Can I put polyurethane on my laminate floor?

Q: Can I put polyurethane on my laminate floor?

A: If by laminate you mean the product with the hard, melamine like surface, then NO.

Similar Q: I have had my laminate floor now for about 4 or 5 years. I have not found anything that will give it a shine. Can I apply an application of polyurethane?

A: Putting polyurethane on laminate – a No! Phone the floor manufacturer to see if they have any treatment for their product. Otherwise, use a hardwood floor cleaner to see if that will brighten it up.

Transitional strip to join carpet and laminate on concrete

Q: What kind of transitional strip do you use to join carpet and laminated flooring on concrete?

A: Probably what is called a T cap, flat cap or dome cap. I would contact the manufacturer of the laminate or the store where you purchased it to get the appropriate strip.

Related Q: We are trying to find and install a transition from laminate wood floor to concrete floor. The gap in height is 7/8″ because the underlay and laminate itself are thick, and the reducer provided with the laminate is not big enough to cover this gap. We want to know how else to make this transition and avoid a tripping hazard.

A: There are a couple of ways you may attempt to deal with this step of almost an inch. You could install a piece of the laminate on the face of this step and then install a stair nosing made for laminate. That may be the best way.

Pulled up part of a laminate board

Q: While pulling out our stove it caught and pulled up part of a laminated wood board. How can we fit it back in, replace a single laminated board, without having to replace the whole floor?

A: If this has a better click joint such as Torly’s laminates do, and if you left a small expansion space along the wall, you should be able to push the floor apart about 3/8, drop the board into place and snap it in. Torlys also makes a tool to ease the task of replacing panels in the middle of the floor. That expansion space is essential for success.

Standard transition materials are not fitting

Q: After installing laminate flooring in a living room and bedroom, we realized the standard transition materials are not fitting in the oversized gap. What can we do to fix this problem?

A: It reminds me of the old saying ‘measure twice, cut once’. At this point, I think you will have to find someone who will make you a custom strip wide enough to cover the space. Anybody with a good table saw and a bit of skill could make something up.

Related Q: We have installed 3/4 inch hardwood in our living room and there are several doorways with different issues to transition to. The hardwood flooring product does not offer a carpet reducer and the color of the flooring would not be a standard match for a premade piece. Do you have any other ideas for something to go from hardwood to carpet, other than just rounding off the last board and butting the carpet up to it? Also in the kitchen, the tile is slightly higher than the flooring and I want something really nice there because it is the main traffic area. Not the old gold metal strips. Any non-traditional ideas?

A: Any retailer who specializes in wood flooring should also carry transition strips for just about any occasion. For the kitchen tile to hardwood you could use something called a dome cap. There is also one for wood to carpet. You would have to stain and finish it yourself.

Steam mop for laminate floors?

Q: Due to back and neck problems, it is very difficult for me to use conventional cleaners on my laminate floor. Is it safe to use the ******* Steam Mop on my Torlys Uniclic Wide Plank laminate (there are grooves between the planks)? Can I use a steam mop on laminate floors?

A: No, I wouldn’t recommend that. I would suggest you go to their web site and see their recommendations for cleaning their laminates.

Similar Q: Is it safe to use a steam mop on laminate flooring? I have Torlys uniclic flooring and I am considering buying a steam mop to use instead of the way I clean it now. Is there a risk of separating the laminate if I use a steam mop?

A: I would strongly discourage you from using a steam mop on any wood, engineered or laminate. Why not simply vacuum and occasionally use a micro weave mop and a cleaner recommended by the floor manufacturer?

Another Similar Q: I am considering the purchase of a D*** D**** Steam cleaner. Product information says it can be used on sealed laminate. I have Armstrong laminate flooring. What is sealed laminate?

A: I’ve never heard the term “sealed laminate”. I would suggest you do not use a steam cleaner on any laminate or any wood product.

Previous owner used the wrong cleaner or possibly wax on floors

Q: We recently moved into a house with laminate wood floors. I think the previous owner used the wrong cleaner or possibly wax on them. The floors look dirty with a film on them. How do I clean these floors?

A: Any of the cleaners for polyurethane finishes could probably be used to remove the residue. You could use this one: or even one purchased from this site called Bare Floor:

Similar Q: I have a laminated floor that has a residue build up. I cannot get it clean. I recently used O***** G** for laminated floors, and I believe this made the film on the floor. I am ready to have a new floor installed. Any suggestions to make the residue disappear?

A: Here are a couple of cleaners you might try: Bona Pacific floor cleaner or one made by Swing Paints called Bare Floor.

Removing bubbles on laminate flooring

Q: Can I remove bubbles on laminate flooring?

A: No, but you may be able to change the panel(s).

Similar Q: After our installer installed our laminate floor, we noticed a few bubbles in it. What should we do? Is this a poor quality laminate or can he repair it? Should we continue? Thank you!

A: There shouldn’t be bubbles in the surface of your laminate floor. I would suggest it is a defective panel. Torly’s and Quick Step are top of the line laminates and it is possible to pull the floor apart in the middle of the room provided an expansion space has been left around the perimeter of the room. I don’t know about your product. The installer might have to start at the last panel installed and take it all apart, back to the bad panel(s).

My laminate floors are very dull

Q: My laminate floors are very dull and won’t shine when washed. What can I do?

