Having LifeProof flooring is a sight to behold but having damaged seams, such as peels, rises, or gaps, lessens its attractiveness. Are you not sure how to go about fixing them? We researched techniques and ways to give you helpful guides to have those simple fixes before they damage your whole flooring.
You can fix peeled or raised LifeProof flooring seams by applying adhesive and laying weights on them. If gaps occur between the seams, you can apply wood putty or caulk. You can also use a rubber mallet and floor suction tool to fix those gaps.
LifeProof vinyl planks are joined by tongue and grooves at their edges. There are tools and techniques needed to do the fixes and repairs. Keep reading as we explore all these to restore your flooring to a new look.
Problems With LifeProof Vinyl Flooring
LifeProof is a brand of luxury vinyl flooring manufactured by Halstead New England Industries. Its vinyl planks bespeak durability and surface texture that resembles extremely well with their natural counterparts. It is more expensive than regular vinyl yet more affordable than hardwood flooring.
LifeProof flooring is equally beautiful. However, like any vinyl, it has its share of problems and challenges that need to be addressed if you want your flooring to look sleek and clean. Here are common problems:
Vinyl planks joined together may have lifted seams called peaking. They appear to pop up, get raised, or peel off at the joined edges. These altered seams can be annoying and unsightly, but they could also be a tripping hazard. The reasons behind this are:
- expansion and contraction of vinyl due to climate conditions
- moisture or sunlight exposure
- water seepage into the joints
- minor scratches at the joints that are left unattended
One way to fix this issue is to apply adhesive and lay weights to flatten them. A step-by-step guide is outlined in a separate section below.
Gaps Between Planks
Vinyl planks separating is not surprising. Due to the nature of vinyl, this problem may seem frustrating to some homeowners. The formation of gaps between the planks happens due to varied reasons. Here we list the factors that induce the flooring separation:
- expansion and contraction of vinyl due to climate conditions
- weakening of the planks' interlocking grooves
- high foot traffic and movement of heavy objects such as furniture and fixtures
- moisture and molds build-up
Don't get overwhelmed. There are easy and simple ways to resolve the problem, as discussed below.
How to Apply Adhesive to LifeProof Flooring Seams
Outlined below is a step-by-step guide to fixing loosened seams of LifeProof vinyl flooring planks properly.
Step 1: Clean the Affected Area
You must clean the exposed and altered seams. When the joining edges appear to rise, dirt may have accumulated, such as hairs and pet dander. These should be removed, or else the adhesive you apply may not stick firmly and will lose effectiveness in just a short time.
Use a putty knife or mini pry bar between the seams to remove embedded dirt. There could also be stubborn dirt, especially if the damaged portion is in a high foot-traffic area of the house. As a final clean-up, use a vacuum cleaner for thorough cleaning.
Step 2: Work on the Seam
Roll the raised portion of the seam. Further vacuum the exposed seam to ensure there are completely free from loose dirt and debris.
If a vacuum cleaner isn’t available, a wet cloth with detergent can be dabbed over the area to loosen the dirt. Be sure to wipe dry everything before proceeding.
With a hair dryer, blow hot air over the exposed seams and the surrounding area. This will warm and soften the vinyl plank to make it easier to work on them. More importantly, heated vinyl prevents cracking that can add to its long-term durability.
Step 3: Apply Adhesive
With a putty knife, apply a thin layer of flooring adhesive underneath the peeled or raised seam. Spread evenly in one lengthwise direction. Be mindful that the corners and the edges are fully covered. You can then close the seam securely to its original position.
Wipe off excess adhesive that will squirt from the joined edges with a dry, soft cloth. Avoid leaving adhesive to dry on the plank surface.
This flooring adhesive is specifically formulated for luxury vinyl planks. It is waterproof and sensitive to pressure. With the correct application, it makes a superior bond and a permanent tack.
Step 4: Apply Pressure
Lay a heavy object over the fixed seam. Any object will do, provided that it is flat, that can give uniform pressure. This could be a block of wood, a stack of hardbound books, or similar items. The pressure creates a stronger adhesion between the fixed seams. More important, it should also remove any air pockets, too.
Leave the area with the heavy object above the fixed seams for twelve hours to ensure the adhesive is completely dry underneath.
Step 5: Seal the Seam
To finish your task, you need to seal the seam. The seam will look fresh a new in the coming years. Sealing keeps water and dirt from building up that will cause them to peel or rise at a later time. It will also make the surface scratch-resistant and makes routine cleaning easier.
A vinyl flooring seam sealer with an applicator, just follow the accompanying instructions manual. And lastly, completely dry the area from any spills before you walk on them.
How to Fix LifeProof Vinyl Planks Separation
There are many ways to fix your LifeProof vinyl planks separating joining edges.
Use Grip Pad and Wood Block
Position a grip pad underneath a wood block. A 12-inch 2x4 wood block or a similar dimension would suffice. If grip pads aren't available, double-sided adhesive tape is a good alternative. The grip pad, or adhesive tape, should run along the length of the wood block.
Lay the wood block above the plank you wish to fix. Step on the wood, thus putting weight on it. The purpose of the grip pad or adhesive tape underneath is to have the wood block not get displaced while stepping on it. With a rubber mallet, tap the wood block toward the direction to close the gap of the vinyl planks.
When working on vinyl flooring, a rubber mallet is recommended rather than a steel hammer. The steel can damage the flooring due to the softness and pliability of the vinyl material.
Use Suction Tool and Rubber Mallet
Clean the gaps from dirt and hairs with a vacuum cleaner. Also, ensure the plank surface isn't dusty and entirely smooth and flat. Position the suction tool over the plank you are trying to fix. Press down the levers so that the cups will perform their superior suction.
With the rubber mallet, tap the suction tool to close the gaps. With every tap, you should see the vinyl plank gradually moving towards closing the gap. Release the levers, remove the suction tool, and you can move forward to the other planks that need to be fixed.
Amazon has named this kit more user-friendly. It is called the floor gap fixer tool.
Apply Wood Putty
If the gaps are relatively small, you can fill in those gaps by applying wood putty that matches the color of your planks. Be sure to clean the gaps before working on them.
However, wood putty has limitations in terms of aesthetics. While matching its color with the planks to join, you should observe the putty color while wet and dry as well. It is because the color tone of some wood putty can significantly change when dry.
This wood putty is color-matched filler for the flooring gaps. It is a go-to choice among DIYers due to its ease of application. You can easily spread it over the intended area.
The application of caulk is similar to wood putty. Choose latex, acrylic, or silicone caulk. Also, ensure to match the caulk color with your vinyl planks.
Clean the gaps before working on them. Cover the plank areas near the edges to be joined with masking tape. Proceed to caulk the gaps. Remove the masking tape once the caulk dries up. Clean the excess caulk with your fingers.
In addition, you can also consider doing caulking in conjunction with the first two methods above, that is, using suction cups and a wood block.
Why Choose LifeProof Vinyl Flooring?
Despite the challenges in terms of maintenance and upkeep of vinyl planks, LifeProof is still at par in the industry. Its durability has been well proven over the years, resilient to heavy foot traffic, alongside its affordability relative to other flooring materials. Also, installation and cost of cleaners aren't expensive.
Due to climate conditions and air temperature, it is not surprising that your LifeProof vinyl plank flooring will have gaps or be raised at the seams. Correcting these seams isn't a daunting task. With the appropriate tools and helpful guides presented in this post can get your Lifeproof flooring restored to a new look while lengthening its usefulness for many more years.
These posts can give you additional insights into your vinyl plank flooring: