Maintaining and Caring for Laminate Flooring: Tips and Tricks

First, you must be commended for choosing to go with laminate flooring in your home, business, or vacation pad. It is one of the most innovative flooring products on the market at the moment, offering you a way to get the look and feel of natural products such as Marble and Oak without the cost or hassle.

But, since it is such an innovative product, one big question continues to come up. Even though people all across the internet continue to answer it in different ways, you can be assured that there are some things you need to do to maintain and care for your laminate flooring.

There are also some things that you do not want to do. Ever. So be thankful that you have landed on this little article because it will all be covered so you can rest easy and keep your laminate or hybrid flooring looking like it was brand new, even after years of use.

To-Do List With Laminate Flooring

Starting with the things you want to do when you have laminate flooring seems like the best approach, so here we go. Now keep in mind that there are a few different types of laminate flooring on the market, so you should read through the specific directions you received with your planks. Follow those directions exactly and use the products that they have recommended. The following is just a basic, generic list of things that you can do to keep your laminate flooring clean.

  • Dry Mop – Make it a daily habit to use a dry mop on the floor every night before you go to bed (or every morning if you prefer.) Make sure that you are using a microfiber head and that you put a clean one on every time you use it to prevent any scratches. This will help pick up all the dirt and debris tracked in by foot traffic, keeping it picked up so it prevents it from being dug into the planks when walked on. Plus, it leaves the floor ready for a deeper weekly clean when the time comes.
  • Vacuum – Using a vacuum can save a substantial amount of time if you are like most people in the nation and always on the go. The same applies to it as with a dry mop, though. You want to use an attachment with a microfiber end to prevent scratches. The benefit of using a vacuum is that you can get into every crack and corner without any issues, ensuring that every piece of dust is picked up. Robot vacuums are also helpful on laminate flooring, but make sure that they are kept clean and emptied out so they do not harm the floor when they are doing the task they have been assigned to.
  • Cleaners – Once a week, you should take some time to mop the floor, but keep in mind that you only want to use a damp, wet cloth. You will also want to make sure that the water is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit because it needs to stay lukewarm, never hot. As for the cleaner, there are some on the market designed for laminate and hybrid floors, but you can make some mixtures at home if you prefer. An easy one to make is a combination of one part rubbing alcohol, three parts water, and one squirt of dish soap. Go easy, and do not scrub hard.

Not-To-Do List With Laminate Flooring

Now for the things that you want to avoid doing when you have laminate flooring. Remembering all the do’s and dont’s when you have this type of innovative flooring may seem like a lot. Still, when you think about it, the don’ts are actually simple to remember. Once you do the do’s a few times, they will be ingrained in your memory, making them easy to follow every day.

  • Steam Cleaners – Steam cleaners are commonly advertised for use on laminate flooring but do not fall for the marketing ploys companies like to use. At all costs, you need to avoid any type of steam cleaner because the heat they put off to clean will loosen the glue that holds the layers of the laminate planks together. In easy-to-understand terms, it will ruin the flooring and require a complete replacement of the plank, or planks, that the steam cleaner was used on.
  • Soaking – Soaking your dishes when they are in bad shape is always a good idea, but that is not the case with your floor. Laminate flooring is waterproof, but if standing water is left in place too long, it will eventually seep into the pores and get into the glue. It is yet another way that the layers of the plank can come aboard, causing bubbles and holes that can only be fixed by replacing them.
  • Abrasives – Avoid using anything abrasive, including cleaners and scrubbers. There should never be a need to scrub anything up anyway because it needs to be cleaned up as soon as a spill happens. Otherwise, any fluid can seep into the pores, or worse yet, the dye from the food or drink could cause a permanent stain. Always clean up spills immediately, and never use abrasives unless you plan to replace the plank you are scrubbing on.
  • Wood Cleaners – Wood cleaners such as Murphy’s should never be used, no matter how good of an idea it seems. You need to remember that even though the laminate flooring may look like the real thing, it isn’t. Adding a wood cleaner to a synthetic plastic designed to look like wood will eat away the top layer and leave you with a piece of wood planking that will need to be replaced.

Final Thoughts

Even if you do not know exactly what type of laminate flooring you have, which is common when you move into a place that already has it installed, you can still keep it clean. If it is already in rough shape when you move in, your best bet, other than replacing it, is to clean it every day until it either gets back to its original condition or it gets as good as it is going to get.

As with all other products on the market, every piece of laminate flooring will have a life. That means if the plank is rated to last 50 years, you can expect to replace it after that amount of time, maybe a little earlier. The main point is, though, that if you take the time to maintain and clean your laminate flooring correctly from the start, it will last for as long as it is rated for and longer.

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