How To Hide A Crack In The Laminate Flooring

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Laminate flooring is a popular choice for homeowners looking for the best alternative to solid hardwood flooring. A laminate floor is not only beautiful, versatile, and less costly. It's also long-lasting and generally hard to scratch and chip. However, it doesn't mean it's indestructible. Sometimes, accidents happen, and whether we like it or not, wearing them will inevitably occur over time, showing cracks and other flaws.

How to hide a crack in the laminate flooring? Can it be done? Yes, you can hide and repair cracks in laminate flooring. You can use products like wood filler, wood putty, or wood glue, designed to fill and improve minor to more apparent imperfections in the floor without the need to replace the entire floor or the whole laminate plank. Follow these easy steps.

How To Repair Cracks In Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring, or in some cases, laminate countertop (if it's placed in a kitchen or bathroom countertop), is made of sturdy synthetic material that has a refined look and is easy to maintain. Still, scratches and cracks may surface on the flooring, and these can be mended using wood putty. Follow this guide to use this floor repair tool:

1. Clean The Work Surface

Get rid of the dirt and grime from the laminate flooring using a vacuum cleaner or a broom. Mop the flooring with a solution that includes one cup of dish soap and three gallons of water, or use half a cup of vinegar in three gallons of water. Wash the floor and wait for it to dry. 

2. Identify the Cracks

Check your laminate flooring and see all cracks and chips. Even the insignificant chips should be fixed to stop additional damage. Mark the spots on the damaged plank that need repairing, then pick the color of putty you need to buy. Some marks may not need putty and may be fixed with a particular wax crayon. Ensure the crayon's color is similar to the tone of the flooring. To be assured that the color you take is similar to your flooring, use any colored books to find a swatch resembling your laminate flooring. 

3. Sand the Area

Sand the lining of the cracks to make the area smoother and get rid of any accumulated dirt. This will guarantee that the putty will bond well with the flooring. Remove the dust with a moist sponge.

4. Prepare the Putty

You may buy the putty from a hardware store or online store. Prepare it by mixing it with the hardener in the kit. Mix the putty and the hardener using a plastic scraper or a putty knife. Keep in mind that the putty hardens fast, so you only have a few minutes to fill in the cracks in your laminate flooring. Apply several thin layers of filler instead of a large amount at once. 

5. Remove Excess Putty

Remove the excess putty by using a damp cloth before the putty hardens. Once the putty is dried up, remove excess with a putty knife or a razor blade. Remember to use the razor blade with caution to prevent scratching the laminate floor surface. Alternatively, you can use putty in repairing cracked tile, floor gap, or uneven floor if it doesn't require a more severe approach like a floor gap fixer. 

6. Allow to Dry

The putty hardens in just a few minutes, but you need to let at least wait for two to three more hours for the filler to totally dry before you step on the restored floor.

If you opt to use wood filler instead, you must first familiarize yourself with its main classifications: Water-based and petroleum-based. 

Water-based wood fillers are more crumbly in texture, but their consistency can be modified by adding water. In contrast, Petroleum-based wood fillers are smoother in texture and consistency. 

Protecting Laminate Flooring

To get the best lifespan from your laminate floor, proper cleaning and preservation are important. Here are some basic guidelines that will help you maintain your laminate flooring to its tip-top form:

  • Use wood flooring felt pads everywhere to prevent laminate floors from being scratched with frequent movement of furniture. 
  • Look out for any sharp bits in your shoes, especially common in high heels, as this can scratch your floor.
  • Placemats at entryways. A thinner rubber-backed mat inside is great to remove extra moisture.
  • Consider using a vapor barrier. Laminate flooring consists mainly of wood, and wood reacts to moisture by swelling or warping. So it stands to reason that consistent exposure to moisture is also bad for laminate flooring. A vapor barrier or moisture barrier is the best way to protect it: by preventing moisture from below from penetrating the flooring and damaging it. You'll typically need a vapor barrier if you're installing flooring over concrete and if you're using the floating floor method. Aside from laminate flooring, homeowners also use vapor barriers in solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and vinyl flooring.
  • If you're installing underfloor heating in within the floor joist of your laminate floor, the standard rule is not to let the temperature exceed 27°C. Because they're best used for internal areas of the home and not conservatories where heat loss can be much higher, make sure the material is laid as close as possible to the plywood subfloor, be it plywood or concrete. Underfloor heating can be installed beneath most floor coverings, including vinyl floor, tile floor, concrete floor, linoleum floor, wood floor, and carpet. 

Cleaning Laminate Flooring

male hand applying wood care products and cleaners on laminate floor surface

It's important to clean your laminate flooring correctly as the wrong products or methods can cause problems. Here are helpful tips to consider:

1. Clean Regularly

For your weekly cleaning, clean the floors using dry dust mops or a vacuum cleaners' soft brush accessory to avoid scratching the laminate flooring. Besides, you can use the setting for hardwood on your vacuum if you want to stop the brush from rotating so as not to scratch the floor. If you're going to clean a tiny spill of liquid on the floor, use a cloth or paper towel and wipe it up.​ Don't allow liquids to sit on the laminate flooring for long periods to avoid laminate floor water damage. To spot-treat stains from laminate flooring, follow these steps:

  • Blood: Remove blood from your floor with a window cleaner with a warm, damp cloth. 
  • Chewing gum: Scrape the gum from the floor using a plastic knife and wipe any residue with a damp cloth.
  • Wine, soda, or ink: Remove these stains with a soft, damp cloth. To remove the waxy crayon stain, apply mineral spirits to the wet cloth. You may need to add detergent for stubborn ink marks or add ink remover to the soft cloth to remove the stain. 
  • Nail polish: Add a small quantity of acetone or nail polish remover to a microfiber cloth and rub the spot until all the stains come up. 
  • Scuffs and heel marks: The best way is to go easy when removing scuff marks. Instead of using a chemical, begin with a soft, damp microfiber to lightly wipe the spot away from the surface. 
  • Grease: Rub a block of pack ice to the area until the grease solidifies. Then, scrape the frozen grease off using a plastic knife. Then, wipe off the remaining residue with a bit of window cleaner on the stain and a soft, damp cloth.

2. Don't Soak Microfiber Mop in Water.

Never soak your microfiber mop in water, as this can cause your laminate floor to swell, bubble, and develop flooring gaps. Aside from water, never use bleach. Laminate wood is porous, so when you use bleach, it will absorb it. In addition, bleach solutions usually take the shiny finish off floors, which can stain the floor and change its color. Avoid goods that offer protected shine. These products have film and filler, and while they may work, they will remove the polish on your laminate floor when they leave a residue.

3. Rethink Using Steam Cleaners

Steam cleaners are usually safe to use on any vinyl floor, linoleum, porcelain or ceramic tile, and some forms of hardwood floor, but it's not encouraged to use on laminate floors. While steam cleaners are exceptional for removing grime from hard flooring surfaces, the moisture and intense heat can also ruin your laminate floors. Once the moisture and steam break down the adhesive holding the laminate flooring, it can start bubbling up and should lose. 

Durable Laminate Flooring by Zothex Flooring

Laminate flooring is a great and cost-effective option for your home, whether you're building from scratch or renovating. With care and proper installation, it can last you for many years to come. For a wide array of high-quality and durable laminate flooring, contact Zothex Flooring today, and our experienced team will assist you.

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