Laminate Flooring Maintenance
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Since the inception of laminate flooring, ease of maintenance has been one of its largest assets. Due to the composition and construction of the product, as well as the extremely hard Aluminum Oxide wear layer, laminate flooring is perhaps the easiest type of flooring to maintain.
General daily maintenance requires vacuuming, sweeping and dust mopping. Several generic cleaning solutions are also available to clean laminate floors. Most major laminate flooring manufacturers also have their own cleaning kits with instructions. Most kits contain a terry cloth mop and a spray-on cleaning solution.
The cleaner is sprayed onto the mop-head and then the floor is wiped clean. It is very important that you follow the maintenance schedule of the product you purchase. Ask your retailer or manufacturer on the specifics of maintaining your floor. Virtually all of the warranties require a specific maintenance schedule be followed.
Laminate floors are fade, stain, dent, burn and scratch resistant. However, it is still possible that you may end up with a scratch, “nick” or dent that will require repair. Laminate flooring is very tough, but it is not “bullet proof”. If a problem arises, there are a few ways to repair or hide the damage.
The first and most difficult method is to replace the affected board(s). All manufacturers have instructions on “How to replace a board”. This will require some tools, patience and skill. “Glue-less” laminate floors should be the easiest when board replacement is required.
To replace a board you must follow the specific instructions of the manufacturer of the flooring you are installing, or hire a professional. If you decide to hire a professional installer, make sure that they follow the instructions as well. Although they have “done it before”, remember that it is your warranty you must consider.
Major manufacturers also have “touch up” kits available. These kits may include acrylic or latex putty, wax pencils or crayons. This type of repair kit is for small scratches and/or dents. These kits are a very cost effective way of repairing your laminate flooring.
The best way to keep your laminate floor looking its best is to understand its limitations. You must follow the maintenance techniques and schedules of the flooring you purchase. Do not mop any laminate floor with soap or water. You should also use floor protectors (felt or other) under chairs and other furniture on the flooring.
As stated earlier, laminate flooring is a very durable flooring option, however, it can be damaged. With proper care, you will enjoy your laminate floor for many years to come.
Laminate flooring pairs the beauty of natural wood with easy, carefree maintenance. You’ll get years of beautiful performance from your laminate floor with a little preparation and know-how.
Use a dust mop, soft bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with suction only (no beater bar or with the beater bar disengaged) to remove dust, dirt and loose particulate on a regular basis. For slightly damp cleaning, spray Mohawk’s FloorCare Essentials Hardwood & Laminate Cleaner onto a cotton, terrycloth, or microfiber mop. Avoid wet-mop cleaning with water or liquid cleaners.
Use protective window coverings to block fade-causing UV rays and excessive heat from direct sunlight, and rearrange rugs and furniture periodically to help your floor age evenly. During inclement weather, avoid exposing your flooring to water as much as possible.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING DAMAGE
Carefully remove stubborn stains (like paint, oil, tar, or markers) with acetone-based fingernail polish remover.
Wipe up spills and spots immediately with Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Hardwood & Laminate Flooring Cleaner applied directly to a clean white cloth.
Use ice to harden tough substances like wax or chewing gum, and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper or a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface and wipe the area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.
If one of your planks is beyond repair, use the Quick-Step UniFix® tool to remove and replace the damaged plank in minutes.
Invest in high-quality floor mats and protective pads under heavy furniture for an extra layer of protection on your laminate floors. Place floor mats at entrances and exits—they collect and trap corrosive substances that can be tracked in, like dirt, sand, oil, grit, asphalt, or even driveway sealer. Placing mats in high-traffic areas—in front of vanities, kitchen sinks, and stoves—is an effective way to reduce wear.
WHAT TO AVOID
Wax, polish, oils, soaps, detergents, shine enhancers, or varnish shouldn’t be used on laminate.
Applying cleaner directly to the surface of the laminate can cause staining—lightly spray it on a cleaning cloth or damp mop instead.
Avoid cleaning machines like spray mops, steam cleaners or mops, or power cleaners.
Always avoid mopping with water and dry up any water spills immediately.