How to Bring the Shine Back to Laminate Floors
Laminate floors are affordable, durable, and versatile, which makes them a popular flooring option for many homeowners looking to enhance the appearance of any area in their home. With proper maintenance and care, laminate flooring can last a long time without showing signs of wear and tear. However, homeowners might begin to notice their laminate floors losing their shine and turning slowly into a dull floor. You might be feeling the need to bring the shine back to your flooring.
So how do you bring the shine back to laminate floors? Some ways to do this are correct cleaning processes like sweeping and vacuuming your floors, preparing a laminate-formulated floor cleaner and spraying it on the floor, mopping the floor, air-drying the room, and buffing any additional dull spots. You should also avoid using wax and floor polish, wet cleaning methods, and abrasive cleaning pads. For maintenance, use floor mats, designate footwear for indoor use only, and regularly sweep and vacuum your floor.
Ways to Bring Back the Shine to Your Laminate Floors
Through proper maintenance and cleaning, you can renew the shine on your laminate floors. Here are the cleaning practices you should be using on your floor.
1. Practice the Right Floor Cleaning Process
Dust, dirt, and other particles can build up on the floor’s surface, making it look dull in the process. Here’s the correct way to clean your floors and maintain or return its shine.
- Sweep and vacuum the floors. Use a microfiber mop or a soft broom to sweep the debris out of the room. This will help get rid of the dirt particles that are easier to remove from your floor. To get rid of more stubborn particles, use a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor attachment, similar to those used for wood floors. Avoid using other attachments and vacuums with a beater bar, as these can scratch your flooring and leave permanent marks.
- Prepare a laminate-formulated floor cleaner. Use cleaners that are specially formulated for laminate floors. Avoid using soap-based and oil-based cleaners, as this can cause your floors to warp over time. If you can’t find any laminate cleaners in your area, you can make your own laminate flooring cleaner using a water solution by mixing equal parts of water, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Mix the spray bottle until all three are fully combined.
- Spray a thin layer onto your floor. A few spritzes can go a long way, especially for laminate flooring. Laminate flooring does not react well to water, so it’s best to spray in sections rather than spraying the entire floor at once.
- Mop the floor. Use your mop to wipe the cleaner in the direction of the grain. You’ll want your floors to be damp from the cleaner, but not too wet. Once one section is finished, spray your cleaner onto the next section of the room and repeat the process until the entire floor is mopped.
- Air-dry the room. Let the cleaner dry up. Open the room’s doors and windows to ensure sufficient air circulation. You’ll want to give it up to 30 minutes to completely dry. Avoid letting anyone into the room during this time, as their steps can add dirt back onto the floor and diminish its shine.
- Buff any additional dull spots. Once the floor dries, it should restore its shine. If there are parts that still look dull, use a dry microfiber cloth to buff out spots until it shines.
2. Avoid Using Wax and Floor Polish
Laminate flooring is naturally shiny, so floor wax and polish are unnecessary and can even cause your floors to lose their shine. Wax and most polish products don’t work well on laminate flooring. Instead of giving your floor an additional shine, it makes your floor sticky and causes dirt particles to adhere to the floor surface.
If you really must use floor polish, make sure it is a laminate floor polish specifically designed to work on your type of flooring. Otherwise, it can also be prone to sticking dirt and debris onto your floors.
3. Avoid Abrasive Cleaning Pads
Abrasive cleaners like steel wool, scrubbing sponges, and scrubbing pads can scratch out the top surface of your floor finishes responsible for giving it its shine. Stubborn dirt particles can be removed with a laminate-formulated cleaner paired with a microfiber mop or any soft microfiber cleaning cloth to clean laminate floors.
4. Avoid Wet Cleaning Methods
Mop your laminate floor at least once a week with your laminate-formulated cleanser. Avoid using wet cleaning methods like a bucket of soapy water and a mop, steam mop, and spray mops, as these can damage your flooring and cause it to warp. This can result in losing its shine while also damaging surrounding laminate flooring due to warping.
Also, avoid using cleaners that contain soaps, oils, and other harmful chemicals, as these can affect the composition of wood laminate floors.
5. Use Protective Pads on Furniture
Furniture can scratch at your floor surface, which can ruin its shine. Make sure your chairs have felt pads or anti-slip rubber pads at the bottom to keep it from scratching your flooring, or avoid dragging your chairs’ legs against the floor when moving it. Use wider pads for larger furniture like tables and sofas. This can prevent its legs from scratching the surface of your flooring and ruining your laminate floor shine.
6. Sweep and Vacuum at Least Once a Week
Dirt particles, dust, and other debris can make your floor dirty, lose its shine, and cause tiny scratches that can dull your flooring over time. Do this once a week, and more frequently if you have kids and pets, as they can drag additional dirt onto your floors. Increase the frequency in rooms like your living room or kitchen where foot traffic is higher. Remember to always use the hard floor attachment.
7. Consider Leaving Shoes at the Door
Many households practice leaving their outdoor shoes at the door. This can reduce the amount of dirt that ends up on the floors of your home. Place your household’s shoe closet or organizer close to the door. They can have the option of walking around the house barefoot or with indoor slippers. Also consider advising your guests to remove their shoes when entering your home.
8. Use Floor Mats
Place floor mats at all the entrances in your home. These can help catch dirt, soil, dust, moisture, and other loose debris that can end up on your floor, scratching it and causing it to go dull. This can also greatly help you reduce the number of times you have to sweep and mop your whole home – not just the laminate flooring. Change your floor mat at least once a week to avoid oversaturating your mats with dirt and making it less effective.
9. Clean Spills Immediately
Laminate floors aren’t meant to get wet. Even if you’ve installed waterproof flooring, it’s best not to expose your floor surface to excess water. Water can soak into the sides and open seams of your floorings, which is then absorbed into the boards. If your flooring boards are wet enough, it can swell and warp the board, which can affect the boards surrounding it. It can also affect the glue holding your flooring, causing it to come loose.
In case of water spillage, wipe it immediately with a clean rag or paper towel.
10. Remove Warped and Damaged Flooring
You can tell a laminate flooring plank is beyond restoration when it looks warped and may actually be affecting the planks around it. If left on your floor, there’s a chance that it could start to push the other planks and affect the overall appearance. During your flooring installation, we recommend keeping a few spare planks on-hand for situations like these. If you still have a few to spare, remove the damaged plank and replace it with your spare plank.
Get Shiny Laminate Flooring with Zothex Flooring
Laminate floors are one of the most popular types of flooring that is meant to shine and complement the rest of your room’s design. If you’ve had laminate floors installed or you’re planning to redecorate a room in your home to have this type of flooring, keep in mind the cleaning and maintenance tips you should practice.
Zothex Flooring offers high quality flooring and cabinets to properties in the Sacramento-Roseville, California areas. Visit our showroom today to take a look at our flooring selections, or give us a call to schedule a safe and convenient virtual shopping experience.