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How to Care for Laminate Flooring

In some situations, your laminate flooring may be just as durable as other flooring in your home, like your hardwood floors. Unlike hardwood flooring, you can't resurface laminate if scuff marks, scratches, and other types of surface damage occur. To avoid costly replacement and repairs, you need to treat them with special care. However, taking care of your laminate flooring does not require a tremendous amount of effort. 

Make sure to follow the manufacturer instructions that came with your laminate flooring from Carpet & Tile Mart

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. The brand that you purchased might have specific cleaning requirements based upon the cleaning materials that were used. For example, Mohawk laminate is pretty easy to clean. You will only need to vacuum it and mop it with a dry cloth. Mohawk does make a cleaning solution or you can use plain water when you deep clean your laminate each month. 

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Tackle stains immediately 

Most people run into problems with laminate flooring when spills are left unchecked. Even stain resistant laminate will receive some light damage if a spill is left to sit for a long period of time. Your manufacturer instructions will contain details for tackling different types of spills. For laminate countertops, an old technique involves mixing baking soda and paste. Don't do this on the laminate flooring of your home, as this paste is abrasive and can damage the surface of the flooring.

Be careful on your laminate with things that look abrasive 

When you are sweeping or vacuuming, there are some precautions that you can take to make sure you don't scuff up your floor. Always use a soft-bristled broom when you are sweeping up your laminate floor. Some vacuums have different attachments that have a head with soft bristles. Using these types of cleaning implements will help you maintain the look and longevity of your laminate floor. 

Try to mop your floor every two months 

Most laminate flooring can be maintained monthly or weekly (depending on your floor traffic) by mopping with a dry cotton cloth. You might want to consider wet mopping every two months. You can use a microfiber mop and dampen it with water. Many of the brands carried by Carpet & Tile Mart, like the Mohawk example from above, will have recommended cleaning products if you feel the need. 

Skip cleaning products that are oil-based. These leave residue and streaks and can damage the surface of the laminate over time. Other aggressive cleaners can hurt your laminate, as well. When you mop, avoid using too much water. A microfiber mop will hold just enough water to get the job done right. If you are forced to use a traditional mop, make sure to ring it out as much as possible. Excess water can contribute to bubbling and swelling over time.

Ditch shoes at the door 

While most brands of laminate flooring are virtually impervious to heavy foot traffic, heavier shoes can cause scuff damage over time. Stilettos and other shoes with heels will leave scuff marks, no matter how soft you walk. When dirt gets tracked in, it's not a problem if it gets cleaned up right away. Dirt will, over time, dirty, scratch, and break down the protective surface of your laminate flooring.

Trim your pet's nails 

Every brand of laminate flooring will weather heavy traffic from your family, including your pets. That being said, make sure to regularly trim your pets nails. Sharp claws can scratch and puncture laminate flooring. 

Dealing with problem stains 

Spills are a fact of life. Dealing with them quickly will help minimize the damage to your laminate flooring. Remember that your manufacturer instructions will provide you with the best guidance for dealing with stains and spills. These guidelines are taken from Mohawk's laminate flooring care instructions. Always consult your brand's guidelines for exactly what to do.

Grease, juice, wine, and other beverages 

Use any non-abrasive cleaner. You can also use a soapless household cleaner diluted with warm water.

Asphalt, nail polish, paint, or crayons 

For these tougher stains, use a denatured alcohol or nail polish remover. Then, follow up with soapless cleanser diluted with warm water.

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Gum and candle wax

Let the material dry and then use a plastic scraper very carefully to scrape off the residue. 

Some other tips for cleaning your laminate flooring 

First and foremost, never use anything that is abrasive. These include steel wool, scouring pads, Comet, and Soft Scrub. These can damage the protective surface of your laminate flooring. 

For heavier footprints and dirt, these wipe away quickly with a moist cloth. Wring the cloth out as much as possible before you use it. 

Always act quickly with spills. These can seep into the joints if not taken care of right away. If you are going to have furniture, such as a dining room table and chairs, on the laminate, find felt or nylon furniture protectors. These will prevent scuff marks and penetration into the floor when the furniture is moved or bumped. 

Lastly, never use products that are labeled as "mop and shine." Also, you should never polish or wax your laminate flooring. These materials can cause a buildup of dirt and grime, making the floor look dull and filmy. 

During your installation, your Carpet & Tile Mart associate will be able to answer any questions that you have about care and maintenance. Each brand has a detailed guide of how to deal with spills and to care for your floor. 

How long does laminate flooring last? 

Your laminate flooring purchased from Carpet & Tile Mart will last you many years. Some brands will last for twenty to thirty years with our high quality installation service. The most important thing to remember is to care for your laminate flooring, which will extend its life and beauty to the max. 

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