A: I would check with the manufacturer to see if they have a recommended cleaner. I am fairly sure, however that Bona Kemi Pacific floor cleaner can also be used on laminate.

Another one which can be purchased on line is made by Swing Paints in their Circa1850 line called Bare Floor.

Edges raising in centers of laminate boards

Q: We had a laminate floor fitted 6 months ago, and some edges in the center are raising slightly. Also, there are slight divisions becoming apparent in some areas. Is this expected or should I complain to the fitters?

A: This type of flooring is supposed to be more stable than solid wood. Not all are created equal. what you describe is usually a symptom of excess humidity swings. During installation, a gap should have been left along walls to allow for any expansion. That may be an issue here as well as the product you had installed. I wouldn’t consider it normal or desirable.

Torly’s and Uniclick are 2 of the best

Q: We recently purchased Torly’s Laminated flooring with the 4 bevelled edges. It is supposed to be 9.5 mm thickness… What does this thickness refer to, the wear layer or the core? I am asking because we have only had the floor for 5 months and have found it is not standing up to the durability of the laminate in our previous house (only 7 mm thick and much cheaper). I am in fact very disappointed with the durability of the Torly’s floor – we have several scratches on it already, as well as dents, and we have not abused the floor. In fact, we are treating it much more carefully than the previous flooring that was used at our last house. Have you ever had any other complaints about the durability of Torly’s flooring for scratching and denting, etc.?

A: I try not to get too involved with laminates, because they are not a “lifetime” floor. However, Torly’s and Uniclick are 2 of the best. 9 mil, 7 mil etc., I believe refers to the thickness of the floor in its entirety. If you are not happy with it and feel you have a legitimate complaint, I would suggest you contact them. They do have a tool that can be used to remove a panel or plank from the middle of the room, and replace the board.

How long does it take for locking hardwood floors to settle?

Q: How long does it take for locking hardwood floors to settle? We installed locking hardwood floors in the living room and you can see the floor move when you walk on it near the fireplace.

A: Do you mean click joint laminate? It is floating, so some movement wouldn’t be a surprise. If you have a dip in the sub structure near the fireplace, that should have been levelled first.

Burn mark on laminated wood floor

Q: This morning I dropped a very hot burner from the stove off onto my laminated wood floor. I now have a burner ring burn mark on the floor. What should I do? Can you replace just the one board or do I need to replace the whole floor? Or can that board be repaired?

A: This is the hard surface laminate, like your counter top? I don’t think there is any way to repair it. However, if it is a click joint, you may be able to remove the one panel and install a new one. Torlys, who make very good laminates have developed a special puller for removing such panels from the middle of the room. If however, there was no space at the walls, as installation requires, this will be a problem.

Gaps in laminate flooring

Q: I purchased a home a year ago that had laminate flooring in the living room. Everything was fine, until 1/8 inch gaps appeared suddenly at the ends of about 10 planks near the center of the floor. The gaps didn’t form along the grooved, long side of the plank, but rather at the ends of the planks. What would cause this and how can it be corrected?

A: Not sure why that would happen, unless the joint on those end panels is damaged. You should be able to push or kick them back together, but they should not be able to come apart that easily.

Laminate floor making cracking sounds

Q: We had a laminate floor professionally installed about a year ago. Now it makes cracking sounds when walked upon. any idea what causes this? It started in a few spots, but now has spread throughout the floor.

A: In situations like this, I could only guess. At this point I don’t even know anything about the laminate you have. Who is the manufacturer? Is it click joint? I would suggest you contact the manufacturer. Problems of this nature generally are related to climate conditions in the home.

Installing laminate around spindles

Q: I am about to replace the carpeting in the living room of my 13 year old side-split bungalow. Once the carpet is removed, I will install a high end laminate. We have a custom oak finished banister with spindles that run up the stairs and across the living room floor to the wall. The current carpet was installed after the banister/spindles during construction. The banister and each spindle are anchored directly to the sub floor.

Question: How do I go about installing laminate around spindles? Do I notch it? Then continue laminating on the other side of the railing to the dropoff and finish it with bullnose on the edge? Then quarter round the expansion gaps around each spindle and banister?Or can I remove the whole banister, and mount and anchor through the laminate into the sub for each spindle and banister?

A: I think it would look much better if you disassembled the railing/spindle system and install the laminate. My other idea, and you may not really like it is: considering this is a main room in the house, I think your money would be much better spent on a solid, 3/4 thick floor. This will last well beyond our lifetime. Laminates are generally considered “time limited”. If you do stay with the laminate approach, keep in mind that your sub floor must be just about dead flat for this type of floor covering to work. I highly recommend Torly’s products in this genre.

A final thought on your pickets. Rather than boring holes through the floor, I think I would use a bottom rail secured by a screw at each end, and if needed, one in the middle. The spindles can all be installed onto this bottom rail. Just my idea.

Related Q: I want to laminate our upstairs hallway, but the laminate would finish at the banisters as beyond is a sheer drop. What do I use as a finishing strip? This would also run parallel with the top stairs.

A: You will need to find a tiny molding which is the thickness of the laminate which would butt against the edge of the laminate and up to the pickets. Or, perhaps where you are buying the laminate they have a special transition strip.