How to wateprooof your laminate flooring

I've just bought 6.6 sq metres of bargain-priced laminate flooring (Floormaster) from B&Q in their sale. It cost only 27 to do the whole kitchen! It looks brilliant, and they promise it's for 'Heavy Domestic Use' (AC3). I really can't see how I could justify paying any more for so-called 'superior' types at around 10, 15 or 20 per metre. Mine cost only 3.96 per square meter, including VAT. Get down there before they sell out! I'm not limited to spending 27, plus a bit of underlay, but what on earth would be the point of paying more? It's guaranteed for 10 years and I'm confident it will last a lot longer than that.
But I need to make sure it's waterproof for the areas around the kitchen sink and washing machine. I placed a teaspoon of water on both the top surface, and then the bottom surface of a board. These have a plastic-like coating and proved to be totally impervious to the water. Brilliant! If the board ever gets hit with deep scratches, I'll touch up the scratch with resin to restore the waterproof coating.
The only other way that water can get into my floor is through the thin cracks between the boards. I'll seal-off the perimeter with silicon. I note that Floormaster do a 'superior' model of laminate flooring which they claim is water resistant for bathrooms and kitchens. The composition of these two types of boards only appears to differ, according to Floormaster's layer by layer diagram, by the fact that the main layer is water resistant in the 'superior' model. I guess it needs to be. The main layer is made of particle (chip) board and looks like blotting paper on mine, and most other laminate flooring boards I've seen.
So I intend to apply wood protector fluid around the edges of the boards, hopefully to make the particle layer almost as waterproof as in Floormaster's 'superior' version. I'll use the clear type of wood protector which should just soak in via multiple coatings. I could even dip the ends in a tray of the liquid. This liquid won't sit on the surface, but will soak into the particle board. When it is dry (after several weeks), I may add an additional (surface) coating of water-resistant fence paint (with wax) and finish off with silicon sealant when I lay the floor and make the joints.
Likewise, it's possible that Floormaster apply their water-proofing treatment after making their 'super' version of laminate flooring. If it was applied before the layers are glued together, then the treatment might make the layers less likely to bond together.
Regards George
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On 2 Jan 2004 03:56:05 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (George Bray) wrote:

Cant see this price on www.diy.com so maybe its just an instore price ??-which species of flooring was it ?? Stuart
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Just glue the boards with PVA to provide better sealing. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

I'll second that - I think this is more effective than trying to waterproof the edges.
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On Fri, 02 Jan 2004 15:39:51 +0000, Grunff wrote:

Presumably with waterproof PVA rather than the normal stuff?

This is probably the key on a floor that isn't glued/sealed. Letting anything have the chance to soak into the joins is probably a Bad Thing.

At least the glue will fill and seal the gap and stop capillary action drawing the liquid into the floor.
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Dave Liquorice wrote:

Once polymerised, PVA isn't water soluble. That's not to say I'd want to immerse it for long periods, but the odd exposure to water won't degrade it at all.
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I had wondered about that, as it is recommended that bare worktop edges and sink/hob cutouts are protected with PVA and this always flagged an "are you quite sure?" thought for me :)
Thanks for confirming.
PoP
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Thank you for this suggestion. I wonder if PVA will co-exist satisfactorily with wood preservative if I decide to soak the fibre board core with preservative as stage 1. PVA would then replace my idea of using silicon mastic as I join the boards together. I'll experiment with some test pieces before deciding on my final approach.
I also noticed that the B&Q special offer laminated flooring is not displayed on the diy.com website, but it was advertised in the national UK press.
It's 6.5mm stock described as Floormaster Laminated Flooring - special buy - glue free - AC3 - 10 year domestic guarantee - heavy domestic use. Just 3.96 per square metre.
If the normal thickness is 7mm, then this is probably also 7mm but they might have described it as 6.5mm in order to keep happy the people who prefer to pay a higher price, believing that you only get what you pay for.
Regards George
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On 2 Jan 2004 13:13:26 -0800, George Bray wrote:

Why bother? I've yet to see anything (insect or fungus) seriously eating fibreboard/chipboard/mdf or WHY. Prolonged wet on the other hand will cause the stuff to expand and fall apart but still nothing actually eats it. I think the formaldehyde(sp), or the adhesives in general, used in manufacture has something to do with it...

