Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor

 
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
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Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


We've got a job with some laminate which is badly scuffed. Customer has tried some of the urethane laminate "polishes" like the one from Bona a $20 per quart. They found tha the Bona was a soft finish and wore through in a few days, exposing the scuffs or damage to the laminate. Bad deal.

We've run into two products which claime to be able to acid etch or abrade the laminate (in a safe way) then setting up the laminate to receive the poly.

The two makers (may be the same company in fact) are Varathane and Wood Solv.

These kits are not cheap and are a little scary. both sell for about $100 for a quart or so of the abrading fluid and a gallon of high solid poly.

One experienced floor man said he had a 90% success rate in getting Wood solve to "stick"

Curious if others have tried similar approaches, or if there is any really "hard" finish - unlike Bona, which will hold up. Regarding the likely success or failure of applying poly, I'd most like to hear from guys who have actually tried the chemical abrading/poly process. Conjecture probably won't help much, actual experience with the product will!
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


Regardless of what company comes out with whatever kind of system to do what you are trying to do, the simple fact is that laminate is not designed to take a system like this. The probability of failure is high. The surface of laminate is melamine. Not much will stick to it effectively. If you etch it down to the point where something will stick, you've probably already damaged the pattern beyond repair.

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:10 AM   #3
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


How big of an area are we talking about here? What not consider replacing only the scuffed sections of the floor?
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


We're talking about a 500sf area. Replacement sections to match are not available as best we can tell, and there is no brand stamp on the back.

Regarding gideond's post, I appreciate his reservations. I agree that from my background of 35 years in the flooring business, it's reasonable to have doubts. We need to keep in mind that there are lots of very bright chemists who are working on solutions every day, and forexample it seems clear that they have come up with excellent coating for ceramic tile, which I would never have thought possible. In this case since neither gideond nor I have tried the 2 products mentioned, we just don't know yet.

The contractor I referred to says he has done more than 30 jobs coating laminate with the chem abrading process. So far he seems to know more than anyone.

For this reason, I still hoping to find others who have actually use the Wood Solv product!
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:59 PM   #5
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


You can take your pick....... Follow someone's reservations, who has not used either product mentioned, or patiently wait as I am, to hear from more actual Wood Solve users, so we can hear of their actual experience with the product in this application.

"When we can no longer learn, we die." Aristotle
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:49 AM   #6
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by etbrown4 View Post
...patiently wait as I am, to hear from more actual Wood Solve users, so we can hear of their actual experience with the product in this application...
The wait is over.
I did a web search. Wood-Solv (formerly Rx For Wood Floors) is a product for only wood floors. What next?
Contact NALFA, the North American Laminate Flooring Association. I got a hunch that, if a product designed to refinish laminate flooring actually exists, they will probably know about it.
Please share your findings. Good luck with the project.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


Thanks to TopFloor for the research. I have sent an email to the Laminate Assoc. to learn what they know about, so we'll see.

In the mean time, I went to baneclene.com site (Wood-Solv) and found that the subject is more complex that it first appears.

They make a product called Step1, and here is the heading.... "Wood-Solv No-Sanding Step 1 Prep Cleaner Prepares wood, laminate and engineered floors for refinishing and repair."

They describe this step as slightly softening and etching the old finish to prepare it to receive the final poly coat, "so that it has something to grip"

They go on to say to use a 150 rpm scrubber with a blue pad..."for coated laminates such as Pergot".

It appears that their approach is not to stick the poly to the melamine directly , but to stick it to the old urethane finish on the old laminate. If so, what we are then talking about is really just applying another coat of poly over an original factory urethane finish, now properly prepared for recoating.

To be continued......
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:08 PM   #8
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


Take a look at these:
http://www.mannington.com/residentia...struction.aspx
http://www.shawfloors.com/Tips-Trend...e-Construction

The point is, there is no urethane wear layer. It's Melamine.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


I took a look at the website. They say pour the substance on the floor. Who in their right mind is going to pour a liquid onto a laminate floor and expect it not to damage the floor? It'll soak into the seams and swell the backer board.

I'll call tech support for a few laminate companies Monday and see what they say. I can foresee a lot of laughter.

I won't claim 100% that this will not work. I wouldn't do it nor recommend it to anyone. I think the chance of ruining the floor even worse is very high. You'd better pay the guy that said he has 30 jobs of it under his belt to do it for you and make sure he stands behind the work. I personally think you'll be paying a lot of money to try this and then end up replacing the floor anyway.

Best of luck either way you decide to go! I'd like to see photos of it if it turns out well.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:38 AM   #10
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


We're making progress!

