How is Laminate flooring made and how do I protect my new Laminate floor?
Laminate flooring is very durable and not that hard to keep clean. All you have to do is regularly sweep or vacuum with a soft brush. Damp mop the laminate wood floor using a bit of ammonia or vinegar and water being careful not to flood the work panels as you can damage them this way. Some products that are not recommended for your laminate floor are soaps, scouring powder, floor polish or steel wool as these may damage the laminate wood flooring. Always test a product that you are unsure of in a low visible area. If you have to remove a stain use the recommended laminate floor cleaner and mop up to keep any water from entering the joints. Also make sure you use a damp mop and not a wet one.
The Basics of Laminate Care
Dirt is the primary enemy of laminate flooring and leads to fine scratches that can make the floor look dull and used. The best way to clean laminate floors is to use ammonia and water, or vinegar or any other window cleaning product. First sweep or vacuum up loose dirt, then mist the floor with your cleaner and a mop. Later, buff it up using a terry cloth towel. Microfiber pads are also quite effective and help you avoid cleaning fluids. Also, check the manufacturer’s recommendation for cleaning procedures. Some of them make their own laminate floor cleaners.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your laminate flooring as good as new:
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft flooring attachment, a broom, a slightly damp cloth or mop to remove dirt, grit and debris.
- Add glides or cushion protectors under chairs and table legs to prevent possible scratching.
- Put floor mats and foot brushes at all outside doorway entrances to keep away dirt.
- Damp mop using warm water for a better evaporation rate.
- When mopping, change water as necessary to keep clean.
- While damp mopping, avoid any standing fluids on the floor – including your pet’s water bowl. Do not saturate the floor and wipe up spills immediately.
- Do not use floor polish or wax products. This leaves a film on the floor and causes it to attract more dirt and leave streaks and footprints.
- Avoid soap-based and abrasive cleaners, scouring powder, citrus oil products and steel wool as they affect the floor’s décor layer and damage the finish.
- Never sand, lacquer, or refinish your laminate flooring surfaces.
Advanced Tips for Laminate Care
Cleaning spots on laminate flooring can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips on spot cleaning:
- To remove oil, paint, permanent marker, tar and rubber heel marks, use a neutral cleaner on a clean light colored cloth. Alcohol or a nail polish remover containing acetone can also be used.
- To remove blood, juice, wine, beer, soda pop and pasta sauce stains; warm water can be used. If needed use a neutral cleaner with a light colored cloth.
To remove candle wax or chewing gum, first harden with ice and then scrape very gently. Wipe the rest with warm water and a clean cloth.
How to Protect Your Laminate Flooring
Taking proactive measures to protect laminate flooring and care for your floors will help extend their life and keep them looking beautiful for years to come. Laminate floor care doesn’t have to be hard! Here are some laminate floor care instructions and tips:
Protection with pads and rugs
Attach protective pads to the furniture – furniture is one of the main causes of damage to the flooring. Moving them from one place to another, without lifting, creates a condition for the appearance of long lines. Experts advise attaching protection pads to their feet to avoid unpleasant scrubbing or scratches, as daily tables, chairs and stools are moving in the room and other rooms.
Place bedding in front of the doors
You probably noticed beautiful and interesting bedding in the homes of relatives and friends that give a different look to the entire interior. They have a dual function here – visual and protective. If, with the entry, all passers-by step directly onto the laminate, this may be a problem.
Replace the plastic wheels with rubber
It may sound a little crazy and too engaging, but replacing the wheels of frequently moving furniture will save you from replacing the floor in the whole room. Chairs are the ones that move most often, though not everyone can change. Do it mostly with heavier and massive chairs, like office chairs you use for desks.
Limit Excess Moisture
Moisture can make your laminate planks expand and contrast. If you live in a humid climate or have limited air conditioning, it’s recommended to measure your humidity levels regularly. The ideal level is between 35% and 65% humidity. More than that might cause your floors to warp or get damaged.
You should also protect against excess moisture on the floors. If you spill any liquid, clean it up right away. Puddles of water can cause your floors to buckle and warp too.
After cleaning, always do a thorough job of wiping down your flooring. Leaving excess water sitting on top of your laminate is a recipe for disaster – and not just for your floors. In addition to putting your floors at risk for moisture related damage, you might also cause someone to slip and fall.
Laminate Floor Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Vacuuming and Sweeping
Laminate floors need to be swept or vacuumed often to keep them clean. Dirt is an enemy to laminate since it scratches and dulls the finish of the floor. However, sweeping or vacuuming improperly can do more damage to your laminate than the dirt. If you use a vacuum cleaner, be sure to turn the brush roll off to avoid scratching the surface of your floor. For sweeping, a clean microfiber dust mop can be more gentle on the floor than bristle
Beautiful furniture can compliment a beautiful floor. But to protect that floor, the furniture needs a little addition. Furniture pads on the bottoms of heavy furniture will protect the floor from scuffing and gouging. If the pads on the bottoms of your furniture are worn down or missing, they can be replaced inexpensively by a quick trip to a home improvement store.
One of the biggest complaints about laminate floors is that the floors are streaky even after mopping. To remedy this, try a different cleaner or use less cleaner. Remember water and a tiny bit of glass cleaner is more than enough to get the floors clean. You can also buff the floors dry with an absorbent towel after you are done mopping. Some floors are more prone to streaking than others, but these tips should help.