9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (2024)


Cleaning Floors

Learn More About Cleaning Laminate Floors to Keep Them Damage-Free


Sarah Aguirre

Sarah Aguirre

Sarah Aguirre is a housekeeping expert with over 20 years of experience cleaning residentially and commercially. Over that time, she has been writing about tips and tricks for housekeeping and organizing a home for national publications.

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Updated on 08/29/22

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Katie Berry

9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (1)

Reviewed byKatie Berry

Katie Berry is a cleaning expert with 30 years of household management experience and 12 years of writing about cleaning methods and routines for Housewife How-Tos. She is the author of several books about homemaking.

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9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (2)

Laminate floors can add a lot of beauty and value to your home at a great price if you know how to take care of them. For instance, should you vacuum laminate floors, clean them with water if they are sticky, or restore laminate floors that are scuffed? Find out the most common mistakes made with laminate floors and how to fix them.

What are Laminate Floors?

Laminate floors are a hybrid floor covering consisting of a particleboard wood base topped by an image layer and a transparent wear layer. The material is affordable and comes in infinite colors and patterns.

Cleaning Laminate Floors Without Damage

The best way to clean a laminate floor is to use a flat-style mop with microfiber socks or pads that go over the head and collect dust and dander. Doing this just about daily will minimize dirt that can grind into the seams or scratch the surface. It will also the lesson the times you need to use water to clean the floor. Here are more common mistakes to avoid when cleaning laminate so you can keep your floor looking new longer.

  • 01 of 09

    Too Much Water

    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (3)

    To get a dirty floor clean, you need water. The problem with laminate floors is that too much water seeps into the cracks between the planks and can cause swelling and damage that is irreversible. A little water goes a long way on a laminate floor.For most areas of laminate flooring in your home, a dry or dust mop may be all that is needed for regular cleaning.Sticky or dirty sections can be spot cleaned using a rag and spray bottle without having to mop the entire floor.

  • 02 of 09

    Wrong Cleaners

    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (4)

    It's tempting to seek out the fanciest bottle of cleaner that promises to make our laminate floors look fabulous. Many cleaners can dull the look of our laminate floors.This is especially true when cleaners are overused. If you have a laminate floor cleaner that you love, be sure to follow the usage instructions.It's tempting to think that more soap equals cleaner, but that isn't true. Often, all that a laminate floor needs to make it clean is a good dusting or a light mopping with water only.A simple cleaner to add to your mopping solution is a few tablespoons of ammonia-free glass cleaner. Others have success using just a few drops of mild dish soap. Be sure to try any mopping solutions in a hidden area of the floor to make sure they don't discolor or damage your laminate.

  • 03 of 09

    Vacuuming and Sweeping

    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (5)

    Laminate floors need to be swept or vacuumed often to keep them clean. Dirt is an enemy to laminate since it scratches and dulls the finish of the floor. However, sweeping or vacuuming improperly can do more damage to your laminate than the dirt. If you use a vacuum cleaner, be sure to turn the brush roll off to avoid scratching the surface of your floor. For sweeping, a clean microfiber dust mop can be more gentle on the floor than bristle brooms.

  • 04 of 09

    Type of Mop

    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (6)

    Despite your best efforts at dry mopping and spot cleaning your laminate, you will need to eventually mop your floors. Because water is an enemy to laminate, you'll need to choose a type of mop that does not slather extra water all over the floor. Rag mops aren't a great option unless they are completely rung out. Sponge mops can work well as long as they are very clean without residue to scratch the surface of the floor. Make sure the mop you choose is only damp and not sopping wet.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.

  • 05 of 09

    Furniture Damage

    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (7)

    Beautiful furniture can enhance a beautiful floor. But to protect that floor, the furniture needs a little addition. Furniture pads on the bottoms of heavy furniture will protect the floor from scuffing and gouging. If the pads on the bottoms of your furniture are worn down or missing, they can be replaced inexpensively by a quick trip to a home improvement store.


