly on the top surface to give it a shine.

  1. Dealing with the edges

Applying the sealant to the surface of the laminate flooring is only needed if it is not pre-sealed. But, many manufacturers warn about applying the sealant to the surface, as it can void the warranty. 

In this case, you have to apply the sealant to the edges of the laminate floors, and the steps to follow in this case are:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner, or brush to remove any dust or dirt from the edges and expansion gap. 
  • Once the floor is clean and prepared, you need to open the sealant and apply a line of it throughout the room’s perimeter with a natural bristle brush. Cover the entire area that the baseboard will cover, along with 1/4th outside of it. 
  • Do this throughout the room, and be careful when sealing the areas around doorjambs and cabinets. You can also use the sealant around plumbing fixtures, bathtubs, sink bases, and shower enclosures.
  • If you want to seal the laminate flooring joints, finish the perimeter first and then do them. 

You can check out this video below to help you understand how to seal your laminate flooring. It’s available in tubes, so you must cut the tip to make a small opening. Keep the opening small to make it easy to manage the silicone flow.

Squeeze the silicone out of the tube while moving along the seams. It’s similar to how you glaze a cake. You can use a putty knife or wet finger to smooth it out. And lastly, allow the silicone to dry.  

Should You Seal Laminate Flooring?

If your laminate flooring is not sealed, it’s certainly worth doing so because you want to get the most out of the floor. Sealing can help you do that, and there are several advantages that homeowners can enjoy when they decide to sell their laminate floors. Some of these are mentioned as follows.

  1. As long as you use compatible sealants for your laminate flooring, it will help protect the floor from the damages that excessive moisture would inflict. Moisture, such as dampness caused by your floor, can reduce its lifespan, so sealing can make a big difference.
  1. Since sealing your laminate flooring ensures that the moisture cannot pass through the planks to the subfloor, you don’t need to worry about damages that could occur due to large leaks or spills. 
  1. Sealing laminate flooring is also handy because it provides a glossy sheen. This will make the floor appear shiny and new. Who wouldn’t want that?
  1. Another benefit of sealing your laminate flooring is that it’s inexpensive to waterproof the planks. Buying waterproof laminate flooring can be costly, so this is a cheaper alternative for you to protect your floors from moisture damage. This is especially the case when you want to install laminate on your shower walls or bathroom walls. 
  1. Sealing laminate flooring is also a good decision because it makes the planks easier to clean and maintain. All you have to do is wipe the floor, even if there is a spill, and not have to worry about the subfloor taking a hit. Likewise, since the floors look shiny, you don’t have to scrub and wipe excessively.
  1. The sealant used on laminate flooring is also designed to protect the laminate from wear and tear, such as scratch marks, which can extend its life. 

Other than sealing your laminate floor, there are some other steps you can also take to protect it and keep it safe. Check them out below.

  1. Seal the floor and the joints

Remember to do the surface and joints when you seal the floor for maximum protection. If the surface is pre-sealed, you can seal the edges and the joints for extra protection. 

  1. Keep the floor dry

Always have a mop or rag handy to immediately clean up any splashes or spills, and do not wait for them to dry naturally. Otherwise, it’ll only give the laminate floor time to soak the water, leading to damage. Whereas if you clean it up quickly, nothing will be left to absorb.

  1. Do not drag heavy furniture.

Another important thing to remember for protecting your laminate flooring is to not drag heavy furniture across it. Doing so can put dents in the flooring, leave scratches, or do serious damage like breaking the planks. 

  1. Cushion the base of the furniture

When you place heavy furniture over laminate flooring, make sure you cushion the base of the furniture to protect it. Some pads are available for this specific purpose. You can also put a carpet underneath it to create a cushion. 

  1. Sweep regularly

It’s not just water that can damage your laminate flooring. Dirt is also damaging, so you should sweep the floor regularly and keep it clean. 


What Are Laminate Floors Sealed With?

Laminate flooring can be sealed with sealants that are specifically designed for this purpose. You can apply a polyurethane top coat or use silicone caulk to seal your laminate floors. 

Can Laminate Flooring Be Sealed to Make It Waterproof?

Yes, you can seal laminate flooring to make it waterproof and protect it from the damage inflicted by moisture. But, it would be best if you remembered that the surface does not need to be sealed in all cases, so it’s best to check the manufacturer’s instructions before doing so. You will not have to seal if you buy waterproof laminate flooring. 

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