All The Dos And Don'ts For Cleaning Your Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring is a superhero when it comes to fast, strong, and good looking. Installation is fast and results in a very strong, durable floor surface which is available in a large range of beautiful colors and design choices. There are only a few dos and don'ts for cleaning your laminate floors to keep them looking spectacular.

Flooring America offers a brief explanation of the materials used for laminate flooring which directly impact the way you clean the floors. Laminate floors are usually made of four layers of synthetic material. The bottom layer helps to stabilize the floor, keep moisture out, and can also serve as a sound barrier. Above that is the core layer, a highly compressed plank made of wood fibers, topped with the photographic design layer that can mimic hardwood or stone. The top layer is referred to as the wear layer. It's a hard, resin-composite layer which protects the decorative layer from scratches and fading. Sometimes a texture that follows the design of the wood or stone pattern in the photographic design is added to this layer to make the flooring look more realistic. The wear layer is available in different thicknesses depending on the amount of traffic you'll have in a particular room.

Laminate floors are low-maintenance with only a few dos and don'ts for cleaning them. While they may look like hardwood floors, they cannot be refinished if they get damaged.

Laminate floors are low-maintenance and durable

Water is the kryptonite to laminate floors. Laminate flooring can be water-resistant but, according to This Old House, it is not waterproof. If water gets between the planks or gets in from underneath, the planks can swell and warp and become permanently damaged. They add that most professionals agree that using steam cleaning will also damage them. Don't worry about spills as long as they are wiped up quickly. The experts at This Old House recommend your first step is to consult your manufacturer's cleaning instructions. If you are going to damp mop, use a microfiber mop very lightly dampened with water. Using a spray bottle an prevent over-saturating the floor with water. 

You don't need to buy any special cleaning solution to clean laminate floors but if you do, make sure it is formulated for laminate. Spray it on a microfiber mop rather than directly onto the floor. Don't use abrasive products which can scratch the floor, or oil-based cleaners which can leave streaks or a hazy film.

For regular cleaning, Wayfair recommends a vacuum with a soft attachment or use a microfiber mop to dry mop the floors on a regular basis. This will help prevent the build-up of sand and dirt from scratching the surface, particularly in high traffic areas.

Laminate floors enhance the beauty of every room

Keeping a mat at the entrance to your house, says Architecturial Digest, is one way to reduce dirt and damage to your laminate floors. These days, it's more common for people to remove their shoes when they come home. Zappos offers some suggestions if you want to encourage people to do this. You can always use your new laminate floors as an excuse.

While laminate floors are very durable, normal things happen in daily life which can cause them to get scratched. The Home Flooring Pros recommend keeping a color-matching wax pencil on hand for to make minor repairs to light, surface scratches. Adding self-adhesive felt pads to the bottom of furniture of legs can help keep your floors clean and reduce scratches. If the room you're using as an office has laminate floors, a plastic chair mat can prevent scratches every time you move your chair.

You can extend the good looks of your laminate floors by remembering these few dos and don'ts for cleaning your them.