    If you come across a scuff on your laminate floor, remove it by buffing out the mark with a clean tennis ball. Or slightly dampen the mark, and rub a fresh, new pink eraser over the scuff.

  • 06 of 09


    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (8)

    One of the biggest complaints about laminate floors is that the floors are streaky even after mopping. To remedy this, try a different cleaner or use less cleaner. Remember, water and a tiny bit of glass cleaner is more than enough to get the floors clean. You can also buff the floors dry with an absorbent towel after you are done mopping. Some floors are more prone to streaking than others, but these tips should help.

    Floors often look streaky after mopping without vacuuming immediately beforehand. Vacuuming one day and then mopping the next allows dust to settle on the floor, along with any dirt tracked in on peoples' shoes, and both will turn to muddy streaks when mopped.

  • 07 of 09


    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (9)

    Be aware of potential problems if you have potted plants on your laminate surfaces.Overfilling them or leaky planters can cause damage that may be hidden temporarily. Protect the floors by paying attention to watering and using a pad to protect the floor under the pots. To be extra careful, move the plants up onto a higher surface.

  • 08 of 09

    Pet Food

    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (10)

    Pet food and water dishes can also present issues for laminate floors. Try using a pad under your pet dishes that will protect the floor from becoming scratched by feeding plates and bowls. Keep an eye on dampness issues, such as spilled water from a bowl, that can affect laminate.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.

  • 09 of 09

    Too Much Sunlight

    9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (11)

    Streaks of sunlight that come in a regular pattern day after day can fade sections of your laminate flooring. Use closed blinds or drawn curtains to protect the floor during the part of the day the sunlight is at its brightest and potentially most harsh for floors, or try adding sheer curtains to filter the light.

Certainly! The article provides comprehensive guidance on maintaining laminate floors, covering various aspects of cleaning and upkeep. Here's a breakdown of the concepts addressed:

  1. Laminate Floors Composition: Laminate floors comprise a particleboard wood base with an image layer and a transparent wear layer on top. This composition offers affordability and a wide range of colors and patterns.

  2. Cleaning Methods:

    • Avoid Excess Water: Too much water can seep into plank cracks, causing irreversible damage. Instead, use dry or dust mops for regular cleaning.
    • Choosing the Right Cleaners: Certain cleaners may dull the floor's appearance if overused. Simple solutions like water, mild dish soap, or ammonia-free glass cleaner are effective.
    • Vacuuming and Sweeping: Regular sweeping or vacuuming is crucial to prevent scratching and maintain the floor's finish. Using a vacuum cleaner with the brush roll turned off or a clean microfiber dust mop is recommended.
    • Mopping Techniques: Selecting the right mop is essential to avoid excess water. Rag mops (if well-wrung) or clean sponge mops (without residue) are suitable. The key is to ensure the mop is only damp, not excessively wet.
  3. Furniture Protection: Placing furniture pads under heavy furniture prevents scuffing and gouging of the laminate floor. Additionally, specific methods, like using a tennis ball or a pink eraser, can remove scuff marks.

  4. Streak Prevention: Streaks on laminate floors after mopping can be avoided by using less cleaner or trying different cleaning solutions. Buffing the floor dry with an absorbent towel after mopping can help eliminate streaks.

  5. Potential Damage Factors:

    • Potted Plants: Overfilling or leaky planters can harm the laminate floor. Using pads under planters or placing them on higher surfaces can prevent damage.
    • Pet Food and Water Dishes: Placing pads under pet dishes can protect floors from scratches and monitoring spillage to prevent dampness issues is advised.
    • Sunlight Exposure: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade sections of laminate flooring. Using blinds, curtains, or sheer curtains during peak sunlight hours can protect the floor.

Each point in the article emphasizes the importance of proper cleaning techniques and preventive measures to maintain the quality and appearance of laminate floors without causing damage.

9 Ways to Ruin Your Laminate Floors (2024)


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