Laminate - flooring, which is characterized by high resistance to wear, but even despite this characteristic, if you violate the rules of operation or improper installation of defects on the surface. We will tell how to prevent the occurrence of deficiencies or to restore the original appearance of the already damaged laminated coating.
How to remove scratches?
Scratches or chips on the surface of the floor covering appear if you move the furniture without special "floor mats" under the legs. Also, defects occur when heavy objects fall on the floor. In addition, even tiny sand grains adhering to the sole of a shoe can leave unsightly marks on the floor. So even with careful handling, sooner or later the laminated coating will need restoration.
There are several ways to get rid of scratches on the laminate. Small damages are eliminated with the aid of wax crayons, deep scratches and chips are removed with special putty. Carefully inspect the damaged area. Perhaps the laminated coating can not be repaired, then the damaged board will have to be replaced with a new one.
Wax crayons resemble pencils of small size. Due to the wide color spectrum, you can quickly find the desired shade.
Repair of laminate floor using wax crayons is carried out as follows:
- The site that you plan to repair, you must first thoroughly cleaned from dust or debris. If this is not done, the wax will fall on the dirt particles. So, to depart during operation.
- A layer of wax stick is applied to the cleaned area. If necessary, this procedure is repeated.
- After the scratch has disappeared, a brilliant mark remains in its place. This is due to excess wax. It should be removed with a piece of dry soft cloth.
We repeat that this method is only suitable for shallow scratches.
You can hide very noticeable scuffs on the laminate flooring with your own hands, it is not necessary to resort to the help of specialists. To do this, you must purchase a special paste. Repair kit must be selected carefully so as not to be mistaken with the color. It doesn't matter if you have a dark or light laminate, you can get the desired shade even by mixing several colors. Take a piece of coating to the store to use it as a sample. Special composition can be replaced by acrylic sealant. Usually it is bought in white, and the desired shade is achieved using a dye.
Work with putty requires accuracy. There is a risk that from the first attempt not everything will turn out well. We recommend to practice in advance on the spare board before trying to repair the defect in a prominent place. This will tell you if the color is right. And learn to mask scratches and embed chipped.
The process of eliminating defects looks like this:
- The coating is cleaned from dust and any other dirt.
- A viscous mass is squeezed out of the tube in a small amount onto the area being embedded. Part of the paste is applied to the spatula (it can be wooden, plastic, rubber or metal).
- When leveling, putty should be slightly pressed inside the chip.
- After application, the area is wiped with a damp soft sponge, removing excess material.
- The restored place is left for a couple of hours until completely dry.
If you see that the damage on the coating is too strong, then it is better not to waste time on their termination. Immediately proceed to the replacement of damaged boards.
How to replace the laminate board?
There are two main types of laminate board connections:
- Collapsible, which include swivel, combination and locks like "click" and "t-lock".
- Disposable, these include locks "lock" and glue.
In this regard, there are two methods for replacing laminated boards: the first involves disassembling the coating, the second is possible using a circular saw.
Replacing disassembly method
This method is simpler, but will take more time, especially if the shabby board is far from the wall, so it is advisable to use it if the place of damage is near the plinth. If the disfigured laminate is located in the center of the room, then it will take a long time to disassemble the entire coating. In this case, we recommend repairing the laminate without disassembling. You can read about this method below.
Step-by-step instructions for replacing laminated boards:
- First you need to provide access to the coating. To do this, you need to dismantle the plinth, located near the wall next to the damaged board. Remove the baseboard carefully, so as not to damage, otherwise it can not be reused.
- Then, using a chisel, the corner board is opened (first along the long side and then along the short side).
- Next is to disassemble the coating to the damaged area. To make the boards easily disconnect, they need to be raised 45 °. So the ends will be released from the grooves, without spoiling the locks.
- Replacement boards made carefully and slowly. When laying new boards avoid gaps.
- After replacement, the disassembled coating is assembled in the reverse order. Plinth returns to its original place.
New board should be the same brand that is already available. So you will avoid problems with locks or discrepancy of color.
Replacing sawing method
Do-it-yourself laminate repair is done like this:
- Before you cut a battered board, you need to make a markup. To do this, put the dots in the corners of the board. From the tops of the corners inward, small segments (3-5 cm) are held at an angle of 45 °. Combining internal marks, we get a rectangle, the size of a little less than a laminated board.
- A saw for the parquet is cut out an inner rectangle. Cut it from all sides, trying not to hurt the edges. This should be done carefully so that the cutting line is smooth. After that, the cut part is removed.
- The main part is removed, it remains to remove the remains of the laminate. Butt parts break with a chisel, hammer or pliers. The remaining pieces of the board need to file.
- Before installing a new board, it is necessary to carry out a preparatory action. To do this, the connecting spike should be filed, giving a wedge shape.
- Prepare the surface before mounting. The glue remains are cleaned with a chisel. Vacuum removes sawdust and other small debris. Carefully inspect the nearby boards. If their condition leaves much to be desired, then they will also have to be replaced.
- A new board is inserted, checking whether it fits in size. After that, the sides of the board and the surfaces that will come into contact with it are treated with glue. Then put it in place.
- Use a dry cloth to remove excess glue.
- The place of repair must be fixed. To do this, place something heavy on top.
It is allowed to remove the load and use the coating after 12 hours.
How to eliminate or mask the gaps between the joints?
There are several reasons why there are unattractive gaps between laminate boards:
- Buying substandard material. In order to save, you can make a mistake with the choice of laminate. Too cheap coverage is often problematic. In this case, even after proper installation, gaps appear at the joints. Do not use boards with cracks or distortions, even if their defects appear to be minimal. During operation, the situation will greatly deteriorate.
- Even at one manufacturer, lots can vary in size of the planks or in types of the lock, so the joints loosen with time, and small gaps appear.
- Laying on an uneven surface. Manufacturers guarantee a long life for a floor covering only when placed on a flat floor. Even the substrate is compacted over time, loses its shock-absorbing ability and stops compensating for the unevenness of the floor. So, before laying the boards, check the degree of flatness of the base in the room and, if necessary, use a self-leveling screed.
- Large fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Boards change their volume, gaps are formed between them. Before installing the package with laminate should lie in the room a couple of days to get used to the climatic conditions. After installation, it is necessary to maintain approximately the same level of humidity and temperature in the room.
If the cracks did appear, then in this case the repair of the laminate is done with your own hands:
- The easiest way is to mechanically close the gap. Try to get rid of the gap by striking a hammer several times towards the gap.
- The slots can be filled with special wood filler. This option is suitable if the holes are small.
- The last solution is to partially or completely dismantle the laminated coating. How to do this, you already know. There is no need to throw out good boards, only problem ones need replacing (pay attention to grooves and ridges).
Damaged boards can be mechanically re-laid and reused, but in the long term, a problem with gaps will still arise.
Now you know how to deal with scratches or chips and how to eliminate the gaps between the boards. Using our recommendations, you can restore the attractive appearance of the floor covering yourself, but remember that the best way to get rid of defects is to prevent their appearance.