How to Take Care of Your Laminate Flooring

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  • Author John Erickson
  • Published September 9, 2008
  • Word count 496

Laminate flooring is simple to care for and maintain. However, certain steps should be taken to ensure you are properly cleaning and taking care of them to maintain your floor’s warranty and keep them looking great. As tedious and boring as it might seem, take the time to read the manufacturer’s warranty for your laminate flooring. It will provide useful information to ensure your warranty remains intact for the entire warranty period. Some manufacturers will void the warranty if you install the flooring in wet areas such as bathrooms, so be sure to read the fine print.

Refer to the care instructions provided by the laminate flooring manufacturer as well. It will guide you through the proper care for your particular brand of flooring and will offer suggestions in case problems arise. Be sure to ask your installers about post-installation care, because some manufacturers recommend not mopping for at least 48 hours after installation. It all depends on the brand and style of laminate flooring you purchased – they are not all created equal.

Cleaning Techniques

As far as mopping your laminate flooring is concerned, take care not to soak it with water. If water gets in between the slight cracks, it could damage the boards. Only a damp mop is needed to clean dirty laminate flooring after you have swept or vacuumed. Additionally, you should never apply wax or acrylic floor polishes to your laminate flooring. Check the manufacturer’s guide for stain removal instructions in case of spills such as nail polish or grease.

To avoid light surface scratching, you can purchase door mats for each entrance of your home which opens up to your laminate flooring. By wiping off shoes on the door mats before walking across the laminate floors, you are less likely to have dirt and grit grinding into the surface to cause scratching and wear. Although laminate flooring is quite durable, it can be scratched by dragging large or heavy pieces of furniture across the surface. If you need to move heavy furniture, be sure to use furniture gliders or a furniture dolly with wheels to place it where it needs to be.

Know What to Avoid

Avoiding damage is much easier when it comes to laminate flooring that with traditional hardwood flooring. However, you do need to take certain precautions to keep it looking as new as possible. If you know you will be working with sharp or heavy objects around the floors, use a mat to protect them. If you are installing new ceiling fans or heavy light fixtures, for example, it is a good idea to protect your floors with a thick tarp in case the object accidentally fall onto the laminate flooring.

Cleaning up spills right away is also a good way to keep things from seeping into the flooring. To clean and sanitize areas where pets have accidents, use a drop of vinegar distilled in warm water on a damp cloth and immediately wipe clean.

John Erickson, a carpet installation expert and resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, writes on home improvement tips, carpeting and keeping up a beautiful house.

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