Laminate floors are a great investment for any home due to their low maintenance requirements, durability, and classic look. Understanding the basics of how to properly maintain them will help ensure your floors stay beautiful, last longer, and provide years of satisfaction. This guide offers key dos and don’ts for laminate floor care, so you can enjoy your floors for years to come.
First, it’s important to know that laminate flooring is not actually ‘wood’ but rather a composite material constructed of several layers which are fused together with a resin under high pressure. Laminate is then treated with a finish layer (often aluminum oxide) to help protect the surface from scratches and fading. Because of its sensitive top coat, it must be treated differently than hardwood or solid surface flooring when cleaning and caring for it.
Do’s of Laminate Floor Maintenance
Taking proper steps to care for your laminate floors is an important part of extending their lifespan. To keep them as attractive, stain-free, and long-lasting as possible, certain maintenance tasks should be done regularly. Here are some must “do’s” when it comes to caring for your laminate flooring:
-Sweeping and Vacuuming
Regular sweeping and vacationing are essential for keeping dust, dirt, pet hair, and other debris off the surface of your laminate floors. A soft bristled broom or electrostatic mop can be used to sweep, while a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor attachment is recommended when vacuuming.
Mopping is also important for removing dirt from the surface of laminate flooring; however, only use cleaning products that are specifically formulated for laminate floors. Since most traditional all-purpose cleaners contain ingredients that can cause damage over time, any cleaners used should say “laminate safe” on the label. Additionally, stick to dry mopping instead of wet mopping – damp mops can lead to warping and cracking due to excess liquid seeping between planks.
To prevent discoloration caused by direct sunlight or intense indoor lighting, make sure there are furnishings, curtains, or rugs strategically placed in areas where the sun hits the floor directly. This will also preserve color vibrancy over time.
-Protect furniture legs
Laminate floors can dent or scratch easily if items such as furniture legs aren’t properly taken care of; so make sure all furniture legs have non-staining protective cups/casters or felt pads attached before being moved around on the floor’s surface. Additionally, consider using area rugs in high-traffic areas (i.e., hallways,) both to protect from foot traffic damage and keep moisture controlled – this will help ensure the longevity of your floors!
Don’ts of Laminate Floor Maintenance
In addition to following the basic tips for laminate floor maintenance, there are certain things to avoid that can either reduce the lifespan of your floor or lead to permanent damage.
Avoid using any of the following on your laminate floors:
- Steam cleaners, as too much moisture, can cause permanent damage.
- Oil soaps and other harsh cleaning supplies can leave a dull, hazy film.
- Scrubbing pads or wet mops, as these could cause scratches and other surface damage.
- Rugs or mats with rubber or colorfast backing, as they may discolor the surface.
- Abrasive cleaners or those containing wax or acrylic, as may dull the finish and potentially discolor it over time.
- Steel wool pads or scouring powder could leave deep scratches.
- Polishes or detergents that contain lemon oil or citrus ingredients; could also dull and discolor your laminate flooring.
Benefits of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a popular and affordable flooring choice for the home. It offers greater durability and strength than other types of flooring, making it ideal for use in a high-traffic area. Its attractive look adds to its appeal, as you can easily find a variety of wood-grain patterns, stone designs, and other styles to fit your personal tastes and lifestyle. In addition, laminate floors are relatively easy to maintain—a few simple steps are all that’s needed to keep them looking beautiful for years.
The following are some of the benefits laminate floors offer:
- Durable: Laminate planks consist of several layers that have been fused together using specialized materials and processes—making them extremely durable and resistant to spills, stains, and normal wear & tear.
- Cost Effective: This type of flooring typically costs much less than other types of flooring such as hardwood or tile.
- Easy Installation: Laminate planks can typically be installed over existing floors in only a few hours—no need for glue or adhesives means an easy install process with no mess!
- Low Maintenance: With regular sweeping and occasional vacuuming, these floors can remain free from dust, dirt, and debris—and require no refinishing or special cleaning products like waxes or polishes. Plus, spills can generally be wiped up quickly with a damp cloth to prevent staining or discoloration!
Professional maintenance and cleaning services can be a great way to keep your laminate floors looking freshly installed. If you decide to use professional services, make sure they are knowledgeable about laminate flooring and the products used for cleaning and sealing. Professional services usually involve deep cleaning the floor several times with a gentle solution, such as vinegar or a laminate cleaner followed by a sealant application that adds shine, and protection, and helps prevent staining.
To get optimal performance from your professional service, follow these guidelines:
- Make sure the floors are clean before having them serviced; spot or deep clean as appropriate.
- Check the contractor’s references and make sure they have experience with your type of flooring.
- Always test any cleaning solution before using it on an area larger than a foot square.
- Have regular boundary sealing done to prevent dirt accumulation and staining; sealants should last 1-2 years depending on traffic levels in your home or office.
- Observe proper preventive maintenance habits between scheduled treatments: vacuum regularly (a standard soft brush cleaner wand is recommended), mop with approved cleaners only, use doormats at entries to reduce grit buildup, and protect surfaces from coarse materials such as sand.
In conclusion, laminate flooring is an effective choice for both residential and commercial spaces. It is important to follow its maintenance guidelines to ensure that the floor remains in great condition for as long as possible.
With proper maintenance, a good quality laminate floor can last for years. Following these dos and don’ts can help you keep your floors looking beautiful while preserving their useful lifespan.