When you have a new floor installed in your home, it’s really normal to ‘baby’ it for a while. After all, it’s a big investment, and you want to make sure you keep it looking shiny and new for as long as possible. That goes for carpets, hardwood and even laminate. But keeping that flooring in great condition takes proper care and maintenance – which will vary depending on what kind of flooring it is. We’re sure at some point you’ve seen what can happen to laminate flooring if it’s not cared for properly. The staining, cracking, warping, bubbling and tearing that can happen. And we don’t want that to happen to you. So today, we have a few tips to help you care for your laminate flooring properly.
Stay Away From The Steam Mop
A lot of people’s first instinct with a laminate floor is to break out the steam mop. After all – it means there won’t be any puddles of water on the floor that could potentially soak in and cause bubbling, right? Yes, right, but also very, very wrong.
Steam mopping is the absolute worst thing you can do for a laminate floor. Think of your laminate as layers of wallpaper. The top layers – the shine and the base material – are very thin sheets, glued together and applied to a surface. If you’re trying to remove wallpaper from a wall, you need heat and moisture to loosen them – so you use steam. And steam will have that exact reaction with your laminate. Applying steam will weaken the material over time, so that your protective top layer will get worn away very quickly, and the floor itself will come loose. You also risk warping the laminate, or introducing fissures and tears in between the pieces, which would allow moisture to seep underneath and lift the floor completely. You might not be able to see this with the naked eye, and you might not be able to see it right away, but it will happen, and a few years down the line the damage will become obvious.
So trust us when we say – do not steam mop laminate!
So if you can’t use a steam mop, and you’re not supposed to use water either – how are you supposed to keep it clean? Simple – with a microfibre mop or a damp cloth. Remember that these are not waterproof floors, so while any spills should be cleaned up quickly, nothing more than a damp cloth should be used on it. Wet mops will soak through the material and seep under the laminate, causing those ugly bulges we are all familiar with. You can buy a wide variety of cleaning solutions designed for laminate floors that don’t contain harsh chemicals that could damage the finish, while keeping your floor shiny and strong. Your laminate floor can also suffer from abrasion damage if you use harsh scouring devices, which is why scrubbing pads should also be left in the cupboard. Instead, brush your laminate floors down with a soft bristled broom, which should help keep the dirt off without damaging the surface.
Of course, there is always an exception to the rule, and here that rule is Quick-Step. At Floor24 we specialise in supplying and installing Quick-Step laminate, and the cleaning instructions are slightly different for this type of laminate. This is mainly because this laminate has a waterproof coating, and so the rule about not mopping it can be bent a little. Quick-Step should be cleaned by:
- Brush and vacuum your floor thoroughly.
- Fill a bucket with one cap of Quick-Step Clean to 5 litres of water. You will also need a bucket of clean water to rinse the mop in.
- Dip the mop into the cleaner and mop your floor, using the clean water to rinse the mop every now and then.
A caveat here though – if your Quick-Step has rips or tears in it, you should avoid wet mopping, as the water can get underneath the top layer and cause bubbles. But as long as you keep an eye on it, you should be fine.
Still – don’t steam mop laminate, no matter what brand it is.
When first laid, most laminate floors have a gorgeous ‘new floor’ shine. Over time as the floor gathers dirt that can start to fade, and many homeowners will leave it this way. But you don’t have to! It’s simple enough to restore that beautiful shine to your laminate floors and keep them looking good as new. Brush away large pieces of debris to avoid scratching the surface, and regularly vacuum to get rid of any smaller particles, dirt, dust and debris. Mop your laminate floors with that microfibre mop at least once a week, using just water where you can. If vacuuming and mopping your floor doesn’t bring back that shine, then there is probably a layer of residue that’s built up on it, dulling the shine. For this, just put some white vinegar onto a cloth and wipe a small part of the floor. Keep wiping until a shiny spot is revealed under the residue. Once you’ve got one spot clean, you can continue to work on the rest of the floor until it sparkles.
At Floor24, we try to make sure you have all of the information you need to take care of your brand new floors for years to come. After all, you are making a big investment in your home with a laminate floor, and you want to make that investment lasts as long as you can. No one likes a dull, cracked or bubbly floor, so if you ever have any questions about caring for your floor, at any time (even years after installation), just give us a call and we’ll be happy to give you some tips! And if you’re interested in a new laminate floor for your home, just get in touch to arrange measurements and an unbeatable quote.