The Harmful Mistake Everyone Makes When Mopping Laminate Floors

Laminate is the flooring of choice for many homeowners, and for good reasons. To name a few, it's easy to install, durable, affordable, and comes in various colors and styles. It's also easy to clean, but there's a common mistake that many homeowners make during the cleaning process: They use too much water when mopping, which can damage the flooring.

Laminate is a synthetic, multi-layered flooring made out of fiberboard materials and melamine resin. If exposed to an excessive amount of water for an extended period of time, these materials can absorb the moisture, causing the laminate tile or plank to warp. This warping usually occurs at the edges of the tiles or planks, creating an unsightly appearance. The obvious way to prevent this is to limit the amount of water you use when mopping, but there's another basic tip that can help ensure your laminate floors are protected from water damage: Don't let them air dry. Instead, use a second, dry mop or towel.

Tips for drying laminate floors

Regardless of which type of mop you use to clean your laminate floors, having a second microfiber mop on hand is an effective, easy way to prevent water damage. You can purchase one from Walmart for about $12. Make sure the mop is completely dry so that you can use it to soak up the water on the floor. It's typically recommended to use a damp (not wet) mop to clean laminate floors. However, if the dogs or kiddos tracked in mud that's now caked on your floors, you'll likely need to use more water with your mop. If this is the case, take your dry microfiber mop and pass it over the floor, sans water.

You can also use a microfiber towel, such as a beach towel. Amazon offers dozens of options. Microfiber works best because of its highly absorbent qualities. Other materials can be used as well, such as cotton, but microfiber is more absorbent than cotton. If the towel or mop becomes saturated before you've passed over the entire floor, either grab a new one or simply ring it out.

With these cleaning and drying tips in mind, your laminate floors can remain free of surface imperfections caused by water damage for years to come.