For those who love the opulence and elegance of marble flooring but love the warmth and richness of wood all the same, the gods of home décor invented laminated flooring. Laminate floors with a hardwood finish are the staple in any starter home that wants to exude that classic look. And, yet, their versatility and durability makes them a homeowner favorite.
What are laminated floors?
So what puts the “laminate” in laminated floors? Also known as “floating wood tile”, this type of flooring is synthetic, bonding together several layers in a high-pressure lamination process. First is a moisture resistant layer which is then topped with a high-resolution photographic layer of wood and these are finished with a clear, hard coating made from resin-coated cellulose meant as a protective surface layer.
Why Homeowners Choose Laminate Flooring Above All Others
Whether you’re doing an upgrade or you’re completely renovating your home, laminate floors are an attractive option because they’re, first and foremost, incredibly budget-friendly. The overall finish they give to a space is that of hardwood or stone flooring but at a fraction of the cost, thanks to that photographic layer.
Laying laminate tile upon pre-existing floors is easy to do. The installation process requires no specialized knowledge, tools, nails or glue. This makes installation a handy, DIY project that you can tackle on your own in an afternoon.
Caring for Your Floors
The most conventional cleaning advice says: broom, then mop. Not so for laminate floors. In fact, this could have an adverse effect on your flooring because a traditional broom is just not made for these floors and mop water could seep through the cracks and cause swelling. The most common experience is having dry dust particles missed by the broom, mixing with the mop and simply leaving streaks behind.
For a bit of special TLC as well as effective cleaning on bare floors, consider using laminated floors powered cleaner such as a vacuum cleaner or a dry dust mop. You’re looking for a cleaner that has a setting for hard floors. Vacuums with brush bristles will damage the floor so steer clear of these.
People think that laminate floors are delicate but that’s not really true: the layers are all synthetic and are built for wear and tear.
However, to elongate the lifespan of your floors, soak up those spills as soon as they happen. This is not only because it might get into the cracks, like mopping can, but spills that are dried on the top layer can become hardened and stuck on. To get them out, you may need to scratch at the surface – and this definitely will damage your laminate floors in the long run.
Want to keep your floors shiny and looking brand new? Buffing is the best thing for laminated flooring. Without too much effort, a good buff can make it seem like you put a lot of effort into your floors. To buff them yourself, grab an absorbent cleaning cloth or even just a dry mop head. If you love DIY hacks, a cloth diaper or a microfiber cleaning cloth are great alternatives to bring back that shine.
You already know that liquid isn’t great for laminate floors. So how on earth do you clean them? Well, the point is not to soak the floor but just brush with a damp cloth. If you use a targeted spray, only douse the area once or twice and then wipe it up quickly.
You also don’t need to get fancy with “laminate cleaners” on the market. They’ll just need a little tailored attention from you now and again. So, why not try a homemade solution? In a bucket, mix in 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar and add in a dollop of liquid dish detergent.
And, if your floor should get stained with oil or paint, grab some acetone and gently rub it out. Once you’ve lifted the stain, run a damp cloth over the area and then a dry cloth immediately after.
If you’re diligent with your floors, they’ll last you a long time. The bottom line is to set the cleaning of your floors on a routine. Part of this routine might include doing a deep cleaning to remove any extra build-up and residue that comes from just plain living.