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laminate floor care & maintenance

While laminate floors can withstand a high level of dirt and traffic without damage, they still require routine care and maintenance. Laminate floor cleaning is just the beginning; preventative measures that can help prolong the life of your laminate floor should also be considered. Your floors are the largest surface in your home, and even laminate floor repair can cost a good deal of money. Use the following tips to learn how to clean laminate floors and keep them looking great.

UPDATE: Steam Cleaning Laminate Floors

Due to the high volume of contact we have had with laminate and hardwood flooring consumers regarding steam cleaning their floors, we have decided to make an announcement above the laminate cleaning, care and maintenance lists. It is NEVER recommended to steam clean laminate floors or hardwood floors. Steam cleaning laminate flooring will cause irreversible damage. For more information on the hazards of steam cleaning laminate or hardwood flooring, please visit our blogs and articles on the subject.

Laminate Floor Care Products

Prevention and Maintenance

  • Never steam clean your laminate floor.
  • Reduce your amount of routine laminate floor cleaning by placing doormats in front of entrances to prevent dirt and gravel from getting tracked in.
  • Keep stiletto heels off your laminate flooring to avoid damage.
  • When mopping, don't apply water directly to the floor, just dampen the mop itself.
  • Avoid flooding your laminate floors with water or cleaning products.
  • When cleaning laminate floors, never use harsh or abrasive cleaners, steel wool, scouring powder, or soap–based detergents.
  • Never wax, lacquer, or polish your laminate floor.
  • Laminate flooring should never be refinished or sanded.
  • Add glides or floor protectors to the feet and corners of heavy furniture.
  • When moving furniture, lift it, don't drag it.
  • Wipe up all liquid spills immediately.
  • Consider placing runners or area rugs in particularly high traffic areas. Take care to avoid backings that will damage your laminate floor. If possible, consult the manufacturer's guide or a sales associate to find out if the rug or runner is compatible.

Care and Cleaning

  • Laminate floors should be regularly swept or dust mopped to pick up loose dirt.
  • If you want to vacuum your laminate flooring, makre sure the vacuum does not have a beater bar.
  • Steam cleaning laminate flooring is NEVER recommended. It can cause permanent damage.
  • When damp mopping the floor, finish by thoroughly wiping the floor with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Stains can be removed with a manufacturer–approved cleaning solution.
  • If something becomes stuck to the floor (such as gum or candle wax), let it harden first before carefully scraping it off with a plastic scraping tool.
  • Particularly tough stains from things like shoe polish, crayons, ink, or oil can be removed with acetone nail polish remover on a clean cloth.

When in doubt, always remember to consult the manufacturer, as well as your warranty. Be sure you keep track of the handbook that came along with your laminate flooring, and know who to call if you have a problem that isn't addressed here.

For immediate help from a flooring professional or fellow remodeler, use our Flooring Forums.