Floor Care and Maintanance for Laminate
Host: Sara Miller
One of the primary reasons why laminate has reached mass appeal is because of its durability. Laminate floors are made to last for years with little maintenance. However, like all flooring products, it is not indestructible and without proper care can lose its luster.
Regular laminate floor maintenance requires two simple tasks: vacuuming and the occasional mopping. However, to keep laminate floors looking new long after installation, follow these laminate flooring care tips:
- Read Up On The Warranty
Read the warranty and care instructions for your laminate flooring carefully. Store these instructions in a safe place so you can refer to them if you need to. The warranty will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so keep this in mind as you purchase your laminate flooring as well.
- Installation Instructions
Before you purchase your laminate flooring, research the post-installation care instructions. These instructions are critical because there may be important care instructions you may have otherwise ignored. Some flooring brands prohibit you from mopping the floor for a certain amount of time, while others do not jive well with certain cleaners.
The key to maintaining a smooth and vibrant laminate surface is keeping laminate clean. Never underestimate small rocks, pebbles, and dust. Although these particles are nearly invisible to the naked eye, they may produce microscopic scratches, which after time can create dullness. Here are some tips for cleaning:
- Pick up small pebbles instead of sweeping them around to create less microscopic scratches as they move around the floor.
- Place dirt-trapping mats and foot brushes on your doorway to catch dirt and pebbles.
- For more effective mopping, damp mop your laminate floor using a solution of vinegar and water. TLC Home suggests to mix equal parts of vinegar and water for a simple cleaning solution. Remember to damp mop only, and if any standing water is created, wipe it immediately. (Using cleaners made for tile, hardwood, or linoleum may leave a dull, soapy finish.)
- To remove chewing gum or candle wax, apply ice to the affected area and harden it. After it hardens, carefully scrape it off.
- To remove oil, paint, permanent marker, tar, or heel marks, with a neutral-colored cloth apply an alcohol- or acetone-based cleaner like nail polish remover. You can also use cleaners that are recommended by your manufacturer.
Never apply wax or acrylic floor finishes. Laminate tiles are treated with a topcoat (like polyurethane or the like), so save the wax for hardwood floor use only.
- Maintaining a Scratch-Free Surface
Put protective rubber pads on all furniture to prevent floor scratching. Rubber wheels or non-scratch wheels are a great alternative for frequently moved furniture as well. And, before moving furniture around, clean their wheels or rubber pads. Any small pebble that gets in between the wheel and the floor may cause scratching.
- Replacing Laminate Planks
Even with proper laminate floor maintenance, sometimes disasters are unavoidable. If something happens that requires you to replace a laminate plank, simply remove the affected plank and replace it with a new one. Glue-adheased planks will be more difficult to replace, so in this case call the manufacturer or a flooring professional.
By observing the above laminate floor care and maintenance tips, you can expect years of beauty from your laminate floor. Plus, proper laminate flooring care can make a difference your level of satisfaction, as well as how well it holds up over time.
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