How does one seal LVT seams when Luxury Vinyl Tile “LVT” most often has a factory-applied urethane coating. These UV cured coatings protect the floor from abuse and allow LVT floors, in most cases, to go without a sealer or finish applied and maintained after installation of the floor.
There are a few potential drawbacks for not using a sealer on an LVT with seams. A concern can be foreign matter finding its way into the seams. The liquid or solid can get below the flooring surface. Cleaning may not remove some or all of these materials.
Water from the cleaning process can soak into the seams. Water may compromise the adhesive. NeverStrip is aware of water compromising adhesive used with PVC Free flooring. A major health care organization is dealing with this issue right now.
Organic matter from food and drink can fall into the seams. The typical cleaning process may not remove these food and liquids. Bacteria may begin to breed and expand. Urine, from incontinent residences or patients may puddle on the floor. The urine may seep into the seams producing unhealthful and not desired “restroom” odors. A building manager obviously does not want restroom odors throughout his/her facility!
There are three solutions to seal LVT seams and the seams of PVC-Free Flooring. They are: 1) floor finish or wax, 2) NeverStrip Vinyl Seal and 3) NeverStrip urethane coatings.
Acrylic floor finish, wax or polish will fill in the seams of an LVT floor. Advantages include low material costs s and ease of use. Also, most facilities know how to apply and care for wax. Floor finish disadvantages include:
1) wax is labor intensive to maintain
2) wax requires stripping with high odors
3) wax yellows over time
4) wax is actually the most expensive option over time
Vinyl Seal is a 21st alternative to wax. Vinyl Seal will seal the seams of an LVT floor with 4/5 coats. Advantages compared to wax include:
1) Each coat dries in 10 minutes-30 minutes for wax
2) Does not yellow
3) Removal is not necessary but is remove-able
4) Less labor intensive than wax to maintain
5) Less expensive to maintain than wax
6) Outstanding traction wet or dry
Vinyl Seal is more expensive at the start compared to wax. But payback is often times less than a year. Long term a Vinyl Seal solution is less expensive than a wax based system because less labor is required.
NeverStrip water-based urethanes are the most durable of the three options. These products will seal LVT seams. These coatings come in Gloss, Satin and Matte. Advantages include:
1) Typical 5+ year durability between coats
2) One coat system
3) Highest chemical and stain resistance
Disadvantages of the urethane coatings are an 8-hour dry time, highest upfront cost and not remove-able from an LVT floor.