How to care for laminate floors

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wood floor panels
Traditional wood floors are made from solid hardwood, while laminate is made from fiberboard
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Follow these tips to care for your laminate floor

Though you may see the term laminate floors applied to a few different materials, it usually describes wood-look flooring made of a fiberboard core with an overlay of a clear protective coating. This protective layer not only prevents normal wear from destroying your floor but also makes laminate floor care easier. Read below for information on how to care for laminate floors.




Sweeping or light vacuuming can remove surface dirt that dulls your floor. You can use a broom, dust mop, or a vacuum cleaner. If you use a vacuum cleaner, make sure before you begin that no rough areas on the wheels or bottom of the appliance will scratch the laminate surface. Removing dirt and debris from the floor regularly is probably the most important part of laminate floor care.




You can occasionally damp-mop your laminate floors. A damp mop or cloth is necessary to remove dried-on spills and sticky substances. Never use an overly wet mop for laminate floor care. Too much moisture can cause the material to warp. You should also avoid soap and other cleaning solutions (unless made specifically for laminate floor care by the manufacturer or a trusted home improvement store). Cleaning solutions not made for laminate floor care can cause damage.


To protect your floors in the highest degree, wipe them with a clean, dry cloth after you finish damp-mopping.


Removing Spills and Stains


If you spill liquids, wipe them up immediately. Liquids standing on your floor, as stated above, can warp the material.


If you stain your flooring with paint, markers, or ink, you should be able to remove the stain with nail polish remover. Once the offending material disappears, rub the floor with a clean cloth to remove any acetone residue.


Always avoid anything abrasive. Don't use steel wool or abrasive scrubbing pads to spot-clean your floor. Outlaw abrasive cleaning solutions, as well, for laminate floor care. Anything abrasive has a high potential of scratching laminate.


Preventing Scratches


Prevention is another important skill you need as you learn how to care for laminate floors. In fact, preventing scratches, along with the other procedures of laminate floor care, is necessary if you want to maintain a nice look over many years.


Scratches often come from dirt or debris rubbing across the surface, or from furniture or appliances being moved. Rugs or mats can keep dirt, gravel, and other material off the floor. You want to place rugs at entry points to your laminate floor and especially at doors that enter from the outside onto your floor.


Place felt furniture pads on the legs of chairs, tables, and other furniture to prevent them from scratching the floors.


Repairing Scratches


If your floor does sustain scratches, you can use a touch-up kit to treat the problem areas. Make sure to get a kit in a color that closely matches the existing floor.


In some forums that discuss how to care for laminate floors, people recommend using shoe polish in an appropriate color. They claim good results after buffing several layers of shoe polish into the scratches. But before you apply any substance during the process of laminate floor care, make sure it will not void your warranty.



"Laminate Care," World Floor Covering Association

"Laminate Care," Shaw Floors

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