This article comes from The Spruce.
9 Laminate Floor Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Laminate floors can add a lot of beauty and value to your home if you know how to take care of them. Find out the most common mistakes made with laminate floors and how to fix them.
1. Too Much Water
To get a dirty floor clean, you need water. The problem with laminate floors is that too much water seeps into the cracks between the planks and can cause swelling and damage that is irreversible. A little water goes a long way on a laminate floor. For most areas of laminate flooring in your home, a dry or dust mop may be all that is needed for regular cleaning. Sticky or dirty sections can be spot cleaned using a rag and spray bottle without having to mop the entire floor.
2. Wrong Cleaners
It’s tempting to seek out the fanciest looking bottle of cleaner that promises to make our laminate floors look fabulous. Many cleaners can dull the look of our laminate floors. This is especially true when cleaners are overused. If you have a laminate floor cleaner that you love, be sure to follow the usage instructions. It’s tempting to think that more soap equals cleaner, but that isn’t true. Often all that a laminate floor needs to make it clean is a good dusting, or a light mopping with water only. A simple cleaner to add to your mopping solution is a few tablespoons of ammonia-free glass cleaner. Others have success using just a few drops of mild dish soap. Be sure to try any mopping solutions in a hidden area of the floor to make sure they don’t discolor or damage your laminate.
3. Vacuuming and Sweeping
Laminate floors need to be swept or vacuumed often to keep them clean. Dirt is an enemy to laminate since it scratches and dulls the finish of the floor. However, sweeping or vacuuming improperly can do more damage to your laminate than the dirt. If you use a vacuum cleaner, be sure to turn the brush roll off to avoid scratching the surface of your floor. For sweeping, a clean microfiber dust mop can be more gentle on the floor than bristle brooms.
4. Type of Mop
Despite your best efforts at dry mopping and spot cleaning your laminate, you will need to eventually mop your floors. Because water is an enemy to laminate, you’ll need to choose a type of mop that does not slather extra water all over the floor. Rag mops aren’t a great option unless they are completely rung out. Sponge mops can work well as long as they are very clean without residue to scratch the surface of the floor. Make sure the mop you choose is only damp and not sopping wet.
5. Furniture Damage
Beautiful furniture can complement a beautiful floor. But to protect that floor, the furniture needs a little addition. Furniture pads on the bottoms of heavy furniture will protect the floor from scuffing and gouging. If the pads on the bottoms of your furniture are worn down or missing, they can be replaced inexpensively by a quick trip to a home improvement store.
One of the biggest complaints about laminate floors is that the floors are streaky even after mopping. To remedy this, try a different cleaner or use less cleaner. Remember water and a tiny bit of glass cleaner is more than enough to get the floors clean. You can also buff the floors dry with an absorbent towel after you are done mopping. Some floors are more prone to streaking than others, but these tips should help.
Be aware if you have potted plants on your laminate surfaces. Overfilling them, or leaks in your planters can cause damage that may be hidden temporarily. Protect the floors by paying attention to the watering, and using a pad to protect the floor under the pots. To be extra careful, move the plants up onto a higher surface.
Pet food and water dishes can also present issues for laminate floors. Try using a pad under your pet dishes that will protect the floor from scratching and dampness.
Streaks of sunlight that come in a regular pattern day after day can fade out sections of your laminate flooring. Use blinds or curtains to protect the floor during high sunlight portions of the day.
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