Or they(*) had a manufacturing problem and it came out at 6.5mm and thus they can't sell it described as 7mm but have this great pile to shift... Of course buy more than you need so if (when) a replacement board is required you have some 'cause I expect this special is a "when it's gone, it's gone" deal.
(*) Not B&Q they don't "make" anything just buy in and brand but I should imagine they have close ties with their suppliers...
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On Fri, 02 Jan 2004 22:43:34 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

I have seen a combination of mold an little red ants devour a piece of chipboard -- the laminated kind with a thin layer of melamine on either side. This was older material, the kind likely to contain formaldehyde. The damage went to about 40 cm from the edge. I'd have wagered against that ever happening, myself... It was damp for a long time, though.
Adjacent timber was eaten away until only the thinnest and toughest strands of wood remained, rather like a forest of uncooked spaghetti.
Thomas Prufer
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On 2 Jan 2004 03:56:05 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (George Bray) wrote:

At the risk of boring people to tears, as I believe I have already mentioned this once, I did a similar thing to you but with dirt cheap laminate from Homebase. It worked out at around 4 a square metre I seem to recall. Anyway, this is the glued variety, also in the kitchen, but more towards the "eating " area, therefore not as exposed to water as maybe yours is. This stuff has been down since May. I have been walking to and fro over it to the back door to the garden as I continued with the rest of the house refurb (yeah, I suppose the right thing to do would have been to leave the floor till last!). The other day I cleaned it up and it looks as if it was put down yesterday. I really do not see why some laminate is so expensive. I've seen some brand names for 25 quid a square metre!
By the way, I feel comfortable with the glued type. You can clamp the planks together really tightly. It takes longer than the click sort, but you can get a very smooth finish with the glued stuff. There were one or two hairline gaps between planks, and I forced wax from one of those coloured sticks you can buy into them.
MM
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(George Bray)

Surely laminate this cheap doesn`t look as good as the real thing & just ends up getting chipped or scratched? I`ve no particular alliance to either (have just started investigating both for a project). I`m slightly more inclined towards hardwood at the moment as it doesn`t look cheep and nasty and will hopefully last longer that the non-glue laminate which seems to be in favour at the moment. I`ll end up paying 15 p/sq m as opposed to 5 p/sq m for the B&Q stuff but you get what you pay for I suppose...
Steve
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Maybe I've been looking at the wrong stuff, but a pack of laminate on Screwfix seems to be in the 30-35 region.
PoP
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wrote:

Go to Floors-2-Go (if that's not too palindromic). They have a wide range of laminate. The Bingo brand really seems like good value at 6.98 a square metre. The advantage of buying a brand there is that they replenish the stock regularly, so you never end up with the problem of needing one more box like when a B+Q or Homebase one-off offer has finished and there is none available.
MM
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15 per square metre sounds reasonable for real wood and I may switch over to that in a few years if I can justify it, and find real wood at anywhere near that price. There's no way my 'special buy' laminate will look as good as hardwood floorboards, I admit, if you have the depth capacity to fit real floorboards.
Dave wrote: "...Why bother? (using wood preservative)...I've yet to see anything (insect or fungus) seriously eating fibreboard/chipboard/mdf or WHY."
My concern comes (1) from the warning on my laminate pack, not to use this particular laminate in kitchens, bathrooms or humid areas, and (2) the frightening rate at which I've seen melamine covered chipboard expand and disintegrate when left outside and get wet. So I reckon the small overhead for an application of wood preservative is worthwhile. I'll probably use Ronseal or plain linseed oil, as sometimes used on wooden boats.
I'm encouraged by reports that this cheap laminate can last pretty well, and maintain its good appearance over many years with a minimum of aftercare. My present approach remains, for a modest house, why pay more?
Regards George
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I'm wondering whether to glue mine together as the final stage, even though the pack says 'glue-free'.
Regards George
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Absolutely, if it is used in a wetter than average environment.
Christian.
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