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Since the inception of laminate flooring, ease
of maintenance has been one of its largest assets. Due to the composition and
construction of the product, as well as the extremely durable top layers, laminate
flooring is perhaps the easiest type of flooring to maintain.
daily maintenance requires vacuuming, sweeping and dust mopping. Several generic
cleaning solutions are also available to clean laminate floors. Most major laminate
flooring manufacturers have their own cleaning kits with instructions. Most kits
contain a flat cloth mop and a spray cleaning solution. The cleaner is best sprayed
onto the mop-head and then the floor is wiped clean. It is very important that
you follow the maintenance schedule of the product you purchase. Ask your retailer
or manufacturer on the specifics of maintaining your floor. All of the manufacturers
warranties require a specific maintenance schedule to be followed.
- do not use any aftermarket cleaners or sprays
that state it leaves the floor shiny or sparkly, or contain any glossing agents,
these will leave you without any warrantee on your flooring, the manufacturers
of the flooring clearly state that no artificial glossing agents, polishes or
shining agents such as waxes are to be use on melamine laminate flooring. There
are several leading high street brands offering such products, they even
say that they are suitable for laminate flooring on the label, this is there opinion,
not the manufacturers of the flooring however, so beware. These companies do not
take into account the requirements of many leading laminate floor manufacturers
such as Pergo, Quickstep, Krono Original, Egger, Balterio, Berry Floor etc, and
use of these products can often lead to problems and loss of warrantee offered.
You should also avoid any laminate
floor cleaners that state they are made from soap, as soap
need to be rinsed away and most laminate floors these days
cannot be rinsed or wet mopped due to the click system or
'v' groove technology used. The instructions on many soap
based cleaners are not compatible with the newer styles of
laminate floors, and often lead to damage of the flooring
over time. Any concentrate cleaner used that states you mix
it in a bucket and soak the mop cloths should only be branded
manufacturers laminate cleaners only,.many aftermarket cleaners
can have chemicals in that can lead to problems over time
with certain laminates. Follow the instructions on the bottles
closely, never overwet the flooring, always use a fluffy microfibre
mop cloth to apply the cleaner and use another fluffy mop
cloth to buff off / dry any moisture on the flooring stright
away, especially if 'v' grooved joints are present.
Laminate floors are fade, stain, dent, burn and scratch
resistant. However, it is still possible that you may end up with a scratch, chip
or dent that will require repair. Laminate flooring is very tough, but it is not
There are a range of flooring laminate putty's which can
help mask any small chips in your flooring however, they will not cover or hide
scratches. Scratches will fade a little with use of the flooring depending on
how deep, with proper advice and cleaning equipment, you can reduce the risks
of damaging your flooring and keeping it looking new.
While laminates are
meant to stand up to wear, they keep a new look if you follow this simple advice.
- Vacuum or sweep the flooring to remove loose dirt or grit
Caution - do not use any vacuum's with a rotating beater bar - hard floor attachments
Whilst many laminate flooring manufacturers actually say you can use
vacuum's with hard floor attachments, we recommend you only use a soft brush to
clean the surface grit and dirt away prior to mopping. We have found that if your
flooring is suffering from a lot of grit particles on the floor you do risk the
chance of some of this grit getting onto the wheels of the vacuum, and whilst
dragging or pushing the vacuum around the floor, it is possible that a piece of
grit can stop some of the smaller wheels found on today's vacuums from going around,
this will result in a scratch on your laminate floor.
- Flat mop, using
a laminate manufacturers cleaning solution. Spray the cleaning solution onto a
dry flat mop with a microfibre cloth, do not saturate or over wet the mop. The
mop should not leave moisture behind the mopped area cleaned, this should be almost
dry. If your laminate flooring has a wood grain type finish, the flooring should
be mopped in the same direction as the grain. (Most good quality laminates have
an impressed grain affect in the wear layers on wood type finishes) cleaning in
the length of these grains helps bring back the luster of the flooring, only microfibre
cloths can get into these impressed grains, cleaning across the grain is not as
affective. Once mopped with the cleaner spray on the flat microfibre mop cloth,
the floor should then be buffed with a dry clean version of the flat microfibre
mop cloth, this will help remove any residue from the cleaning procedure.
use polish, varnish or wax. Most laminate flooring have a pre-finished wear layer,
this never needs further treatment, only correct cleaning. There are many after
market (generic) laminate floor cleaners on sale today, many of these cleaners
can actually lead to more damage to your laminate flooring over a long period
of time. Many of these after market cleaning products have glossing agents in
them, designed to offer your flooring a glossy clean sparkly finish or have soap
included in there make up. Glossing agents will actually make your laminate flooring
appear patchy, as you use the flooring the worn areas fade as the glossing agent
wears off quickly, then your have to constantly keep glossing your floor to keep
it looking good, this is classed as a polish and the manufacturers can and will
invalidate your warrantee as a result if these products are used. The glossing
agents and soaps found in many after market cleaners often cause the flooring
to become sticky and this will cause the flooring to attract dirt rather than
repel it. More dirt on your flooring will lead to more scratching with time.
clean with abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool.
- Wipe up spills
/ liquids immediately.
- Avoid allowing any liquids to stand on your
floor - including your pets water bowl.
- Dirt is the primary enemy
of laminates floors. Walking over time causes fine scratches that lead to dullness
and larger particles of sand or rocks cause visible scratches.
advice for your laminate flooring
Never drag any unprotected
furniture or heavy items across your floor. Install 2 -3 mm felt on the bottoms
of all of your furniture, especially tables and chairs. Whilst the furniture legs
may not directly damage your floor, grit building up and trapped between the floor
and the hard furniture legs / bottoms will cause a lot of light scratches. Installing
the felt layer between these two hard surfaces gives the grit somewhere to go
rather than getting pushed into your laminate flooring.
Install proper barrier
mats. It is essential that proper door mats are used at every entrance and exit
of your home. A good system is to have a coir or Astroturf type mat on the outside
to help remove grit from the treads of your shoes or trainers and then a rubber
backed cotton based mat inside your doorways. This will reduce the transfer of
grit and moisture onto your laminate floors.
Castors - Most manufacturers
say in there leaflets that there floors withstand castors, what this actually
means in many cases is that the castors will not leave indentations (like they
do in carpets). Unprotected castors will damage your flooring, old metal type
castors often found on older lounge chairs offer floor coverings a point load,
often these are strained and at an odd angle or damaged, especially when you 'land'
/ sit in your lounge chairs, as a result this can cause indentations in your laminate
flooring, and can even cause the break up of the surface layers.
castors often found on office chairs come in many shapes and sizes, the composition
of the plastic wheel (how hard it is) makes a dramatic difference to the affects
it has on hard floor coverings. Often the plastic castors build up with grit particles
found on every floor, these particles impress themselves into the plastic creating
an abrasive castor wheel, this chair with use then becomes a mobile sanding machine
and generally results in the failing of the laminate floors wearlayer. This is
rarely a production fault and is a regular complaint from customers. This can
be avoided if the correct advice is given.
Laminate floors are best protected
against castors with castor cups, castor cups spread the weight of the furniture
thus lowing the point load on the flooring however, it is very important to cover
the bottom of the castor cup with a soft 2-3 mm felt backing as grit can still
gather between the hard floor covering and the hard castor cup, installing 2-3
mm felt eases this problem.
Here for a link to Pergo's Cleaning Advice Page
Here for a link to Quick Steps Advice Page