cleaning laminate floors

Red dust-mop on laminate floor.

Keep laminate floors luxurious by regularly vacuuming, dust-mopping, or wiping the floors with a damp (not wet) cloth.

When the dirt and grime get tough, as they often do in the kitchen, those who don't mind a bit of scrubbing will find that vinegar and water works well for cleaning laminate floors.

Here's the routine for cleaning laminate floors to keep them looking luxe.

About Laminate Floors

Laminate floors, which are known mostly by the brand name Pergo, consist of several layers: a top "wear layer" or finish, a photograph of real wood, a layer of fiberboard, and a bottom layer.

The bottom layer, also called the underside or the balance layer, is made from specially laminated kraft paper.

Since the visual layer is photography, laminates can mimic any flooring material from stone to tile to wood.

Tne good news is that wood laminates look like regular wood, but they are more durable and easier to care for, they are more affordable, and they can be installed in places where solid or veneered wood is not appropriate.

Laminates are also easy to use in remodels because they can be installed over most materials and don't require a subfloor.

You can get laminates that are finished to look like just about any kind of wood. Most people cannot tell wood and laminate floors apart. (Unless they're flooring installers, of course.)

Cleaning Laminate Floors

To remove tough spots or stains, buff the blemish with acetone nail polish remover, then wipe the floor clean with a damp cloth.

The care tips for cleaning laminate floors are very similar to those for wood floors:

  • Use welcome mats. Grit is a laminate floor's worst enemy.

  • Use furniture casters.  Laminate floors scratch easily.
  • Vacuum often, using the soft brush attachment on the vacuum.
  • Do not polish, wax, or use steel wool or abrasive cleaners on laminate flooring.

No-nos for laminate floors include allowing water or a floor cleaner to stand on or below the floor surface, soap-based detergents, or mop-and-shine products (they'll leave a dull film on your floor), wax, polish, abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or scouring pads.

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