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The Proper Way to Clean Laminate Flooring

Posted by xtian984 on April 1, 2015 at 8:00 PM

As we all know, most people choose laminate flooring for the ease of cleaning, plus, old school or not, everyone loves a shiny floor. Laminate is a very durable floor that comes in so many colors and styles that it is hard to imagine anything in place of laminate flooring. Laminate flooring can stand up better to constant foot traffic and the abuse that can be dished out from children and pets in the home.

In order to better understand the durability of laminate flooring, you should know how laminate flooring is made. You may not entirely believe this, but each piece of laminate flooring is made up of 4 different layers that are each individually produced. Before I tell you what is contained in each layer, I must tell you that each of these layers are put through a heat-and-press process that produces what we know as laminate flooring.

The bottom layer is moisture resistant and makes the floorboard stable; the core layer is made from fiberboard that has been fortified with resin (hardens this layer and increases its resistance to water); now the pattern layer is a photograph of a finish which is then printed on a thin piece of paper; and the last layer is a protective coating layer which consists of clean melamine resin. This last layer provides protection from moisture and damages such as scratches and stains.

I must admit that, at this point, the only layer you have to be concerned with is the top layer so that you keep your floors shiny and looking good as new.

Although this all may be very interesting, the only layer you have to be concerned with is this protective layer –once it is gone, you will see that you must replace this flooring. I am the type of person that likes to pay attention as to how my floors are treated. If I see a dent in my floor, I want to know how it got there in the first place.

I have 4 dogs and 1 old cat on my laminate flooring in my home, and I realize that unless I keep their nails trimmed, the nails from my pets can scratch my laminate flooring so I have become fanatical about trimming their nails.

Now, we must get realistic – common sense dictates that sand and dirt act in the same manner as sandpaper on your new laminate floor, so you must keep your laminate floor swept – at least once a day. If your floor is not swept regularly, this dirt will continue to be tracked around and will dull your laminate floor’s finish.

Some people would recommend throwing down scatter rugs down to avoid this dirt or sand; I don’t recommend scatter rugs. To sidetrack just a bit, when your laminate floor remains covered in one area, because the sun’s rays can’t reach that particular area or spot, your laminate floor will appear to be darker in that spot (where the rug covered the floor). However, I will strongly recommend removing your shoes.

If you are anything like me, when I feel any grit on the floor and I walk in it, I can find my broom so fast that it is scary!

You should definitely vacuum (avoid beater bars because this can damage your floor with heat or pressure marks) your new laminate floor at least once per week. After vacuuming, damp mop your floor being careful not to get your floor too wet because it can still expand. After damp mopping, dry with an old towel if possible.

If you require a deeper cleaning for your new laminate flooring, use only products that are recommended by your flooring’s manufacturer. Stay away from products that mop and shine because they will only leave a coating on your floor finish. Also, please remember to watch the wetness on your floor. Never use any abrasive cleaners or steel wool on your flooring either.

I have heard of some people using furniture polish on their new laminate floors so that can make their flooring shine like “new” again. This is not only an expensive and time-consuming route to take, it is also dangerous. Furniture polish would make that laminate more slippery than it is already, so by using this method, you may be responsible for someone falling on your “new” look laminate floor!

In my humble opinion, steam cleaning your laminate floor is not an option! You will run the risk of over-flooding the flooring, or you can set the steam cleaner to high so that the machine can wear down the finish on your laminate with the scrubbing setting that is meant for tile floors.

If you do insist on using steam cleaning on your laminate, make sure you are using it at the lowest setting and never soak your floor. If you see wet spots, wipe them dry immediately.

Last, but not least, I want to discuss the benefits of your laminate flooring. We all know that wood is timeless but we can’t all afford to install hardwood flooring, so laminate flooring is the perfect alternative in some cases. Whether you believe me or not, most people have a hard time telling the difference between hardwood floors and laminate floors.

Once laminate flooring is installed, laminate flooring has an average lifespan of approximately 15 years (if you maintain it properly). That gives you plenty of time to plan and watch for sales and for that matter, even save up for that hardwood floor you originally wanted.

Truthfully, laminate flooring can be installed everywhere as long as you ask questions and have the proper uses and maintenance for it.

In the world of health, your lungs and your household work load will be grateful to you for installing laminate flooring. When someone suffers from asthma, COPD or allergies to dust among other things, the wall-to-wall carpeting you took out of your home was the biggest step of all to aid the sufferer of those above-noted health conditions.

In conclusion, good-bye to dust mites, dirt, pollen, dust and even bed bugs in some cases and in this case, good riddance to bad rubbish!

 

Categories: flooring

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