We've talked with the Laminate Association. They are aware of Wood Solv, and are aware that it is an effective approach to recoating laminates.

We've talked with a technical rep at Baneclene. The product has been out there for 7 years. It is designed to attach to the aluminum oxide coating on the laminate, or urethane, whichever the case may be.

They say they have a 100% success record in effectively recoating laminates, except in cases where the laminate was not properly cleaned. They state the obvious when they say products left on the laminate like Orange Glo will impede adhesion.

Further they state that the product is manufactured by Varathane which also owns Rustoleum and many other firms. The Varathane product is sold by Lowes and Home Depot though it may be to be special ordered. Banaclene says that their finish is different that that which is offered by Lowes etc, in that the Lowes poly does not contain a catalyst and is therefore not as hard a finish as the Wood Solv.

With regard to the posting which questioned the pouring of the Wood Solve onto the laminate, the factory rep said that instruction applies to the poly finish not the prep or etching fluid. They say that traditional floor professional mop or rag application is preferred. There is no risk of buckling the laminate due to subsurface absorption.

Now all we need is professional applicator who can tell us of his real world experience with the Varathane or the Wood Solve, and surely most everyone can learn from someone else's live in-the-field experience.

Another alternative for the skeptical would be to purchase the dvd from baneclene which apparantly shows the entire process, and the "before and after images. I do not know the cost. Personally I would be more interested in the wearability after the application, than I would, the look of it.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:11 PM   #11
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


I appreciate everyone`s concern over using excessive moisture on laminate. If the floor is rickety I would use Laminator Plus which is extremely low moisture and a plasticizer type finish. If its a high grade laminate the Wood Solve will work.
But you do not pour anything on the floor. The application of Woodsolv is made with a lambswool applicator by one single push. You cannot expect to get a good finish by pushing the mop back and forth.
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:10 PM   #12
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


We've tried the Bona urethane wax-like product and it seems little more than something like mop&glo. At $20 a quart it wears off rapidly nder the lightest traffic. Ace seems to have a similar product at about $20 a gallon! With the Bona, it almost has to be reapplied daily, with plastic tips on the chairs. (We know felt is better.)

As a result we'd like to hear, if anyone knows if Laminator Plus will hold up when applied over worn floors, in high traffic areas.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:45 AM   #13
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


With Laminate floors so cheap, why are you not trying to convince this customer to install new? Seems like your going through alot of trouble to save this customer money at your own expense.

Personally I would not risk my companies reputation on trying to do something that is not common practice within the industry..
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:01 PM   #14
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart View Post
With Laminate floors so cheap, why are you not trying to convince this customer to install new? Seems like your going through alot of trouble to save this customer money at your own expense.

Personally I would not risk my companies reputation on trying to do something that is not common practice within the industry..


What is the overall cost of this endeavor?? Once you figure materials and labor, and downtime, me thinks I could install new for not that much more. Laminate floors were not designed to last forever, I don't care what the "warranty" says. (well maybe higher end Wilsonart) Anything without a high density core (80% of the market) is not worth the trouble of re-finishing imho.

Become a better salesman and sell your customer on a newer, better floor, instead of being sold to by a questionable product
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


I agree with the two previous posters in that: A) we don't want to do anything which unreasonably risks our reputation, B) Except in low wear situations, laminate is not a long term floor, C) we already excel in our sales ability, and nonetheless want to do what's best for our customer too.

Having acknowledged that, we have the real word to deal with - and this customer's request to give them a few extra years of life with this floor. (You know a lot of folks are suffering in this economy) So far we have about 5-6 knowledgeable folks posting, yet only one has actual experience with applying poly to laminate.

The one expert with actual experience told us over the phone or email that the poly works 90% of the time. Or 100% of the time following a successful bonding test of a small area. At this point, isn't he the best source of knowledge on this topic - if we have not tried the process?

So for the customer, she can choose between a cost of $1 per foot to apply the poly, and give her something which apparently looks like new, or $5-6 per foot for pull up the old laminate and install new Pergot.

It's not complicated, we'll let the customer decide.

Still what is needed here is more input from experts who have actually tried Woood Solv or Varathane. They are the ones who can guide the rest of us most skillfully.

Who knows, what is non-standard today, may become standard tomorrow. It's something we can't know unless you have a crystal ball!
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:54 PM   #16
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Re: Applying Poly Over Laminate Floor


I still don't see the reward for risking your reputation and all the effort your putting into a $500 job. Have at it, and let us know how it turns out

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