Laminate flooring provides a modern elegance to your home without the hefty price tag of real wood. If laminate floors are cleaned properly, you can get a long-lasting floor option that can hold up just as well as hardwood.
Like with any type of flooring, basic day-to-day care is necessary. Use a dust mop or a vacuum paired with a soft brush attachment to clean up dirt and debris. For mopping, use a cotton, terrycloth or microfiber mop. Avoid harsh chemicals that can ruin your laminate flooring.
You’ll want to protect your laminate floors from the sun’s harsh rays. Excessive heat and direct sunlight can cause fading and aging on exposed areas of the floor. If possible, purchase blackout curtains and keep them closed throughout the day.
How to Prevent Damage
- Liquid isn’t good for laminate. Any type of aqueous substance can seep in between the laminate boards causing swelling and unnecessary damage. Keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of water or disinfectant in order to achieve a thorough clean. Only spray as much as you need on a section of the floor as you mop. If a lot of water or liquid is left behind after you mop a spot, you’re using too much. The floor should dry on its own within one minute of mopping it.
- Ice is helpful in removing wax or gum. By using the ice method to harden tough substances like wax or gum, you can gently scrape them off with a plastic scraper or a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface, and wipe down the area with a clean, slightly damp cloth. This will prevent any permanent damage to the floor.
- Never use a broom. By using a broom to clean a laminate floor, you risk leaving behind dust, dirt and debris which can cause minor scratches. Try a microfiber dry mop instead.
- Be careful when moving furniture. The legs of furniture can easily scratch and damage laminate floors. When moving furniture from one place to the next, use pieces of carpet turned upside down, or store-bought floor protector pads. This will enable the furniture to glide across the floor while at the same time protecting the floor.
- Use entryway rugs. By placing rugs at each entryway into the room where the laminate flooring has been installed, people can wipe their shoes on the rugs and leave behind a significant amount of debris. The less dirt on the floor, the less damage.
- Laminate floors don’t sand. These floors are not made of wood and they cannot be sanded and refinished. One of the benefits of laminate flooring is that they’re more scratch resistant than real wood, and if a plank does become damaged, you can easily replace it.
Invest in area rugs to further protect your laminate floors from damage. Area rugs can trap dirt and debris, keeping the laminate flooring clean while preventing scratches and divots. Be sure to vacuum the rugs regularly. Be cautious of rubber-backed area rugs as they can cause discoloration on laminate floors due to lack of air flow. Place a rubber carpet pad between the carpet and the floor. Carpet pads are also made of rubber, but they are corrugated to allow air to circulate between the carpet and the floor.
Things to Avoid
- Wax, polish, oils, soaps, shine enhancers or varnish should never be used on laminate floors.
- Always avoid mopping with too much water and dry up any spills as soon as possible.
- Applying cleaner directly to the surface of the laminate can cause staining. Instead, lightly spray it on a cleaning cloth or damp mop.
- Avoid cleaning tools like spray mops, steam cleaners or power cleaners.
Laminate flooring is a beautiful, yet durable, choice for home flooring. Despite the long list of dos and don’ts, this type of flooring is particularly easy to take care of. A regular sweeping, occasional damp mopping and an added touch of protection can keep the floors in like-new condition for a long time.