Tips for Making Your Laminate Wood Flooring Last
If you’ve recently invested in new laminate wood flooring, you probably love it for its super-realistic wood look, its exceptional affordability and, of course, its low-maintenance appeal. We all know that no floors are zero-maintenance, and it takes a little bit of effort to ensure that they stay in play for as long as possible. Indeed, laminate floors are made of multiple wear layers that provide exceptional strength, but they are not indestructible. Understanding how to prevent damage and routinely cleaning and addressing accidents will translate to many years of quality use.
Here are a few simple ways to keep your laminate floors in fantastic condition, even if you’ve got a particularly busy home, complete with kids and pets
Rule No. 1: Keep It Cool and Dry
As a general rule, laminate and water do not mix, though there are new water-resistant laminate hardwood flooring options available which include our Palmetto Road LaFayette, Cambridge or Chesapeake collections. All laminate is made with layers of composite wood, which can become irreversibly damaged by buckling, warping, swelling and the growth of mold and mildew if exposed to excess moisture. Here are a few tips for keeping your floors dry:
- Make sure to always wipe up spills immediately.
- If it’s a humid day, run a dehumidifier or an air conditioner.
- Keep the room at between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Always damp-mop your floors. Never saturate the laminate while cleaning.
- Don’t let cleaner sit on the floor too long, even in small amounts.
- If you have kids, only allow them to drink from spill-proof cups.
Rule No. 2: Prevention Is Essential
You know what they say—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! This is especially true as it pertains to floor care. The right protective products will help give your floor a layer of protection so that it’s shielded from scratches, dents, nicks and damage to the finish. Here are some ways to keep your laminate floors imperfection-free:
At entryways, cover floors with dense walk-off mats to prevent snow, rain, mud and dirt from damaging the floors.
Always use felt protectors on the bottom of furniture legs to put a layer of cushion between furniture and your floors, preventing surface damage.
Don’t let the floor come into contact with anything sharp! Keep your pets’ nails trimmed and avoid wearing pointy heels.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Use blinds or curtains and cover floors with area rugs to keep it protected from UV damage.
Rule No. 3: Clean the Right Way
Low-maintenance doesn’t mean no cleaning ever, but it does mean laminate is a bit less fussy than other types of flooring, including some types of hardwood. It’s all about finding the right routine and the right balance. Make sure to set yourself up with a solid routine that’s easy to follow so you don’t miss any important steps.
Sweep or dust mop at least twice a week to remove any surface dirt and debris from sitting on the floor, which could damage the finish.
Vacuum the floor using the hard-surface floor setting at least once a week.
Clean with your recommended floor cleaner (noted in your floor’s care and maintenance documents) once a week or once every other week.
Occasionally clean with revitalization products to make floors shine like new.
Rule No. 4: If Necessary, Make Repairs
While laminate is made of composite wood layers, it’s not able to be sanded down and refinished like hardwood because the top is a wood-look print film product. However, that doesn’t mean that every time your floor is damaged you must immediately rip it out and start anew. Some issues can be addressed relatively easily with special products and techniques. The following tips will help you address any serious laminate damage.
Keep extra planks on hand. Remember, they can be swapped out on a one-for-one basis if damage is serious.
If damage is small, you may be able to address the problem with a floor filler product to negate the need for plank replacement.
Hairline scratches and minor imperfections may be concealed with a wax pencil.
Enjoying Your Floors for Years to Come
At the end of the day, the goal of any flooring decision is to give a space long-lasting style and comfort. Because it’s affordable and relatively durable, laminate wood flooring gives homeowners the freedom to enjoy their floors without feeling that they have to walk on eggshells, so to speak. Following these smart maintenance tips from Twenty & Oak will help keep your gorgeous flooring in exceptional shape for years to come. Be sure to stop by our education center for more great flooring information and tips.
Twenty & Oak Experts
Twenty & Oak Experts are a team of flooring professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in the industry. They have hands-on experience with all flooring types and bring inside industry know-how to homeowners in the Southeast.