Saturday, June 18, 2011

Laminate Floor Care

We put in a laminate floor just over two years ago, which I absolutely love. We opted for slate-look tiles rather than the oh-so-popular wood planks. I've got enough wood in this house with the blue pine walls and wanted a stone-look floor without the cold hardness of regular tile. So laminate it was.

Well, just this past week, I learned how to take care of it. Fortunately, I'd been inadvertently doing everything mostly right but thought I'd post this info in case anyone needs to know. I'll give the expert advice I found and then a synopsis of what I'm doing. As always, follow the care instructions provided by the flooring manufacturer if those differ from the following generic care advice.

Expert Recommendations

First, protect your floor. Make sure you have felt pads under chair legs and use throw rugs in front of the door to catch most of the grit. Also, take your shoes off at the door. Clean up wet spills immediately. Don't slide heavy furniture across your laminate.

Second, vacuum, sweep or dust mop regularly. Clean with a microfiber cloth and plain water, water and vinegar, or special laminate cleaner. Do not wet mop and NEVER use soap, ammonia, or any harsh or abrasive cleaners. Also, do not wax or polish.

My Real Life

I actually have those plastic glides on the legs of my chairs and they've been fine so far. I do have commercial grade laminate, however, and the stuff seems nearly bulletproof (tested by yours truly by raking across a scrap piece with a sheetrock screw). I do have rugs in the entry and in front of the kitchen sink. We always remove our shoes in the entry. I get right on spills, such as the pint jar of hot blackberry jam that hopped off the counter and shattered on the floor and the puddle that formed when the freezer door got left open. Oh, and I have slid both my chest and upright freezers across my laminate a couple of times with no damage but would advise against this unless absolutely necessary (like standing water beneath your freezer).

I've done really well on caring for the laminate, although it's been inadvertent I must admit. I hate to sweep and always vacuum so I get an A+ for effectively removing grit from the surface. But that's about the extent of my floor care routine. I do wipe up spills as they occur (infrequent) but don't have a regular mopping schedule. Hallelujah! Beings I'm not supposed to mop, this procrastination has worked to my advantage. I did get a microfiber cloth and cleaned the whole thing tile-by-tile and was amazed how much dirt I got off the floor, mostly along the edges. Who knew? Another thing I love about my laminate is it has texture and pattern and NOTHING shows. How cool is that?

Laminate Floor Care Links

TLC Laminate Floor Care
Laminate Flooring Care

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